This month life threw me a few curve balls, just to keep me on my toes. The day before Labor Day, Mom fell and cracked her hip and had to have surgery. She’s making a slow recovery at home in East Texas. A long-planned trip to the beach to celebrate Ron’s birthday was canceled by the arrival of the Red Tide….and my revision notes arrived from my editor with requests for a few new scenes. Still, I had time for a few of my usual pursuits, to wit:
Movies watched: I’m on a biographical kick at present and this month I had time for two bio movies—Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed’s hike along the Pacific Coast Trail, and Unbroken, the story of Olympian Louis Zamperini’s survival of a Japanese prison camp. Both movies depict the extraordinary strength of a single person pushed to the limits of human endurance. I could have done without the graphic scenes in Wild, and I wished for more of Zamperini’s story after the war. The ending felt abrupt and unsatisfying. But both of these movies reminded me that real life is more fascinating than anything Hollywood can dream up.
Books Read: I finally had time to read Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun, a bio novel of the horse trainer and aviatrix Beryl Markham. If you have read Out of Africa ( or seen the movie) you will recognize many of the characters in this novel. Beryl Markham was Karen Blixen’s rival for the heart of Denys Finch Hatton, portrayed in Out of Africa by Robert Redford. McLain’s descriptions of Africa in the 1920’s are lush and evocative. I loved this story of a brave and independent woman abandoned by her mother and disappointed by lovers and husbands, whose heart never quite found its true home.
Writing Stuff: The aforementioned revisions on next year’s biographical novel, MRS LEE AND MRS GRAY are keeping me very busy as I hurtle toward an October 21st deadline. I’ve seen the preliminary ideas for the cover and I’m excited to share the final result with you–I hope next time. Meantime,A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS which officially releases Oct 13, received a glowing 4.5 star review and was named a TOP PICK at Romantic Times Reviews.I’m thrilled with the early reception for this book, which combines suspense, a murder mystery and romance set against the backdrop of postbellum Savannah and St Simons Island.
Wishing you all a lovely autumn.