February 22nd, 2020

“Genius is 1 Percent Inspiration and 99 Percent Perspiration.”
– Thomas Edison

 Good morning from the sunny Hudson Valley, where I am having my second cup of coffee and thinking about the week that has passed.

It has been a beautiful week for me, one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Nothing objectively amazing happened (no great reviews for my new book or an inheritance dropping in my lap), but my daily life has been filled with magic because I am writing the first draft of a new novel.

I know I’ve said it before, but the composition phase of writing a novel is the most wonderful part, as all of the possibilities about what the story will be are laid out before you, and all you have to do is imagine them.

Aside from writing, I have been inspired by a book I’ve been reading.

I write about horror and gothic fiction for The New York Times Book Review, and often I approach a novel from a purely contemporary point of view, bringing all of my assumptions about what the novel is about and what it means. But this book argues that the rise of the horror genre is a reaction, in part, to the horrors of war. I recommend it for anyone who is interested in thinking more deeply about this genre.

If you’ve been following me on social media, you will see lots of photos of castles and gothic interiors going up, especially on Instagram. Here is one of my favorites. Actually, here are two of my favorites!

Clearly, I have a thing for old castles, ice and snow, and dark stories. Where did this come from? I sometimes wonder. But this passion has crystalized in The Ancestor and (you are the first to know) in the book I’m writing now.

I’ve been preparing for the new moon that will arrive tomorrow. Every month at the new moon, I think about what I want to accomplish in the next month, and what I’d like to see happen in my life. The new moon offers an opportunity to reset my thinking and start over, leaving behind the things that didn’t work or that frustrated me, from the previous month. I want to extend the creativity I’ve felt this week to the next four weeks. Let’s see if I can keep it going.

If you are interested in creating a new moon ritual for yourself, there are many ways to do it. If you click here you can make your own new moon workbook.

One thing that has caused some stress (and that I need to work on every week) is figuring out how to eat well when everyone in my house is busy. I don’t like to eat prepackaged food, and I don’t like ordering pizza or getting take-out, so what to do?

This week, I found myself with an almost empty fridge and no time to shop, so I made something that is so easy and so quick that it has been a staple for weekday dinners for years now: Gorgonzola pasta.

It is the easiest thing. You melt down a big chunk of gorgonzola cheese, add cream and pepper, and then mix a box of spaghetti into the thick melted cheese. If you have spinach, add it, but if not, it is perfect in itself. I think of it as mac n’ cheese Italian style.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you, but in addition to The Ancestor, I have an audio drama series coming out on April 7th. It is called Crypto-Z, and it is a companion to The Ancestor. It will be available on Apple Podcasts and will be free for you to download. Stay tuned next week, when I will send you an early trailer. You’ll get it before anyone else hears it!

Until then, have a wonderful week and may you find inspiration in your life and work.

Danielle Trussoni

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