11/3/14, A Grab Bag of Emotions
I hope you’ve had a good week, and that you had fun on Halloween if you celebrated it!!! I had a dinner last weekend for my Godchildren, with Halloween decorations on the table, candy, costumes (Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” for the girls, and Spiderman for my God daughter’s 7 year old brother). We had fun and watched Sound of Music, so I got a taste of Halloween with little kids. And although I wasn’t with them, my younger kids (in their 20’s) dressed up as Justin Bieber, Cheech and Chong, and My Little Pony. We even dressed up our dogs. My two tiny teacup Chihuahuas, Minnie and Blue, were bumble bees for Halloween. My daughter’s Yorkie Gidget was a bunny (sooo cute!!) and my son’s Boston Bull was a pirate!!! So I think we paid homage to Halloween.
I was thinking about reporting to you about the week, and on the surface, I thought it was a quiet week, and then on closer inspection, I realized it wasn’t that quiet, and there were lots of ups and downs, and a roller coaster of emotions in some areas, that were not negligible after all!!
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, which is FANTASTIC!!! and we were thrilled. Three of my kids attended games in San Francisco, and my youngest daughter went to the parade afterwards. We are VERY proud of the Giants!!! Go Giants!!! And just to be on the safe side, I wore my lucky black and orange ‘fan’ shoes for every game, although I was six thousand miles away, with a nine hour time difference, listening to the scores all night in my kitchen.
I had two books come out this week, a new hardcover, “Pegasus”, which I love and I hope you’ll read. It’s the story of two families and begins in World War II, in Europe. And my new children’s book, “Pretty Minnie in Paris” came out too, about a tiny white tea cup Chihuahua who lives in Paris and loves pretty clothes. It is the CUTEST book ever, with adorable illustrations by Kristi Valiant—-and lots of glitter!! It’s a great gift for little girls!!! And there will be a sequel to it next year. I love writing children’s books!!!
I was very, very sad about the death of my friend Oscar de la Renta, the designer (my blog last week), and I tried desperately to get to New York for the funeral, on short notice, and I just couldn’t get to New York in time, and felt terrible about it. Oscar is the third friend I have lost in 2 months, which has been a real blow, all of them people I will miss.
I had some battles and some disappointments this week, which happens to us all, but isn’t fun when it happens. I hate battles and disputes and disappointments. But there is always hope on the horizon too, and better resolutions next time, or things that work out better than you think in the end. But the process until you get there can be upsetting.
I finished a lot of work, which is satisfying and rewarding, and actually had time to read someone else’s books for a change (a rare break for me. I never read other people’s work when I’m writing). I read a first novel by a friend, and a book by an author I absolutely used to love, and I used to read all her books. She changed her style several years ago and rather than the satisfying endings where she tied up all the loose ends, which left me happy at the end of the book—-she switched to killing off the main character at the end of every book, usually on the last page. The first time she did it, I was shocked, and figured it was an aberration. But she did it again with her next book. I thought I’d stop reading her then, but decided to give her one more chance, and she did it again!! So I stopped reading her because the books upset and depressed me. I hate it when an author makes you fall in love with the characters and read along faithfully for 500 pages and then BLAM!!! the writer kills the main character on the last page. I haven’t read her for several years, but decided to try her one last time. And damn if she didn’t deck me again, and made my heart ache when she killed the heroine I loved. So I won’t be buying her books again. Too upsetting!!! It was a good read though, but I hate reading books that leave me sad at the end. I don’t like sad movies either. Life can be hard enough without being sad when you want to be entertained. (I thoroughly enjoy Maeve Binchy’s books, she’s an old Irish writer who writes cozy books that I always enjoy when I read in English. I read novels in French too, often by Marc Levy)
I’ve been watching Downton Abbey on British TV and LOVING it. Season 5 is FANTASTIC. I am a total Downton Abbey Addict!!! It gives me just what I need and transports me for a while.
And it looks like the beach house I told you about several months ago is selling. I put it on the market in May. I have bittersweet feelings about it, I loved that house, and still do, but it makes no sense to keep it. With my kids grown up, and dispersed in different cities now, and with me in France for several months a year, we just don’t use it. And the family who are buying it fell in love with it, just as I did. They have small children, and are as excited as I was when I bought it. It is right to pass it on now to people who will use it and love it. But it’s always hard to end a chapter and move on. It’s time, but I know I will be sad when I say goodbye to that house. On to new adventures, and it warms my heart to know how much the new owners love it. So I have to be grown up and move on!! (Are we ever grown up? Sometimes I wonder).
So it has been a bit of a roller coaster of excitement over my new books, sadness over lost friends, saying goodbye to a house I’ve had for 15 years but no longer use enough (and they are such nice people buying it!!) Some good things, some sad things, some hopeful things happened this week. And my son in law ran the New York marathon, brave of him!!! So what seemed to be a ‘quiet’ week when I thought about it wasn’t so quiet after all!!! Next week will be busy seeing friends for lunch and dinner, travelling, visiting children, business meetings. I’m starting to think seriously about the holidays and have finished a lot of my Christmas shopping (I always start early), although I still have some more to do. I was thinking about Thanksgiving too. In some ways, it has been a challenging year, but I’ve been busy, and have written some books I’m proud of. Much has been satisfying about this year, and there will be many things I will be grateful for on Thanksgiving, despite the challenges. Life is a work in progress, and it certainly keeps us on our toes, adapting, adjusting, learning, growing, staying positive, moving forward. I hope you have a great week, and that all is going well!!!
much love, danielle
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Dear Danielle Steel,
I’m very sorry for your loss. I remember in the mid nineties wishing to be a writer so I could express myself to those celebrities that made life for me in the eighties so memorable and joyous. I knew the day would come when i’d see my favorite celeb’s passing from this life and wanting desperately to tell them before they left us how beautiful and inspiring they were. I just never thought it would be so soon. Joan Rivers was a complete shock as well as Robin Williams. There were others in the past but it would only fill your page with heartbreak. I’m thankful for sites such as twitter where we can actually reach out to those we cherish and express ourselves. It’s always a blessing. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and many blessings.
P.S your children’s book is wonderfully illustrated. Congrats!!
“ext book. I thought I’d stop reading her then, but decided to give her one more chance, and she did it again!! So I stopped reading her because the books upset and depressed me. I hate it when an author makes you fall in love with the characters and read along faithfully for 500 pages and then BLAM!!! ” perfect discription…
I hate when writers do that to my characters…hahaha
Sometimes you make people suffer so much that I keep reading really fast just to see them happy again… (5 days in Paris, for example..I still scream “Oliviaaaa” sometimes at home)..hahaha
Have a great week.
Ms. Steel, I just want to tell you that I love reading your books. I just finished A Perfect Life and I loved it. I just purchased Pegasus and am going to start to read it. My very book of yours is The Promise! Thank you for continuing to write such great books. Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!
How interesting to hear about all the “normal” things that fill your days, too. Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us. It’s easy to imagine you dressed in diamonds being waited on by the staff of your gorgeous beaux arts mansion like a modern-day Cora Crawley. But through your blog, we get a glimpse of the wizard behind the curtain. Thank you for that. 🙂
I am also sorry to hear about your loss.
One of the most comforting thoughts shared with me after the loss of a loved one was the following:
“You will always be connected to them through Love which is alive and healing.”
I also understand the connection with HOME. It is the dearest spot on earth but also a power that we take with us.
Loved your book HOUSE.
I agree with you that if I am going to invest in a book don’t leave me sad and depressed at the end. I could just turn on the news for that.
Keep up all your good work!
Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to aLL Mankind.
Although you are my favorite writer, I, like you, have also greatly enjoyed the works of Maeve Binchy over the years. She had such a gift for creating memorable characters and for capturing the indignities and joys of everyday life. Echoes is remarkably beautifully written, her short stories are exquisite, and Evening Class was delightful. I was greatly saddened to learn of her death in July of 2012.