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