Thursday, June 29, 2006

Time traveller

Everytime I return to the farm I step back in time: to a calmer place, a slow-paced lifestyle, to moments wherein the eddying breeze, fragrant with lilly and rose, is the only distraction on a heat-shimmering summer's day. Rain has proven elusive. Thunderstorms swirl around, promising relief with a far-off crack of thunder and a single jagged pierce of white light.

My daughter behaves as if born yesterday, finally able and more than willing to do all the things I did easily and much earlier when a girl: climbing trees, reaching out a hand to a skittish barn cat, exploring woods and copses, watching mesmerized as hummingbirds frolick in phlox and, best of all, riding a bicycle up and down the laneway, finally in solitude mastering balance and coordination.

For quiet moments indoors she has her Tamagotchi and an online connection to her Webkinz cyberworld—after all, she is a city girl who has learned the wonders of the Internet. For me, I'm taking time off writing to learn a new program required for an upcoming writing contract, and when I curl up in my girlhood single bed at night I have in-hand novels reminiscent of the sort I read twenty-odd years ago beneath the covers by flash/torch light.

Below is my summer vacation reading list:
  • The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medeiros — a rare find thanks to my favourite second-hand bookstore in Montreal, a short, fairytale romance involving a dragon and a virgin sacrifice
  • Highwayman Husband by Helen Dickson — abandoned half-finished as Regency-era intrigue overpowered pent-up passion
  • The Wicked Lover by Julia Ross — currently winning my envy as two wartime spies circle and parry, both disguised, haunted by the past, yet drawn to each other
  • One Night in Paradise by Juliet Landon, my first Elizabethan romance
  • Deceived by Nicola Cornick, another Regency romance by one of my favourite authors.
My only worry is that I won't have enough to read for two whole weeks! Too bad I failed to get my hands on Delicious and The Gladiator's Honour. I suppose I can always resort to my daughter's cache, two books from The Royal Diaries series plus a treasure trove of facts about fairies. In fact, I am suddenly flooded with ideas for young adult books featuring romance, past and present. Gosh, perhaps even a tale involving a changeling or an outcast from the fairy realm.

There's nothing like a change of scenery to get the creative juices flowing again. Perhaps I'll end up writing in spare moments while on the farm, just as I did as a child.

Tell me what's on your summer reading list. Do you plan to step back in time or embark on a modern-day adventure?

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Blogger Annie said...

Wow, Eva! What a fabulous first paragraph! I am on that farm with you (now there's a nasty shock for you!). Seriously though, you conjured up the place and the atmosphere so well, I could smell the hay, hear the thunder see the crack of white light. Poetical.

As for my summer reading - I've just finished Debby Holt's 'The Ex-Wife's Survival Guide'(recommend for light-hearted, frivolous, modern-day fun!) and am now reading 'The Sea' by John Banville (according to The Spectator - 'a brilliant, sensuous, DISCOMBOBULATING novel - why not just say 'disturbing'? - and yes I did have to look it up in the dictionary!); whilst waiting in the wings is Jill Mansell's 'Sheer Mischief' (frolicksome fun again and the only one of hers I haven't read) and 'Fruit of the Lemon' by Andrea Levy (loaned to me by a friend). A complete mish-mash really and all guaranteed to make me feel I'll never write as well!

Happy holiday, Eva!

5:36 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

Our feet are planted firmly in the present for this summer, namely under a pile of tiles and paint while we redo our kitchen. My reading pile is growing because I haven't gotten to it yet but have a lot of romantic comedy and anthologies I think.

It sounds wonderful where you are!

8:13 pm  
Blogger India said...

When I read The Time Traveller's wife I pictured Clare's house as the farm where you grew up (much studied and admired in the snowy Christmas picture you sent), so the title of your post struck an uncanny chord!

I think revisiting the places you knew as a child is the perfect opportunity to revisit the books you loved then too, and discover some more. I think you could write a cracking one. Definitely something to think about this summer.

Having said that the Highwayman Husband does sound very tempting. (I wonder how he compares with the Accountant Husband? Possibly fewer shirts to iron, but on the downside, such inconvenient hours...)

10:08 am  
Blogger Eva said...

I've just started Deceived and the witty repartee is enviable. I highly recommend the book.

Annie, didn't you tell me once that you'd met Nicola Cornick?

1:28 am  
Blogger Annie said...

Not met Nicola, merely spoken to her over the telephone. Hoping to meet her at the conference though! I'll pass on your comments, Eva.

4:13 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

Just wanted to add another book to the list. I found at one of my host's homes a copy of Anita Shreve's Resistance, a love story set during World War II in Belgium, and highly recommend it.

4:52 pm  

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