Jenni's Off-Grid Newsletter No 5: I'M BACK! I'M BACK! I'M BACK!
December 11, 2023
Yes, I'm back to writing a newsletter and back from a BIG TRIP around the world which is my weak excuse for the long gap… And now the Festive Season is upon us. So, where were we (my husband and I)? Mexico, Germany (Heildelberg, Nuremberg, Berlin—an intense research trip for my next novel, including Sachsenhousen Concentration Camp, Topography of Terror, and Potsdam), and for a few hours of joy, the Leipzig Philharmonic in the amazing Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Scotland (the Highlands, Mull and the Outer Hebrides), Wales, England (mainly Devon, Peak District and Yorkshire), France (Chamonix and South of France), and two fabulous safaris in Sabi Sands, South Africa and back home to Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. 18 weeks, 38 beds, 28 planes, ferries, long-distant buses, trains, rental cars. One lot of lost luggage (finally got it back), train strikes, at least four airline stuff-ups (their fault, not mine, resulting in delayed flights causing us to miss our connections) and so on. Lots of family and friends connected with, lots of guided tours, music festivals (well one, the Heb Celt Scottish festival in Lewis in Outer Hebrides), lots of hiking (Scotland, Yorkshire Dales,Wales, Peak District, France etc) lots of grey, cool English summer days, lots of hot Mexican, French and South African days, no covid caught, not even in Mexico City with its population of 22,281,000 and almost no-one even in densely crowded streets wearing masks, no accidents, no major dramas, so yes, lots of luck! And as a further excuse, the months before we left I organised the lot all by myself, flights, trains, cars, events, accommodation…took longer than the 18-week trip.
Photos L to R: John and I with daughter and husband, Chamonix; Pohutukawa tree back home, lion at Sabi Sands, South Africa.
So not only did I not pen any newsletters I also wrote not a word of a novel, although I did do some intensive research in Germany… that novel may hopefully be completed in a couple of years. I now am close to the publishing process for my actually completed novel set in Western Australia and the closest in 'feel' I have written to 'A Drop in the Ocean' which 80,000 or so readers seemed to love. Here's hoping they love 'Dancing With Dragons'… (hint: the dragons are seadragons, not the fire-breathing kind! CLICK HERE FOR A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THEM )
I have, however, read many great novels. I recommend in no particular order: 'Tom Lake' by Ann Patchett, 'Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray:River of Dreams' by Anita Heiss, 'Cilka's Journey' by Heather Morris, 'These Days' by Lucy Caldwell, 'Birnam Wood' by Eleanor Catton, 'The Last Devil to Die' by Richard Osman, 'Still Life' by Sarah Winman. A right mix of genres but all beautifully written, immersing reads.
Now, as it is the jolly season I have joined the crowds and added the audiobooks of 'The Moon is Missing' and 'Call My Name' to the SALES… Each audiobook is 85% off so ONLY US$1.99 (or equivalent in other currencies) from now until January 6th (on Chirp, Spotify, Barnes & Noble and Apple). Also the e-books of 'Call My Name' and 'A Drop in the Ocean' are discounted to $2.99 and 'The Moon is Missing' to $1.99 at all online retailers (including of course, Amazon).
I have many new subscribers (Kia ora, gidday, hi and welcome!) so please do be in and buy them all now while they are HOT! Let me know if you love them, think they are OK, or oh no, hate them! If you love them or like them please do write a review or give them a rating on whatever retailer you got them from, and/or on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
This is the easiest link to go to to get whatever format of whatever book you want; just click on the book, then the format (audio, e-book, print) then the online retailer you prefer. But remember for the audiobooks on sale they are discounted only on Chirp, Spotify, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. JENNI'S MAGIC BOOK LINK
So what is left to say but Happy, Peaceful Festive Season and please oh please may all these war horrors stop soon. The image at the top of this newsletter is of Aotea New Zealand's most beautiful tree (and indeed surely one of the most beautiful trees on earth) the Pohutukawa Tree (and a full tree shot further down. It really is that colour. That is a medium-sized tree; they grow way bigger.) It is loved as the Christmas tree here as it explodes with those stunning scarlet flowers at this time of the year (summer here of course).
Be kind and stay healthy and mostly content,