Hey there!
Let’s talk about our days…
Can you believe it's the last Tuesday of the month already? (Extra points if you can you name the month.) Time is creeping along and shooting forward at the same time. But I come with good news! Tidal Flats has won two more awards—the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Award in Fiction & in Book Cover Design: Fiction, Jack Martin, designer. And I’m having loads of fun doing Zoom Book Club events so email if you’re interested.
Cal and I had a mini Humphrey Bogart film festival. Thumbs up on The African Queen. Just the right amount of humor and romance and adventure. If I get thirty minutes to myself, I sneak in an episode of Deadwind, one of the Finnish crime dramas that I love with piles of snow everywhere (& subtitles).
On a bookshelf upstairs, I found one of the kids' copies (actually, turns out it belonged to someone named Ward) of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which somehow, I had never read. And it’s wonderful. Here’s an except I saved.

Times and scenes like that put Janie to thinking about the inside state of her marriage. Time came when she fought back with her tongue as best she could, but it didn’t do her any good. It just made Joe do more. … The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom and took to living in the parlor… Janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought. She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside there to see what it was.
These days, I look forward to mornings in my study with coffee and my wild beast of a manuscript and to evenings watching something fun and to Sunday brunch—mimosas and tater tots with eggs. My hair is as wild as my manuscript. What’s missing are afternoons in a hammock with a good book—but it’s so hot, I’d have to have a fan blowing straight on me.
Abigail DeWitt, a dual citizen of France and the US, wrote News of Our Loved Ones, a novel that begins in occupied France. First, we hear from Yvonne in Normandy and then from her sister Genevieve in Paris. The book contains shifts in time and place. Multiple points of view. We emerge with a story, yes, but more importantly with a family. In Part Two, we jump the Atlantic and a number of years to a grown-up Genevieve with children of her own. You can read more about her novel here.
And here’s a sneak peek into Abigail’s wonderful day.

Today I got up at ten, wrote for half an hour, did some crosswords, checked social media, tried to find a solution for my hair, read the NYTimes, wrote this essay, confirmed with my friend that I’d meet her at four. Through it all, I wondered what I’d watch on Netflix later, feeling the same anticipatory delight and shame I used to feel when I thought about opening a pack of Camel Filters. [read more]
What are you doing that screams summer? Something that you didn’t do back in April and that you won’t be doing in September? How are you celebrating summer in the midst of the pandemic? I used to keep a summer journal. In it, there’s this Henry James quote. “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
With this newsletter, I wish you summer afternoons.
Stay well.
This is an email from me to you so you can write me back. Let me know how you’re spending your days.

Happy last days of July and thanks for reading.
Peace out,

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Issue #14 July 2020
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Copyright © 2020 Cynthia Newberry Martin, All rights reserved.

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