I know, I know. It’s been forever since I posted here. Forgive me. I kept meaning to, and this post is swiped from the newsletter to subscribers I mailed out recently so it’s sort of cheating, but life continued to get in the way of a real post. The big news is I’m moving. (Gulp!) My husband Michael and I sold our house in Litchfield County, Connecticut, an area we love and intend to visit in the summers, but we didn’t love winter in the Northeast. At first we thought we’d try being snowbirds and spent the past five months in St. Petersburg, Florida. It turned out St. Pete is fabulous! The beaches and Gulf of Mexico are gorgeous, no surprise, but it’s the downtown area that blew us away. What a vibrant, lively, culturally rich, “hip and happening” place! From museums to restaurants, St. Pete is walkable, easy to navigate and right on beautiful Tampa Bay – plus my Yankees play their spring training games right across the Bay in Tampa. We were captivated and decided to make St. Pete our primary residence. Next month, we’ll be moving into a condo overlooking the Bay until we figure out where to buy. It’s on Snell Isle, just over a charming bridge from downtown, and the view from our place is spectacular. I’ve never been a “condo person,” having lived in houses since my youthful apartment years in Manhattan, but I’m looking forward to letting someone else handle maintenance problems, not to mention making new friends down at the pool.
The view from our sixth floor balcony
National Women’s Health Week in D.C.
But life won’t be all sun and fun and tennis (I’m playing again after a long layoff). In the middle of our move, I’ll be taking a quick trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in National Women’s Health Week. Invited by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, whose mission is to enhance the health of people worldwide through its support of medical care and research at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, I’ll be speaking on a caregiving panel on May 16th as part of Hadassah’s Women’s Health Empowerment Summit – a huge honor for me. Hadassah will promote my appearance by selling copies of You’d Better Not Die or I’ll Kill you: A Caregiver’s Survival Guide to Keeping You in Good Health and Good Spirits. I’m excited to be on a dais with many well regarded experts in the caregiving field, and I hope I can spread the word about how essential it is that caregivers take care of our own health as well as that of our loved ones. Having a husband with a chronic illness and a mother who suffered from dementia, I know whereof I speak. If you’re caring for a loved one with a chronic or progressive illness, please do check out the book and please take care of you!
A New Book on the Horizon
As for my next book, it’ll be nonfiction and it’ll be a kind of a bookend to the caregiving guide – i.e. it’ll deal with what happens after the caregiving ends. The subject of death and dying is in the zeitgeist these days, and I intend to tackle it with the same candor, humor and personal storytelling I deployed for You’d Better Not Die. It will focus on my mother – our relationship, my sense of loss when she “disappeared” from my life and, here’s the biggie, whether those who’ve passed on are still with us in some form. The book will explore my efforts to communicate with my mother after her death and explain how others can connect with those they’ve lost. It will detail my spiritual and emotional journey in the tradition of books like Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, and I can only hope it’ll find as wide a readership as those narratives did.
My mother and I at my wedding in Ridgefield, CT
A Beautiful Day
Speaking of weddings, Michael and celebrated our 25th anniversary this past fall by having a very informal renewal of our vows at our Connecticut house. It was just the two of us and a photographer, but it was very special. I ordered the same bouquet, headpiece and boutonniere we wore 25 years before, and we exchanged moving words of love and commitment. Tears were shed, but there were laughs, too. A beautiful, beautiful day for us.
Scenes from our special day
A New Romantic Comedy
And finally, for those asking for another romantic comedy, yes, there will be one. I love the genre, always will, even as it falls in and out of fashion. So whether I bring back Elaine, Jackie and Pat from Three Blonde Mice and Princess Charming or come up with a totally new set of characters and hijinks, my goal will be the same: to entertain and take you away from the daily grind.
And while I’m on that subject, there are rumblings from Hollywoodland that two of my romantic comedies are drawing movie/TV interest again. Nothing concrete to report, but I’ll shout from the rooftops if there’s a deal!
Jane Heller is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her fourteen breezy, witty novels of romantic comedy and suspense are now entertaining millions of readers around the world, along with her two books of nonfiction.