Whew. Made it through the holidays in a new house (we moved four weeks before Christmas!!). Eighteen of our nearest and dearest on Christmas day, lots of family time, and even a fair bit of writing and me time. None the less, glad to see the little turkeys…err…darlings…. back to school and settle into the routine madness that is my life :).
Read some great books over the holidays, too. The true standout of the bunch, “Curiosity” by Joan Thomas was a delight, start to finish.
It took dinosaur fossils and English class barriers (not the most natural combination, I know!) and turned it into a wonderfully evocative story about Mary Anning, noted 19th century fossil hunter from Lyme Regis. Really, just captivating from beginning to end. I devoured it in one enormous sitting (stayed up far too late, eating turtles and reading!) and then again, more leisurely, savouring the lovely prose. Wonderful historical fiction. Probably the best I’ve read all year, and I read a fair deal of historical fiction. I read Simon Winchester’s non-fiction book, “The Map that Changed the World”, a biography of the first modern geologist, William Smith, several years ago and the two books made for some fascinating intersections. In fact, they’d make a great companion read, touching as they do on so many similar themes. Granted, science and the discovery of the world’s first complete ichthyosaurus skeleton doesn’t sound like a romantic occupation but in Thomas’ capable hands, the story just shines. No wonder Thomas’ book was shortlisted for the Giller. It totally deserved it.
But 2011 feels like it’s going to be a big year for me, even if I don’t expect my own Giller nomination quite yet!?. My first contemporary romance, “Learning Curves”, is going to be making its appearance in June, and my third manuscript is due in a little over eight weeks. Plus, I just sent off a proposal for my next historical – a story that’s part historical fiction, part historical romance, part legal procedural and fingers crossed, the powers that be will give it the green light, too! I have great faith in this book – I think it could be something very different if I can manage it. Whether that difference is a good thing or a bad thing, only time will tell, but the characters keep tromping around in my head, insisting on telling each other interesting things, so that’s always a good sign.