I had a wonderful Christmas with family in Cleveland and Buffalo. Now I'm back to my usual activities that have started up again after the holiday season.
I am also slowly getting back to the novel I've been working on for a while, Six steps to Forever. I've been stalled as I recovered from a concussion. It's on my mind now, thinking about it a lot, blocking out the next scenes, trying out dialog, getting reacquainted with the characters.
I am feeling hopeful that I'll eventually get back to myself!
I will be returning to North Carolina to do a reading from my novel Sassafras Summer, Sunday September 23, 2 PM, at McIntyre's bookstore in Fearrington Village.
I am recovering slowly from a terrible fall down a flight of stairs on May 3. I'm still not driving but I hope that will change after I see my neurosurgeon in August.
I have started writing again, working on the new novel, working title is Six Steps to Forever. It's hard to pick up the threads from before the accident. I'm having to reacquaint myself with the characters and the story. But I've been through this before. The writing of Sassafras Summer was interrupted when my husband got sick, and it was months before I got back to it. So I did it then, and I will do it now.
I hope to see you in September.
I just participated in an open studio sale in Fearrington Village, NC where I used to live. When I moved to New Hamphire in 2016 I stored a lot of paintings too expensive to move. This art sale gave me a chance to finally pull them out of storage and put them on display.
A lot of people came, friends, former costomers, students, new comers to the area and to my work. It was a very successful weekend, with many sales.
Now my attention has turned to my writing. I am doing a reading of my new novel, Sassaafras Summer, at the Chesley Memorial Library in Northwood, New Hampshire on Saturday, April 21 at 1:00. And I am going back to North Carolina in the fall to do a reading at McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village. As soon as the date is set for McIntyre's I will post it here and on Facebook.
I'm way overdue with this blog because I have been getting my new novel ready for publication. The title is Sassafras Summer. The cover has been finished and approved. Here a preview for you to check out.
Now I am involved with the editing process, and once it is finished, I'll get a publication date.
I've started on novel #3 (working title "The Boy Next Door"), but I found that I couldn't focus on it while still dealing with Sassafras Summer. I'm pretty good at multi-tasking, but even I can not work on two novels at once.
We're coming to the end of a gorgeous New England Fall. It's hard to believe that the past August was the one-year anniversary of my move here. As I write this, it's November. I'm waiting to see what Winter has in store for us. At least it will be a good time to concentrate on writing!
Last week I finished my new novel, tentatively titled Love X 2,and sent it off to my editor at The Wild Rose Press. I started it more than a year ago, before my husband got sick. Then it got stalled as I went through weeks in the hospital with him. I took me a while to recover when he died, when I couldn't do much of anything.
I recovered gradually. One day I thought I'd try to turn on the computer and read what I'd written some months before. Then, a few days later, I managed to write a sentence. Later still, I thought I might see if I could write a paragraph.I had to re-acquaint myself with my characters, and resurrect the passion I'd felt when I started the novel.
In the midst of all this, I sold my house in North Carolina, and moved to New Hampshire. I am starting a new life here as I reinvent myself.
The same week I finished the book, I learned that I am going to be doing a reading of my first novel, Heartfelt, at Gibson's Book in Concord, NH, May 31.
It seems very appropriate that we are experiencing the first signs of spring as I feel the same way inside myself.
I am getting close to finishing my new novel. The working title is Love X 2. This is a first draft. There is still work to be done, editing and perhaps rewriting. When I wrote Heartfelt, I changed the beginning to make it more active and to engage the reader right away. I won't know what needs to be done with Love X 2 until I can read through the whole thing.
It took me a while to come up with the idea for this second novel. I thought about places I've been and people I've met, and how everyone has a story. I finally remembered a woman I knew a long time ago. When I asked her how she'd met her husband, she said they met at their parents' wedding. I don't remember anything else she told me but that one thing stuck with me all these years, and that became the premise for Love X 2.
I've just come back from visiting friends in North Carolina. This was my first return since I moved to New Hampshire in August. It felt a little strange to be back since I so consciously made the decision to start a new life here. The hardest part of the move was leaving my friends. They can never be replaced though I'm working hard at meeting new people.
There was one bad moment when I walked into my house in Fearrington Village. I'd spent weeks cleaning it out to get ready for the move, and now that the closing is scheduled for the end on November, I needed to get rid of the last things left out there. It was painful to see the house so empty, stripped of everything my husband and I had loved. Maybe there will be a book in this someday!
Now I'm back in my New Hampshire apartment, working on my novel, Love X2. Last night, after I returned, it snowed and today it's still on the ground because it is so cold.
It's a new life for sure!
I am getting acquainted with my new life. I moved to New Hampshire in August, almost two months ago. It's been a long time since I was a newcomer. We moved to North Carolina twenty-four years ago, and even the two years we spent in Memphis, was sixteen years ago (I realize I wrote "we" because it was my husband and me, now it's just me).
The process of finding my way around here is strange. I remember thinking, after a move a while back, you know you're home when you no longer pay attention to where you are, or where you're going. Your car seems to know automatically.
I am living here on U.S. Route 4, a main road between Portsmouth and Concord. I can navigate anywhere along Route 4. Route 4 is my security blanket. Go anywhere off it, however, and I get lost going and coming. It happened again yesterday when I had a doctor's appointment neat the hospital in Dover, a town I've never been to before. I got lost, and in the trying to retrace my steps, I accidentally found the hospital. Success! Coming back I had to ask directions twice.
Strangely enough, I am always calm during these episodes. How unlike me!
I'm not going to make it, Shay thought. Why did she think she was up to this? She'd made this short walk to town her whole life, that's why. Now she could hardly make it back. She could see her house just down the road a bit, but it might as well be a hundred miles away.
Shay, the heroine of Heartfelt, came to me uninvited and was like the guest that wouldn't leave until I told her story. All I knew about her in the beginning was that she'd had surgery for breast cancer, and was still weak and sick from the chemo treatments. She was certainly not looking for love, and was not ready for it. I got to thinking about how hard it would be to become intimate with someone when you felt disfigured. And she'd not been with a man for a long time.
The whole story came from this main theme. I don't really know what started me thinking about it, but I've known a lot of women who've had breast cancer. My mother had it three times, my younger daughter twice, two first cousins who are sisters, both had it, and many friends and acquaintances as well.
I started playing around with how the story could develop. How she'd meet a man, and what was his story. And how could they be in close proximity to each other so the relationship would develop naturally. I got fascinated with working out the various elements. And all the while, it was entirely in my head, nothing written down.
Then we went to our place in Canada for a month. It's very rural and isolated, on a lake that's not developed much beyond the six families that bought the 100 acres in 1931. No phones, no internet, no newspapers, no TV. In other words, no distractions.
I started writing Heartfelt in long hand, sitting on the deck, facing the lake. It actually poured out, once I began to write. There were some problems to work out, but it was like unloosening a knot. It just took a little patience and a little persistence. I finished it in nine months.
Author - Carol Owen
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"Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house , a world, and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then that a world exists for you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson