Catching Up

Catching Up

“All I have learned, I learned from books.” ― Abraham Lincoln

For many of us, this summer has been an overwhelming whirlwind of engagements and responsibilities, all taken on in the hope of regaining something we lost during the pandemic. Naturally, that’s impossible, and the feeling of inadequacy has left many of us with an emptiness that’s hard to describe. I’m told by psychologists that it’s a matter of expectations, reduced by necessity to a level that can be guaranteed not to disappoint. Things will not be as they were before the pandemic, so we mustn’t expect to feel as we did .

What is it we’re so intent on avoiding if we do take the psychologists’ advice and reduce our expectations now? It would appear it’s just disappointment, and frankly, I think we’ve all learned to live with a lot worse than that. But I do wonder if just taking time off to rest and read more wouldn’t help us find what we lost without actively looking for it. Too many of us have missed our usual summer read. Is that because we can’t find anything that entices us, or is it mostly about not being able to let our minds and imaginations wander because we’re trying too hard to catch up to something?

Although connecting with live classical music performance is one of the best ways to block out the world of annoyances overwhelming your brain, reading a good book does the same thing because you must connect and react with what’s going on without room for anything else. That’s your responsibility as both an audience member at a live chamber music performance, and as a reader of a book meant to fully engage your mind. So . . . read Tried as Silver, the third book in my Emily Alden Trilogy just out this summer. It’s not a simple, soothing fairy tale, but you don’t need that. You need to be completely wrapped up in something. And that’s easy to do with Tried as Silver because it’s more provocative than its predecessors, and it works on some big mysteries. What can come of all the upheaval—social, political, and personal—that we and the characters in my book experience in life? Will we all end in a jumbled mess? Read Tried as Silver and let your imagination catch up to your expectations.

4 Responses to Catching Up

  1. You (and Emily) allowed me to time travel – with great storytelling there’s no need for a scifi machine. It was wonderful to escape with Emily to a different time and place … and then “wake up” to my real life a little less tense and distracted. Emily has become a friend, a very talented and interesting one. Thank you for introducing me to her.

    • Thanks for commenting, Janet. Emily and I love staying in touch with reader/writers like you. I noticed that they played the music of many of Emily’s new friends from the last book at the Queen’s funeral. Boy, did that ever make me feel connected through time! Love history and other reader/writers who love it, too!! Like you.

  2. I admit I was in the haze of the pandemic when I picked up Tried as Silver I didn;t have much faith in my reading attention, already I had tossed aside various half-read books over the past two years. I hadn’t expected a thriller but it is and I raced through the book faster than any I had tried over the two years. The book played on my emotional register from humor to anger and all the subtleties in between. I kept faith in Emily but it wasn’t easy not worry whether she would make it through the storms of family, societal condemnation, and steering the next stages of her highly successful professional life. The characters were so vivid that at times when I put the book down, I felt had met them rather than read about them. My disappointment is having to wait for your next book and having to play out the next stages of Emily’s life without your guidance

    • I am so gratified to know that Emily and her nuclear group kept you company during the pandemic. They are all so complex, and I know that didn’t make the book an “easy read”. I appreciate your steadfastness and commitment to sharing her life experience, with her as well as her friends and family. I’m also looking forward to sharing my next book with you which will be very different, but fully character driven. Thank you for being one of my permanent reading and writing friends.!!

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