My end-of-year newsletter is usually a reflection of gratitude for the year. Then along came 2020 and spit globs of infectious goo in all of our faces, making this year’s annual rite a bit challenging. Still, there were things in 2020 that didn’t suck. In no particular order (and certainly not an exhaustive list), here are 30 things about 2020 for which I’m grateful.
- Saving money on haircuts and gas and using it on late-night Ben & Jerry’s runs.
- Not setting alarm clocks.
- More family time, even when we were all on video calls in separate rooms.
- Curbside pickup for everything.
- Saving money on vacations and using it to redesign nearly every room of my house.
- Staying healthy (so far!)
- Spending a wonderful 50th birthday with a few friends in the backyard.
- Discovering the joy of putting vanilla extract on my mask, making every shopping trip a sensory delight.
- Getting to stay in the car for Guff’s annual vet appointment. It should always be like that.
- BIG-TIME GRATITUDE: Not being economically devastated, as so many others have been.
- Not showering and simply using the “Touch up my appearance” option on Zoom.
- Halloween still happening.
- Learning how to install flooring.
- Joining in a BLM march in my little town and seeing the passion on my kid’s faces.
- Our trip to the mountains with Jessica, Henry, Ili and Sawyer.
- Walks around the neighborhood throwing the football with my kids.
- Fun new games, including Judging Those Who Wear Their Masks Beneath Their Nostrils and Sanitizing Until The Skin Bleeds.
- Netflix, Netflix, Netflix.
- Having a home gym and exercising more than ever, being on-track to surpass my 300-workout annual goal.
- My agent, Pam, continuing to work her magic (news coming soon!)
- Socially distanced cocktails at my mom’s house.
- Watching my publisher Sourcebooks thrive during tough times–reading still rules!
- New puppies in our extended bubble.
- Jessica. Because always.
- The election.
- Whole Foods’ Thanksgiving dinner.
- Having to just say, “because, pandemic” to get out of doing anything I didn’t want to do.
- My evening writing-time ritual with a vodka gimlet.
- Watching everyone put up holiday lights extra-early this year.
- Knowing it will be 2021 in just over two weeks from now.
Still getting some early praise in for my upcoming book, The Dead Husband. Let’s hear from the amazing, award-winning thriller-author Jennifer Hillier:
“A rich family with shocking secrets in an affluent small town, Carter Wilson’s The Dead Husband is Succession meets Big Little Lies, and I loved every bit of it. This marvelously crafted thriller is the perfect escape, so find a quiet spot and sink in—you’ll be glad you did.”
—Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of Jar of Hearts and Little Secrets
What I’m Reading:
Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy, Judd Apatow (Random House, 2016) – If you’ve been reading my newsletters for some time you know I’m a huge comedy fan, and particularly of stand-up. Of course, so is Judd Apatow, who, after a brief stint doing stand-up became a very famous comedy writer and director (40-year-old Virgin, Bridesmaids, Anchorman, etc). But his obsession with stand-up dates back to his teen years, when he started interviewing comics for his high-school newspaper. Those interviews continued throughout all his years of success, and this book is nearly 600 pages of those transcripts. Think of any famous comedian and there’s a good chance they are part of this book. It’s a fascinating look at the creative (and often dark) mind of the comic, and I was riveted by every word.
What I’m Watching:
The Queen’s Gambit, (Netflix, 2020) – An orphaned girl discovers the game of chess, and along with it her savant-like ability to play. The series takes the viewer through Beth Harmon’s tumultuous teenage and young-adult years in the mid-1950’s and early 60’s, showcasing her rise to global chess fame while she deals with a cornucopia of challenges, not the least of which include drug and alcohol addictions. Beautiful in its period detail, wonderfully acted (especially by Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth), and paced just right, The Queen’s Gambit is likely the best limited-series I’ve watched in 2020. And I’ve watched EVERYTHING.
Bits of The Dead Husband
Up until my book launch next May, I’ll be sharing snippets of The Dead Husband in this space. This month’s passage:
This is my only new ornament for 2020.
Update From My Kids
Update From My Cat
Guff meeting Benny, my kids’ new Shiba Inu puppy. The puppy lives at my kids’ mom’s house, so they’ve only interacted a couple of times. Overall, Guff was pretty chill, though a couple of times I feared he was seconds away from disemboweling the dog.
What’s in My Backyard!
The bobcat is back! After many months of absence, I’ve spotted her on camera a couple of times in the last month. Click on the image to watch the brief video.
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