Inspiration & Perspiration:
Danielle Trussoni’s Newsletter
February 1st Newsletter
“Genius is 1 Percent Inspiration and 99 Percent Perspiration.”
– Thomas Edison
Hello from the wintry Hudson Valley!
I have some exciting news for my international readers! The Ancestor is now available globally! You can read The Ancestor via e-book in every country worldwide. Here is the link for the book in a few countries:
The temperatures have dropped this week and there are forecasts for snow. Like many of you, I am spending a lot of time at home and have not been able to do all the usual things that get me through the winter. Last winter, I was at the gym a few times a week, went to yoga and was able to shake off the hours of isolation spent in the Writing Cave by meeting friends for dinner or coffee. Now, my one escape is to take walks on the trails near my home, which I do regularly, even when it is freezing.
I have to admit that I am growing a bit envious of my friends and family who live in a warm climate and can eat outdoors, take long walks, and see friends in a park. To keep myself from going mad, I knit myself a big black sweater.
The yarn and pattern for this sweater are from Loopy Mango, a knit shop that I found one day when I was wandering the streets of Beacon, NY. The Loopy Mango in Beacon closed some months ago, but their yarns are still available online here.
Constructing a sweater is, in some ways, like constructing a novel: you have to have faith that each stitch will eventually build and come together to make something that holds. And you need to be willing to go back and redo something if you get it wrong (I redid an entire sleeve because I had miscounted the stitches). There is a kind of meditative quality to knitting that I find in writing fiction, as well, that keeps me from feeling too restless.
I’ve also been baking chocolate cake, which has done wonders for my mood!
What have you been doing to keep yourself from going stir crazy during Covid?
I think my friend Julie has the right idea: she goes to the stables, where she rides her gorgeous horse Jupiter. Sidonie went to visit Jupiter on Sunday and brushed Jupiter.
I have been reading novels for my column, but I had an urge to go back and read Shirley Jackson. When I saw that Ruth Franklin, whose biography of Shirley Jackson Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, was teaching a class at the 92 Street Y (on Zoom, of course) I signed up. It has felt like a secret getaway each week.
I mentioned this last month, but in case you didn’t see it: I will be doing an event with Book The Writer. Sign up and spend an hour with me in April! Also, if you sign up, send me a note that you’re attending and I will send you a signed bookplate for your copy of The Ancestor!
I’m still working on my novel, and while I’m not ready to tell you all the details quite yet, I’m hoping to be able to share an excerpt in the coming months. For now, I will just say that it involves a Victorian house and porcelain dolls and a terrible tragedy.
In other news, it was my daughter Nico’s 18th birthday last month. She has become such a beautiful, smart and caring person, and she’s also really (really) ready for the Covid lockdown to be over. That said, we have spent a lot of time together these past 10 months, and I feel extremely grateful to have her here. Here is Nico at age 4 and now with her sister.
I will leave you with this flower arrangement I made in a vintage ice bucket. If there’s one thing I’ve realized during the pandemic it is that beauty can get you through dark times.
Thank you for spending this time with me. May the days ahead be filled with beauty, hope and much good work.