The door to 2021 is finally ajar, beckoning us toward a New Year and new opportunities. It’s difficult to look back on 2020 without comparing it to the year we were expecting (and most definitely did not get), and some things remain impossible to plan while there is so much uncertainty.
However, the good news is that reading and writing are two activities mostly unaffected by social distancing measures, so it seems like a good time to set myself some goals and look back on my favourite fictional journeys from this year. Today’s blog post will focus on books past, present, and future 📚.
“This was in the white of the year,
That was in the green,
Drifts were as difficult then to think
As daisies now to be seen.
Looking back is best that is left,
Or if it be before,
Retrospection is prospect's half,
Sometimes almost more.”
— Emily Dickinson
I have to hold my hands up and admit I spent a lot less time reading and writing this year. Not by choice, I hasten to add! There were just too many other challenges. But I have some very happy memories of taking my Kindle into the garden and reading next to the purple roses while my cat made the most of the summer sunshine. I discovered Temeraire the dragon and the Lunar Chronicles this year—I am quite a late reader for both series, but I really enjoyed them. And of course, Engraved in Magic was released at the end of July, continuing the Beyond Androva series from Art’s point of view.
“If you always try your best
Then you’ll never have to wonder
About what you could have done
If you’d summoned all your thunder.
And if your best
Was not as good
As you hoped it would be,
You still could say,
‘I gave today
All that I had in me.’”
— Barbara Vance
Today, I’m working on Lost in Magic, the next Beyond Androva story. Kellan, the narrator, has just had a fight with Galen, and I’m wondering how I can resolve it in such a way that they don’t become enemies. As you can see from the photo, my cat has settled on the sofa next to me so she can put a helpful paw on my keyboard when I’m supposed to make her dinner 😄. Later this evening, I’ll continue reading The Queen's Gambit, by Walter Tevis, my most recent book purchase.
“Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
— John O'Donoghue
If things go according to plan (and I hope they do!), Lost in Magic will be released in the first half of 2021, leaving me free to choose my next story. I don’t know yet if Beyond Androva will be a trilogy or a longer series because it depends how Kellan’s story ends. I want to make sure all is well on Xytovia before I move on to one of the other worlds. In terms of reading, one of my first pre-orders for 2021 is A Vow So Bold and Deadly (The Cursebreaker Series #3), by Brigid Kemmerer—released in the UK on January 26th. I discovered the first book when I wrote an earlier blog post on fairy tale retellings: here