Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tra La, It's May!


"Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes
Blissfully astray.
Tra la! It's here!
That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts
Merrily appear!"

From "The Lusty Month of May" from Camelot, music and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe



It's MAY! Where is the year going? That's what I always wonder when May arrives; when it seems like the year just began a minute ago, but now it is about to be half over....

When we were kids, we had a record player - you know, one of those things with a turntable and a needle that you lower down ever-so-carefully onto your record, and the record spins and somehow, the needle against the turning record makes music! I know! Magic!!

When you think about it, in its day the record and record player were just as magical technology as being able to download songs to your cell phone is now....

Anyway, as children, we listened to the soundtrack from the original Broadway version of Camelot (the only one that counts in my book), starring Richard Burton as King Arthur, Julie Andrews as Guinevere and Robert Goulet as Lancelot. I listened to this record over and over and I think that even today if you were to quiz me, I'd be able to sing just about all the lyrics to not just this song, but the WHOLE musical.

The song is about  breaking out of winter doldrums into spring and letting loose. When the birds and the bees do their thing and love is in the air. And so it was for Guinevere in Camelot, though her own lusty thoughts brought things there to rather a bad end....

Down here is Florida, May is the end of what we call "season." Season is basically the first three months of the year when the snowbirds are here enjoying the beautiful weather. By the end of April they've begun to migrate back to their northern climes and by mid-May they are mostly gone. 

For those of us who stay behind, May is not so much a time of breaking free and making merry, as it is a time of regrouping and figuring out how we will make the hot and humid summer months feel a little less long.

I use my stuck-inside summer season for writing. So I hope to make good progress on my two book projects this summer. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Book

2014 was kind of a transition year for me in terms of writing. I took a break from writing fiction and worked instead on our RV self-help book, Tips for New RVers: Catchin' the Dream.


It was a fun way for Dick (aka RVPainter) and me to re-live our year on the road and to put some closure on the experience. We really felt that we were the quintessential "Newbies" when we started RVing and that we learned SO much about what to do and what not to do; what worked and what didn't. It just made sense to us to share that with others in the hope that it would help them avoid some of our mistakes and missteps.

Everyone embarking on an adventure like that will encounter situations that test them, but if we can help make it a little easier for even a few people, well, that would make us feel good. It takes courage to live on the road and I am proud of what we did and grateful for the experiences - the wonderful ones AND the trying ones - because they all taught me that I can do much more than I ever imagined and also taught me a great deal about myself and about letting go. It was truly the experience of a lifetime.

As we glide into 2015, I feel ready to return to my true calling - fiction writing. My next book is actually already started, but it's been setting on the back burner for a while. I needed to put some distance between Return to Canterbury (the sequel to The Christmas Village) and this new book, and to get the RVing book out of my system. I am not a writer who can move quickly from one project to the next, because I create these fictional worlds that I live in for quite a long time, so it takes me a while to move on from them.



Writing Return to Canterbury was bittersweet, because when it ended, I knew that my visits with Jamie, Kelly, Christopher, Ida, Rusty, Reggie and all the characters of Canterbury had also come to an end. They say that endings are beginnings - and they are - but I need to take some time to honor my endings before starting new beginnings.

My next book will be historical fiction. Not a children's book, but more a coming-of-age story that takes place in England at the start of World War II. It's inspired by my mother's experience, which I've written about at this blog in the past. But it's only inspired by it - it's not her actual experience because I know very little about what that was. I think of it as a way of writing the story that might have been. That's the great thing about being a writer, you get to tell the story your way and you get to change the ending. And, you get to get even with mean people by turning them into characters that everyone will love to hate :)

As far as describing the type of book I hope this next one will be - well, think of a cross between All the Light We Cannot See, Orphan Train, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I know that's a tall order, but I'm aiming high. When I was a kid, my dream was never "to be a famous author;" my dream was "to write the kind of wonderful books that I like to read." That's still my dream. Sure, I'd love for my books to be best sellers, but I want that to be the result of them being wonderful books, not fad books with throwaway story lines that no one remembers a year later. So I'll be entering a new world soon and I expect to get lost there for quite some. Dick gave me a t-shirt once with this saying on it: "I'm in my own little world, but it's okay, they know me here." That pretty much sums it up.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May your dreams come come, and may they be all that you hoped they would be.




ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE

The Christmas Village reflects many of my cherished childhood memories of growing up in the beautiful New England town of Andover, Massachusetts. It holds remembrances of snow-covered ground, the smell of pine and wood smoke filling the air and candlelit Christmas Eves. But it's more than just a story set at holiday time - it's an adventure that will transport you to another place and time and take you on a roller coaster ride of excitement and suspense.

As a reader, I love stories with twists and surprises, and as a writer, I promise there are more than a few in my book! And as a reader, I also enjoy a story with underlying themes that reflect life itself, and so in The Christmas Village, issues of disappointment, loss and forgiveness are subtly interwoven.

As you are transported into a magical adventure along with our young hero, Jamie, I hope that my book's positive themes around friendship and family, blanketed in an adventure that is exciting and fun, and topped off with a dollop of nostalgia, will bring you and all the children in your life, young and old, a renewed sense of holiday joy.

THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE is the winner of the 2013 BLOGGER BOOK FAIR READER'S CHOICE AWARD for children's action/adventure.

KIDS REVIEW THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE

~I am in the 3rd grade. My mother just bought an autographed copy of "The Christmas Village". I couldn't stop reading it ! It was just hard to put down. Everyone in my family wants to read it. I think you should write Part Two! Thanks for writing a great book. From Pete

~I just finished your book, The Christmas Village. It was an awesome book! I love your books and I hope you write another book. Sincerely, Andrew

~I loved your book The Christmas Village. It was so funny that I could not stop reading it. Your book was amazing! From Arnav

~I loved The Christmas Village! It was so interesting and exciting that I wouldn't stop reading it until I finished the whole book! ... Everyone should read it because it is packed with action and like I said is so exciting. I think you had an amazing choice of your describing words. Sincerely, Ava

~I really like your book. Your ending I thought was really good. Jamie and Kelly are my favorite characters. From
Maegan

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A reading at the Shetford Library in Hubbards Cove, Nova Scotia