3/20/23, Strange Times


Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a good week and that things are going well for you.

My new book “Worthy Opponents” came out in hardcover a week ago, and it just hit the #2 spot on the New York Times list, (with 2 paperbacks on that list too), and #1 on some other lists, which is always Great News!! I never take it for granted, and am grateful every time my books land on the bestseller lists! It’s a thrill for me every time, and a form of validation for all the hard work I do. And getting on the bestseller lists is thanks to YOU—-so a giant thank you for that.

I just finished a big writing project, correcting a set of galleys (the last step before a manuscript goes to the printers to become a book.), And I finished a new book the week before that. I have been writing non stop for the past three months, very intensely, so I’m taking a couple of days off just to catch my breath and relax. Reading, doing needlepoint which I love to do when I take a break, seeing a few friends, a little shopping. It feels like landing on earth again, after focusing so completely on the books for months.

When 9/11 happened, people predicted that it would change the world and it has. It was a loss of innocence, an attack on our home turf. I hated to think that it would change us forever, but inevitably it has, and travel has certainly been more complicated ever since. And now Covid impacted the world for nearly three years, and once again, I wanted to believe that it would go away and life would continue as before. Finally, we are getting back to greater normalcy, but it is still shocking to think that it brought the entire world to a dead stop (and tragically, killed people all over the world, devastating their loved ones). I don’t think any of us could even remotely imagine something like that happening, except in a science fiction movie. And like all major events, some good things came out of it, new relationships, new friends, some time for introspection, a greater appreciation for our lives. People who had never had enough time to spend with their children suddenly got to know them and strengthened their family relationships, now many people are working from home part time and prefer it. But it was also isolating, frightening at times, and I find that people are still on edge now, more anxious than before, and people are still catching Covid, although the cases seem to be milder.  But there does seem to be a sense of “malaise”/unease, uncertainty, discomfort. Maybe it was so shocking that it will take us all longer to relax and feel comfortable again. Or maybe the world is just a little off kilter at the moment. But I don’t feel like we’re back in our old familiar groove yet. I’m not sure if the post Covid changes are temporary or here to stay.

In the US a bank failed last week, which always panics people even from the distance. In France, the population are registering their displeasure by general strikes that are tedious, with all services disrupted, transportation, even some flights, subways, buses, trains. The strikers, and their sympathizers have started to damage the city (though nothing like the “Yellow Jackets” of a few years ago, who trashed the city with billions of dollars worth of damage.), some cars have been burned, and the garbage strike that is an offshoot of the strike has left  Paris with literally mountains of uncollected garbage pouring all over the street and sidewalks. In San Francisco more homeless than ever are roaming the streets, in worse shape than I’ve ever seen them.

Friendships were impacted by the isolation of three major lockdowns (in France).  It was a very hard time for me, since I was separated from my children for 15 months  for the first time, which was traumatic for me.

It’s been a cold hard winter in Europe, and I’ve been tucked away writing for many months. But when I take a break and go out, or when I talk to people, or when I walk down the street, something still feels “off’. I guess the trauma of two and a half years takes longer than a few months to heal. And the world news continues to be disquieting, and sadly, the war in Ukraine has continued for more than a year now.  And on a day to day level, People seem to be more argumentative and disagreeing more.

Maybe when the weather gets better and Spring arrives, maybe people will settle down and it will all get better, or seem better, more settled and more hopeful. But if you’re feeling jangled in the meantime, it’s not you, I’m hearing that from a lot of people, about small situations and big ones.  We just have to keep on trucking and we’ll come out the other side of the tunnel. And in the meantime, I hope you enjoy my new book “Worthy Opponents”. Take care and have a GREAT week!!!

much love, Danielle


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1 Comment so far
  1. M Angela McCrone March 26, 2023 6:22 pm

    Thank you for the update stay safe,GOD BLESS M Angela Mc