A year reflected in events and the books I read, 2021, is a spin on a fun meme that I hope will define some memorable, turning point moments of this resilient year through the titles of novels I read…
Never before in my life had I imagined spending over one year at home, under lockdown nearly day in day out, with my husband and teen children. In the end, we could understand one another even if we were… Speaking in Bones (Kathy Reichs).
Yet as 2021 began the world was still firmly in the grip of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that first emerged in late December 2019… Two years ago already. This is not… A Conspiracy of Bones (Kathy Reichs).
My daughter started University in February and, as exhilarating and unique student life is, if my memory serves me right it does begin by feeling as it is written in… The Bone Code (Kathy Reichs). Pause to celebrate a temporary closure as I finished reading the entire (published) Bones, Temperance Brennan novels collection by Kathy Reichs!
It was about now when I decided that my WIP needs a prequel (almost done now), a moment I’d label as Dracula, Prince of Many Faces (Radu R Florescu).
While I was queuing waiting for my first Pfizer vaccine shot I felt… Under the Knife (Tess Gerritissen). My sweet daughter had gifted me the Rizzoli and Isles DVD collection for Christmas 2020 and I am pleased (although feel a little lost too) to have finished reading in 2021 the entire Rizzoli and Isles book series by Tess Gerritsen published thus far…
Waking up at all the wee hours of the morning to write, running on coffee and adrenaline, I often felt like… The Surgeon (Tess Gerritsen), although wrestling characters and mending plot holes was more like a job for… The Apprentice (Tess Gerritsen).
This year I watched on TV the Olympics in Tokyo and it brought back many childhood memories, but seeing no spectators in the audience I felt like asking why, who is The Sinner (Tess Gerritsen)?
Some historical moments stood out for me during 2021, like this … Body Double (Tess Gerritsen): Kamala Harris becomes US Vice President and Maria Ressa receives the Nobel Peace Prize being the first ever Philippine native to have won one.
During the Taliban‘s return to power in Afghanistan I felt like watching an entire nation… Vanish (Tess Gerritsen). America ended the longest-ever war, 20 years, with Afghanistan.
My daughter and I have a few TV shows we love to watch together, like Rizzoli and Isles, Gilmore Girls and Friends, so we couldn’t miss their Reunion! It was like attending… The Mephisto Club (Tess Gerritsen).
Something that lightened the moon during 2021 was cargo ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal. It was certainly… The Keepsake / Keeping the Dead (Tess Gerritsen).
Some events I want to remember witnessing during 2021 as nearly all happened in space… Ice Cold / The Killing Place (Tess Gerritsen). These are:
- NASA entering the Solar atmosphere for the first time as a spacecraft has touched the Sun… It was NASA’s Parker Solar Probe that has now flown through the Sun’s corona, its upper atmosphere, sampling particles and magnetic fields;
- the first private citizen entered space in his own spaceship, Richard Branson;
- first all-civilian crew flew into space – Elon Musk’s Space X;
- electric cars surpassed diesel sales in Europe – Elon Musk’s Tesla;
- astronomers witnessed light coming from behind a black hole;
- Captain Kirk of Star Trek finally made it into space… as William Shatner;
- NASA’s Perseverance Rover using the carbon dioxide from Mars’ atmosphere to produce oxygen with an instrument called… MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment);
- on Christmas Day we watched the LIVE launch of NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, at my son’s suggestion!
Some moments we witnessed during 2021 I’d define as…. Freaks (Tess Gerritsen) because they reflect how advanced global warming is:
- it rained on the Greenland’s ice sheet on what is now the highest point;
- National Geographic cartographers recognize the world’s fifth ocean (after Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic): the Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica;
- human noise affects ocean life;
- wildfires in Australia, heavy snowfalls in Athens, severe drought in America, extreme floods in Belgium and Germany, late monsoons in India.
During my first interview with Romania Insider I was as nervous as… The Silent Girl (Tess Gerritsen).
The last James Bond 007 featuring Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, let me whispering… John Doe (Tess Gerritsen).
Die Again (Tess Gerritsen)… as Frances McDormand and Anthony Hopkins won big at the virtual BAFTA awards and the Oscars (fun to attend online, a bonus being the chat with my friend Jo from Film Serial).
I Know a Secret (Tess Gerritsen) … and I surely shared it with everyone during the LIVE chat with Steve Allison from Expat Life. It starts with a story, continues with music and memories, ends with laughter, more good music and an announcement!
Some archeological events that shone a bright light on 2021, as in… Take Height, Rutterkin (Millie Thom):
- a 17 000 years old couch shell was discovered in the Pyrenees mountains, the oldest wind instrument ever known to have been used by man… about the same time a cracked skull was discovered over in the Transylvanian Alps;
- just as old is an Australian rock–art depicting a kangaroo;
- a 3 000 years old lost ‘golden city‘ was discovered in Luxor valley, Egypt;
- carvings of a 5 000 years old deer were discovered in Scotland, at Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, just as old as the Neolithic fortress of Turdaș, Hunedoara, Transylvania (here’s a book and a story about it: Conduct in a Neolithic Kingdom);
- Russian scientists thawed and thus returned to life multicellular organisms frozen 24 000 years ago;
- one of world’s oldest piece of art, a 51 000 years old deer bone carving was discovered in Harz Mountains, Germany.
I wondered if the apple falls far from the tree when 14 living descendants of Italian artists Leonardo da Vinci were discovered. Exciting thought as my WIP shares a timeline common with da Vinci’s lifespan… The Castilian Pomegranate (Anna Belfrage).
When South African scientists identified the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the world turned their back on South Africa I felt under a… State of Terror (Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny).
We haven’t went in a family holiday in over two years and I know we weren’t the only ones. One of the highlights of this year was the trip we took this December along the Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga. Incredible waterfalls and a long hike too… A Long Walk Home (D. L. Finn).
As memorable events took place during 2021 in the book word such as a first edition of Mary Shelley’s iconic Gothic novel ‘Frankenstein’ selling at a record price, USD 1.17 millions and South African writer David Galgut winning the Booker Prize with ‘The Promise’… I have great hopes that in 2022 my series of books inspired by… Dracul (Matei Cazacu)… will see the light of day or, even better, find themselves a snug place inside a Literary Agent’s heart!
Countless events of 2021 might not be remembered, much like the notes I made as part of my research and the additional read I did during 2021: academic papers on the history of Ottoman Empire especially Medmed the Conqueror; writings on medieval cuisine, on everyday life and medicine, women’s life status, gender difference, wills, medieval accounts from Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia; travel, local legends, weaponry, customs…
Like a puzzle, it is the sum of many events that builds the facets of one’s life, of one’s life year, of one’s work.
2021 was a good year, one I am grateful for. As I am thankful for you, the followers and readers if my blog posts.
Wishing you and yours a cheerful and blessed 2022, filled with inspiring moments!
Happy New Year!