Happy New Year, Readers! Of all the things that got me through 2020, books were near the top of the list (add to that, Netflix). I’m looking forward to 2021 with much anticipation, and books are a great part of that, as they have been for me since I could read.
Reaching the halfway mark in a new manuscript is a major milestone. I’m now at 50,000 words, or approximately 225 pages in Jericho. I took the month of December off to have double cataract surgery, but now I’m back at my desk every day by 9 a.m. immersed in the life and times of Ruby Barlow in rural Arizona 1905. She’s a feisty one; I have to keep up with her!
I’ve also completed the paperwork for the awards season for Answer Creek, so it’s up to judges across the U.S. to see if Ada Weeks’ story garners any more awards in addition to its first, The Arizona Literary Award sponsored by the Arizona Authors Association.
One of my two book clubs (in La Conner) is on hiatus, although we did a festive holiday Zoom, and the other book club (in Tucson) is meeting monthly November through April via Zoom. This year’s readings for the Arizona club: The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton; Virgil Wander, Leif Enger; Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz; The Dutch House, Ann Patchett; Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens; and Answer Creek, Ashley E. Sweeney. Probably the most fun book club-wise has been doing a monthly Zoom book club with my oldest grandson, Joseph, 10. So far, we’ve read the four books in the Lost series by Tod Olson and this month we’re reading one of my childhood favorites, The Twenty One Balloons by William Pene du Bois.
I’ve recently uncovered a copy of a 1929 document titled, History of Mining in Arizona by James Brand Tenney, Assistant Geologist, Arizona Bureau of Mines. I’m learning about the history of mining in the Grand Canyon State in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as mining terminology and methods. Did you know Arizona still produces 70% of the nation’s copper?
Recent Five Star Reads:
This Tender Land, William Kent Krueger
Olive, Again, Elizabeth Strout
History of the Rain, Niall Williams
Washington Black, Esi Edugyan
For his month’s prize, give me the names of three of the bad guys in Jericho. Have fun with this one. Nicknames are fair game. Winner will get an e-copy of Answer Creek. Leave me your message here.
We’re not on the road to Arizona yet as COVID numbers are still skyrocketing there. Maybe next month. I’ve got more research to do on the ground north of Tucson, and I’m longing for the sun and seeing my Arizona friends. Until then, I’m still cozied up in the Pacific Northwest doing what I love to do: writing and reading. I hope you are well, too, and doing what you love to do.
Until next month, Happy Reading!
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