My summer vacation on Lake Superior comes to an end tomorrow, when I head back home, Gibbs in tow for the 7 1/2 hour (mostly scenic and peaceful) drive. Mike will stay up until sometime in August doing the zillion projects he has on the go — build a gazebo, split wood for kindling, stack firewood (we have electric baseboard heat but mostly use the wood stove to heat when necessary), move rocks, plant perennials…his list goes on!
For me, Monday is back to reality — my “summer” reality which involves walking and playing with Gibbs, a lot of golf (we live in a golf course community), working as the Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal — we’re starting September issue if you can believe that — doing some volunteer work as part of my duties on the Board of Directors of Crime Writers of Canada, and of course, getting back to writing crime fiction.
I thought I’d do a lot of writing here, as I did last fall, and while I did get some writing done, most of it is in rough form as I scribbled in a notebook (see picture above) while watching the lake. At first, I beat myself up about it. I should be writing hours every day in this magical place, not daydreaming the days away. And then I thought…I’ve finished writing 2 books this year (one comes out March 2018, the other TBD) started 2 more, and completed 1 short story with a solid idea (developed here) for another. I told myself, it’s okay to take a 2 1/2 week break. And so, I did. And I enjoyed every sunset. (If you remember the late great singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, you should Google his interview with Dave Letterman when he says “Enjoy every sandwich.” Wise words.)
As for the books I read, they are as diverse as the landscape and lake that surround me.
SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane (Suspense) 4 Stars. The first half is great. The second half stretches the realms of plausibility to the breaking point. But Lehane’s prose and characterization are, as always, perfection. But it’s not as good as Mystic River (also a great movie) or Shutter Island (terrible movie)– my two favorite Lehane novels.
STARTING OVER: A Trina Ryan Novel by Sheri S. Levy (YA — was sent an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 5 Stars!) If you know a kid who loves dogs or horses, be sure to pre-order this now. August release by Barking Rain Press.
FACEOFF: A collection of short mystery stories where well known ITW authors and one of their characters “face off” — my favorite was Jeffrey Denver’s Lincoln Rhyme vs. John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport in “Rhymes with Prey.” Each story is introduced by David Baldacci (editor) who tells us a bit about the authors’ works, how they collaborated etc. I plan to read MATCHUP, the next ITW collection of short stories, soon. 4.5 Stars. I’d give it 5, but there were a couple of faceoffs I didn’t enjoy…bound to happen in any anthology. This is one of the best I’ve read.
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr — Won the Pulitzer for fiction – – this is one thick book and I just started it, but so far, I’m hooked. I take comfort in the fact it took him 10 years to write it. Maybe he had a place on the water…