Let’s Talk with Tina Whittle

A New Year, A Fresh Page
by Tina Whittle

The human brain is in love with clean slates. Even Monday, that most maligned of the days of the week, has one thing going for it—it’s a fresh start. The first Monday of 2018 was triple blessed because it was not only the beginning of a new week and a new month, it was the beginning of a brand new year.

I’m a Virgo, and since we Virgos like organizing, making resolutions is second nature to me. I sometimes call them goals, sometimes intentions, but I am always aware that unless I put my energy and attention into them, they will probably die on the vine. Because even though my sun and moon are in the sign of Virgo, my rising sign—the one that controls the expression of my personality—is in chomp-at-the-bit, gotta-have-my-space, checklist-schmecklist Sagittarius.

Which means I make lists, lose them, decide to fly by the seat of my pants, find the lost lists, berate myself, take comfort in chocolate, and then make a new list. And the cycle begins again.

In an effort to outwit the madness, I’m making only one resolution this year—taking the time to read more fiction. In one of the more unfortunate side effects of being a full-time writer, I have become a person who reads for reasons, not for fun. My research load is heavy, so my reading list tilts toward nonfiction, the kind of writing that requires note-taking. Plus, becoming my own boss means I have an annoying taskmaster always nudging me to get back to work. Sinking into a novel feels like an indulgence instead of sustenance. That’s not a healthy attitude for a lover of words.

So I’m making time to read for the sheer joy of it. No homework. No notetaking. No analyzing the prose. Just losing myself in a story.

I’m starting with a book my daughter recommended: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. And if you comment with a book you’re eager to sink your teeth into during the coming year, I’ll enter you in a drawing for my newest Tai & Trey story, “Liquor, Larceny, and the Ordinal Classification of Courtship Rituals,” debuting on Kindle this month.

Happy reading in 2018!

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Comments

  1. I am a Sagittarius and love making lists. I have several staring at me from my computer desk. As for fiction, I read at bedtime. It’s an essential part of my nightly ritual. I’ve been trying a few new genres lately and just finished Wives of War by Soraya M. Lane about three World War II nurses. I just started The Judgement by D.J. Niko, which is another historical novel set during the biblical era.

  2. I am in perhaps the opposite position from you. I’m an empty nester now and I have resumed reading joyfully. i read 60 books in 2017. Some on my most eager TBR list for 2017 (after Trouble Like a Freight Train) include The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce; The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh; Halleluja Anyway by Annie Lamott;and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. An older book I read last year that I think you’d love is Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham. I am looking forward to reading the third in that series this year, too.

    • tinawhittle says:

      Another person whose taste I trust recommended Bingham — the first in series in next in line on my Kindle! I am looking forward to it very much (I certainly enjoyed the story-snippet the author included in the December newsletter). Enjoy!

  3. I’m a Sagittarius, as you might of guessed, and yes I do need my space and I have to get to work right now and I have a desk full of checklists… It wasn’t until I was grown up that someone told me I was a fire sign. I’d always thought I was so peaceful and easy-going, but it is true that when I get riled I am truly fiery, so I guess I fall into every ordinary check box… Resolutions, yes, made ’em. Reading, read several books already this year, thanks of Old Man Winter taking a vacay in GA. I love reading the authors here and many others besides.

    • tinawhittle says:

      I am an earth baby all the way…except for that Sagittarius. It’s an odd combination, true. But interesting (as they say).

  4. I did get to read a lot of my favorite authors last year (including the Booklover’s Bench authors – we have a talented group!), and several new ones, as well. Next up for me is your LIQUOR LARCENY book. Looking forward to it! And thank you ladies for supporting my work, as well!

    • tinawhittle says:

      We do have quite the line-up here, tis true. Always something good coming up for my TBR list.

  5. I spent most of 2017 reading books–a LOT of books–that were assigned reading (more about that in April), and am rejoicing in being able to choose books I want to read. For our reader visitors here, it’s well worth mentioning a book because I read an early copy of Tina’s story, and it’s delightful! For me, I’m backing up and reading our Karla Brandenburg’s the Mirror, which had to be set aside while I was doing all my assigned reading.

    • tinawhittle says:

      Thank you for the compliment. Karla’s THE ARCHITECT is next on my list, plus I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of your upcoming novella set on a cruise ship –just the thing I need in currently snowy South Georgia. Plus lots of other pleasure reads on my horizon (and my daughter was right–The Gentleman’s Guide does not disappoint. The second in the series is A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. Love it!