We decide this is now the world and we need to stop drinking. Happy Canada Day!

July 1st, 2020Posted by Nancy

My fancy Star Wars mask, courtesy of Nikki Awesome

The days keep passing and outside things change, at least somewhat. In the last month I’ve had a massage, acupuncture, and an MRI. I’ve taken the subway (four times), the streetcar, and an Uber. I wore a mask. I sanitized my hands. I’ve met a friend for iced coffees and sat in a park on opposite ends of the bench. We had friends join us in the backyard and my husband wore gloves while he carried out their drinks. I bought clothes online from the amazing Annie Thompson.

Am I being paranoid? Am I being cavalier? Who can tell?

The patios opened up, but I can’t imagine going to one. The art gallery and the museum opened up and I might consider going to those. I miss dancing and have no idea when I can do that again, because breathing hard in a small studio seems like the worst thing to do.

We’re going to meet my father in a park half-way between Toronto and the town he lives in so we can have a picnic. I haven’t seen him since Thanksgiving.

Slipping out of the world was easier than expected – and getting back into into it is much harder. And always, of course, there is the example of our neighbours to the south, slouching towards disaster because masks are for wusses and liberals.

On the downside, it’s been a fallow month for writing. On the upside, I’m working on a video project, trying to avoid the dreaded “watch the author read her book” in favour of music and moody visuals.

And I’ve read a lot of books.

A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit. A wonderful tonic to the earlier run of grim tomes. Turns out that during disasters most communities do not turn into Mad Max hellscapes but come together and help each other.

The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel. Beautifully written, slyly magical, and sharing a surprising link with the next book on the list.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in the Strange World, by Elif Shafak. Rather astonishingly, this is NOT a depressing book, despite being about a dead woman in a refuse bin. Instead it’s beautiful, warm, sad, heartbreaking, and ridiculously funny in turn.

Beach Read, by Emily Henry. She writes romance. He writes literary fiction. They both have writer’s block and books due. They decide to swap genres. This was a lot of fun and the characters were engaging and relatively free of romance stereotypes. Yes, I skipped all the sex scenes.

Himself, by Jess Kidd. This was my month for ghosts, it seems. Between this and Things in Jars, you should definitely add Jess Kidd to your “to read” list.

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