Friday, September 30, 2011

Publishing and Other Odds and Ends I remember how to blog?  It really has been a while, but September has been a very busy month.  I know, excuses, excuses.  But in all honesty, since the last time I posted plenty of things have happened: my sister broke her ankle, I went to Portland to visit her, my husband got a new job, and I wriggled my way through the preliminary steps of publishing Ashford, among other things.

Yes, I'm self-publishing.  A controversial move, but much less so than in the past.  At this point it can't do me any harm, and might do me some good.  The manuscript had been edited and re-edited multiple times, by others and myself, and was starting to build a little fan base.  It's time for it to exist in another form, and it's time for me to learn how to market it.

From the back cover:

Seventeen year old Anna is a naive American orphan, delighted to find herself on a tour of Europe in the spring of 1939.  A feeling of camaraderie with all mankind thrills her as she mingles with throngs of foreigners, but her joy is short-lived.  WWII shatters the world.  As fathers and sons, husbands and brothers dive grimly into the trenches, Anna is left stranded in England, disillusioned and afraid.  However, this worldwide catastrophe may be the perfect catalyst to mature Anna into the brave young woman she longs to be.  Even as the world is shadowed with disaster, Anna finds friends in the kindly Bertram family.  In the midst of all that threatens to tear her world apart, will she find a place to truly belong?
My thanks to Megan Andrews for the back cover description.
The golf season is winding down, and I have to say (surprise!) that I'm ready for it to be over.  It's been a good experience over all, but it's not my world.  People look at me when I speak, and it's like they don't understand the language.  In all fairness, I probably look the same when they start talking about golf.  That world and mine are like oil and vinegar (to borrow a phrase from Anthony Trollope).  Not to say that mine is better or theirs worse.  They just don't fit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A few brief observations:

A man sporting a comb-over should never attempt to drive a convertible with the top down.

Hugh Laurie can sing the blues!  And play some killer piano!

I am finding the adolescence of my characters as frustrating as my own. Luckily it's a fairly brief faze in the novel.

Fresh figs are wonderful!

Why does everyone assume that Jack and Jill were children?  The rhyme doesn't specify.  Maybe they were old and decrepit and that's why they fell down the hill.

That's all.  Cheers!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prologue To a Busy Day

Greetings at the beginning of a very full day.  This morning: finishing off a going-away gift for my good friend who is leaving for college next week, baking a batch of croissants as a thank-you gift for a certain very generous favor (and, incidentally, for breakfast tomorrow), getting a decent start on the next chapter of my novel so that tomorrow when I have more time and concentration I can delve directly into the next tragedy which will propel the plot forward and in which I shall not have any sentences this long or confusing.  This afternoon: demonstrating for a ballet class full of brand new adorable urchins, helping my mom set up her Etsy shop, going back for my own ballet class and staying late for photos, after which I shall come home and gratefully fall into bed.

At least I'm hoping to get all of that done today.  I make no promises.  The novel is coming along nicely these days, and I think my new-found dedication is starting to pay off.  There are still some days where I write only very little, don't like that very little and delete it the next day, but I try to tell myself that those days are as much a part of the process as the productive ones.

Lately I've taken to reading Robin McKinley's blog.  Check it out at if you're interested.  I've always loved her writing, whether it's her YA work (Beauty, Dragonhaven) or her more adult stuff (the wonderful and unsettling Deerskin, or Sunshine).  It's fantasy with real literary merit.  In any case, she blogs daily -- which in itself is impressive to me -- about life in general, which for her often involves raising hounds, ringing handbells, gardening, chasing bats out of her attic, and writing of course.  I find it delightful.

Just to let everybody know, I have changed my settings to allow for comments from readers who are not officially followers of my blog.  I didn't do this at first because I was trying to avoid spam, but I do enjoy comments and I like feedback, so I changed the settings so that anybody can leave a comment but I have to approve it before it posts.  Hopefully this will help.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nine Years and Counting

Recently the Chewelah golf course played host to a benefit tournament and silent auction for a local high school girl fighting cancer.  Talk about memories.  After nine years there are times when I forget how it felt, but when it comes back it feels like it all happened weeks ago rather than years.  Harder for the parents, siblings and friends in so many ways.  Someday I will write it all into a novel, or a memoir.  Everyone said I should then, but until recently it still seemed too close.  It's odd, but these days it is mostly the good things that I remember: the kindness of friends and family, nurses and doctors; making my oncologist laugh; the warmth of the heated blankets they wrapped around me; the feeling of peace when everything else is gone.  Especially the last.  For a year the future meant nothing.  The moment was everything, all there was.  It was the aftermath that was most difficult in many ways, learning how to plan again, to think of my life as something beyond today.

Of course I remember other things: weakness; nausea; allergic reactions which led to waking up in the ER stuck full of needles.  But these things don't last.  The pain subsides, until all that is left is a weird sense of wonder.  I am alive.  In my more philosophical moments I wonder why, then I realize that why doesn't really matter.  I am here, now.  It's the old lesson, still the same.  Apart from past pains and future worries, here I am.  Now, this moment, always.