Cilla builds so much more than a home in Tribute. I loved that Patty and Angie made it so easy for her to find family.
This from Ford, combined with Cilla’s reaction to Ford’s art, make up some of the most sensible life advice you can get from fiction. It’s not failing, it’s trying.
I’ll keep that in mind as we all continue to explore life in this weird new normal.
I loved Steve Chensky’s entrance to the story. Not only was he the person who really knew Cilla, he was completely relatable. Is there anyone you’d be thrilled to meet in a completely unexpected setting?
I know it’s hard. We miss our families, our friends, our freedom to go to the movies, a restaurant, go shopping, have a drink in a bar, work out in our gym, go to the beach or the park–and so many ordinary things we all took for granted.
There are so many people–and some are friends, some are family–who have to go out, every day, to tend the sick, to deliver the mail, to drive the trucks that bring food, to work in grocery stores, to prepare the take-out, to clean, to provide us with safety, care and essentials.
For them, we stay home.
For our kids we stay home. For our parents, for our neighbors.
I know I’m fortunate to be able to work at home, to have land around me so I can go outside without putting myself or anyone at risk. I know there are many, many who aren’t as fortunate.
And still, even for the fortunate, it all wears down, stresses out, this constant repeat of days.
For me, staying busy really helps. It took me awhile to find my writing rhythm again. The minute I’d open my mind, it will fill with worry. But I sat at the keyboard every day, as usual, and kept trying. And I had a pretty decent writing week this week, so that eases the stress.
Doesn’t matter if most of what I wrote is probably crap. It’s words on the page, and the pushing back into the habit. I’ll eventually fix the crap.
Weekends around here have a new kind of routine. Maniacal cleaning. Scrubbing, sanitizing, polishing. (I’m sure I don’t have to add disinfectant is for cleaning, not injecting or ingesting–but I’ll say it anyway.)
BW and I have worked out a loose division of chores–which change as needs demand. It’s working just fine.
I’m holding on strongly to the belief that a clean house is a healthy one. If this is true, we’re very healthy here!
Then there’s cooking. At BW’s request I made spaghetti and meatballs yesterday. And while I was at it, I put together a kitchen sink vegetable soup for Kayla–enough to share with her family if anyone else is interested.
Busy and yummy work.
So Saturday was…
Strip the bed and get the laundry started. Get the workout in early because the day’s packed. Scrub down two bathrooms–BW took the third. Keep at the laundry–a shared chore. Make meatballs, make red sauce, make soup, get it all simmering. Scrub down the kitchen. Dust and polish furniture–we’ve got a LOT of wood in this house, and that’s another shared chore.
By the time I’m done, BW’s already working outside. And when I finish, I can go out, too, and get my hands in the dirt. Start putting in more flowers–wonderfully delivered by my beautiful local nursery.
This is joy–hard work, but just joy. It’s therapeutic, and satisfying, and you can’t think hard, worrying thoughts when you’re planting a faerie garden.
I can only give it about four hours due to the inside work, but it’s a lovely start. Today’s cool and rainy–the flowers will like that, but no gardening today.
And as I’m boiling pasta, Kat FaceTimes so I get to see her and Jason and Griffin. That boy is definitely living his best life right now, everything is happy, is parents are at his beck. And he waves and blows kisses at the end.
I can also see him whenever I like due to the pictures and videos Kat and Jason post daily. Not the same, of course, but a tremendous lift to the spirit. My favorite, so far, is his uncontrollable giggles over a Sesame Street segment where every time Elmo sneezes, the seasons change. He tries to pretend to sneeze like Elmo and laughs and laughs.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched it.
My oldest grandson, Logan, turned 16 on Thursday. Hard, hard, hard not to see him, celebrate with him. We’ll make up for it when the world’s sane again.
Today, I’m making my mother’s pound cake–a family favorite. I’ll send half of it down the hill for Logan and family.
My workout’s done, and when I finish this blog, I’ll bake that cake. And since it’s raining, since my house is clean, I’m going to settle in with a book.
I hope all of you are safe and well, those of you at home, those of you on the front lines. And I hope you find the things–so many of them simple and ordinary–that bring you peace and some joy.
Movement as therapy is a personal favorite: working hard really clears my head. While Cilla swings a sledgehammer, I prefer to lift heavy weights. Unfortunately, with my gym closed I do less of that than I’d like right now.
What do you do to get the “ya-yas” out (for wont of a better phrase)? Especially now with so many restrictions to our regular outlets?
I’m a huge fan of witty banter (in case you couldn’t tell) and Tribute is chock full of it. What sticks with you more: humor or emotion? Or does it depend on the reading material?
Again, direct conversation between Ford and Cilla. Loved that HE was the one asking about eating preferences. And I’d have added “especially if I’m not cooking” to Cilla’s reply.
Did you have a good weekend? Do you prefer this method of posting quotes for a book chat? I know, I’m full of questions. But I do like answers!
I appreciated Ford’s direct approach to Cilla every time they were together early in Tribute. Do you prefer direct interactions or an air of mystery in your fictional heroes?
It’s scary sometimes how many times I pause over some dialogue or description before choosing something for the graphic (I could just spend the day rereading). Today I kept coming back to Ford’s fluency in sarcasm, though. Just love that faintly skewed flirtation underlying the entire conversation. Are you more inclined to appreciate smart sarcasm or a very direct approach?
For a while now, I’ve run book discussions on the two Facebook pages. On the JD Robb page, we take each book and novella in the series in order — slowly. I started this in the fall of 2018 and we’re only up to Imitation in Death. There are pauses for new book information, Nora’s travel, my own travel, but on the whole I stick to the discussion Monday – Friday.
On the Nora page, with a far larger scope of books, I’ve bounced around through the backlist. Shelter in Place was our last discussion and that one took about 6 weeks.
How does it work? I choose quotes from the books, post them — with a comment or question — and let readers chat. It’s not really a book club, more a discussion session.
I recognize there are blog readers who choose not to use Facebook and thought maybe it was time to institute some discussions here.
Share your thoughts in the comments and we’ll see if there’s interest. Once that’s done, I’ll figure out the best way to do this — one post per book with quotes added regularly? Individual posts? The logistics are my area so I’ll consider all the angles.
In the meantime, I did a Facebook live from Inn BoonsBoro the other day and thought you all would enjoy.