Going on holiday, a proper, dossing holiday, made me realise how exhausted I am after the last emotionally hectic year. So much has happened, no part terribly momentous in itself, but the sheer quantity of stuff I've had to deal with seems immense. Right now I feel as if a year's holiday wouldn't be enough to redress the balance, although I'm sure that will change with time.
For the first day and a half I was in France, I was too tired to read a single word. I don't think I've gone a day and a half without reading since I learned to read over 40 years ago. However, I did manage to canter through four books in the rest of the holiday, and as they never made it on to my sidebar, I thought I'd chronicle them here.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, see how long it takes me to get around to reading things, this was first published over 20 years ago, I haven't seen the film either. Loved it.
For A Pagan Song by Jonny Bealby, published over 10 years ago, this is the second of his travel books that I've read, his writing has a great combination of vulnerability and strength, I have his third (and, so far, last) and will be saving it for a special occasion.
Summer In The City by Pauline McLynn (aka Mrs Doyle from Father Ted), published only three years ago. I had more mixed feelings about this book, it's a great story with some terrific characters but zooms along at breakneck speed, so that I felt some of the key scenes were rushed and superficial (not all though). Also, there were so many characters that at times I lost track of who was who - seven major characters, each with their own POV scenes, and at least 14 significant minor characters. This may be as much my fault as the book's fault, because I am impatient and I read fast, so when I come up against a quick-thinking author who writes fast, I tend to miss bits. I got more out of the book when I re-read some parts more slowly, so perhaps the lesson for me is to take my time as and when I read another book by Ms McLynn - which I will, because she is a skilful writer, who was able to pull my heartstrings hard on one page and make me laugh out loud on the next, and I think she hasn't yet reached her full writing potential.
Travelling Light by Katrina Kittle, published at the turn of the century. This is a real tear-jerker, the kind of thing Caroline would like, and yet I enjoyed it too - even though it very nearly made me cry on the plane - perhaps because its poignancy was leavened with gentle humour interspersed with the full range of other human emotions. Great characters in a very imaginative and memorable story.
I didn't set myself any writing targets for the week, but I did turn out 2000 words of the WIP rewrite, and edit a short story which I subbed yesterday. So altogether my lovely week in France managed to be both restful and productive.