Hello, m’dears

Goodness me, how very much has happened since the last post. I had great intentions for May. GREAT INTENTIONS. And almost none of it happened. I planned to take a social media hiatus while I was finishing revisions to the next Veronica book. I planned to do yoga everyday. I planned to SWIM IN MY OWN SERENITY. And fate laughed. This is what went out on June 5 in my latest newsletter:

Dear Readers,

So, it’s June. May started out with such good intentions! Remember my plans about a social media hiatus and yoga and all the other self-care stuff? Yeah, the very day you got that newsletter, it went completely off the rails. That was the day we had to say goodbye to our beloved Deacon, my writing buddy and the best dog who ever lived. Grief knocks you like a two by four, doesn’t it? (I’m writing this May 29th, and I literally just teared up half an hour ago when I went out to water the lilies we planted on his grave.) Those of you who follow me on social media have known my beautiful golden dude for years, and I’ve had the loveliest messages of consolation and sympathy. There were, quite literally, hundreds of you who posted, and I was so comforted by your kindness. He will be missed always.

May was also the month in which I tore apart Veronica Speedwell #5 during revisions. My editor, who is GIFTED, made a few suggestions and that morphed into me deciding to torch the middle of the book and rewrite it—all the way up until deadline which was Memorial Day. (It’s much better, I promise.)

And in a development which immensely helped—and a little bit complicated—things, my Mother’s Day gift was a puppy. (He’s a jet-black bundle of sweetness and shark teeth called Bentley. Feel free to follow him in Instagram where my husband is posting his adventures.)

So. That was a lot, a whiplash month that picked me up and shook me forty different ways. I coped by taking each day as its own invention, and often, after my work was finished, all I wanted was to crash on the sofa for some comfort viewing. I binge-watched Escape to the Country and Gardeners World and the Chelsea Flower Show and the Tour of California bike race, programs that didn’t ask much of me. More than once, I zoned out and snapped back to life only when the closing credits ran. I forgot almost everything I watched, and that suited me fine.

The very best of the comfort watching I found is on Netflix—Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast. It’s a Korean show that spans two seasons, and the premise is absolutely charming. Hyori Lee, possibly Korean’s biggest pop star EVER, opened her home to guests. She and her husband cooked for visitors, coached them through yoga classes, composed songs, played with their dogs. (Imagine if Beyoncé and Jay-Z decided to hold a summer camp.) It was gentle and sweet; everyone was kind and thoughtful and the biggest conflict was when they had to figure out where the plumbing leak was coming from. (I won’t spoil it for you because it was MAJOR PLUMBING DRAMA.)

In watching the two seasons, I realized there are a few basic lessons I could take away from Hyori and maybe they’ll be helpful for you too:

*Yoga can improve most things.

*Tea will improve whatever yoga can’t.

*Start each day peacefully.

*Do one thing with your whole self.

*Cook to nourish all of you.

*Bonfires and candles give more than one kind of warmth.

*Be excited by small things.

*Tidy as you go.

*Rest often.

*Love animals.

*Get out in nature at least once a day.

*Watch the sunset.

*Create as a child does, without rules.

*Care for others, actively.

*Dress comfortably.

*Be authentic.

*Share your love.

*Share your wealth.

*Honor change.

*Accept the unexpected.

*Honor your emotions.

*Make your own fun.

*The best way to say hello to a cat is by blinking slowly.


Now, I feel back on the path to restoration. I am finding my way to a new way, and June holds a lot of promise. I hope your June is good.

Happy reading,