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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