Breathe, Smile, Repeat

I knew I had been remiss at updating my diary here, but I was shocked to see how long it has been since I last posted!  Apparently I didn’t even post on the launch day for my fourth novel, THE MAPMAKER’S DAUGHTER. Can I even call it my new novel since it it now nearly six months old?


Let me list a few reasons (not excuses–I am beyond thinking I need those):


I am not writing anything at the moment, and in that situation, I think less often about the kinds of things I might write about.


I have been utterly swamped with appearances in connection with THE MAPMAKER’S DAUGHTER.  In June alone I had around thirty–averaging one a day, which means some days I had more than one.  Not all were precisely on the book.  I also taught a four-part course for the local Jewish Community Center on the historical period in which the novel is set, the centuries of Convivencia, in which Jews, Christians and Muslims all lived together in Iberia.


I’ve been traveling a lot.  I was in New York and the San Francisco Bay area promoting the book early this summer,  and spent three weeks just a few weeks ago cruising the Baltic in connection with my utterly fabulous side gig, enrichment lecturing for Silversea Cruises.   here i am, lecturing on the Vikings somewhere in the Baltic Sea.



And the biggest one–I decided rather suddenly to retire at the end of the Spring 2014 semester.  I had been having worsening problems with projecting my voice over the last year or so, and it got to the point where even using a mike in a small classroom of 35 students, I was choking and hoarse and utterly exhausted at the end of every day.  It’s a chronic inflammation of the supporting structure around my vocal cords, and something I can best address through not trying to project my voice at all.


And one bonus reason–for those of you who followed me through my last months with my beloved husband Jim, you may be interested in how I am doing two and a half years later.  I have rebounded well.  I have a new man in my life who has given me some new directions for my energy, most notably golf, which I have taken up with a dedication that surprises me.  I am also playing in a tennis league for the first time this fall, and doing some more cruising.  Not ready to write yet, but I do love it, so I suspect something will eventually show up in my head with the kind of insistence the women of my books have shown in the past.


For now, breathe, smile, repeat….