Another Healing

Another Healing

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Release Date!

A Sky Full of Wings has a release date! June 20, 2012. I was expecting it to be later in the summer, but the sooner the better. I spent all week working through the editing process and filling out the cover art form and the marketing form, and it's a relief to have all that finished. It's now off to the proofreader.

I'm especially excited about the cover for this one because I submitted five of my own photos for the artist to work with, if they speak to her. Sky is set on the shores of Lake Champlain, and I have hundreds of photos I've taken from our family camp. I chose five with different moods and colors from flaming sunsets to cool, watery blues. I think any of them would work and frankly, I'm glad I won't have to make the final decision. Honestly, I stressed more over the cover this week than I did over the edits, mostly because I already worked this story really hard before I subbed it, inspired by the comments of a certain friend who gives a new definition to the phrase, "brutal reader." Much appreciated brutality, though.

What's next? Well, I can't rule out the possibility of another Notice story (Varian and Josh have certainly wormed their way into my brain and their story shows no sign of winding down yet). But for the immediate future, I'm going to devote my time to Another Healing, which has the characters  from my short story The Rosebud, written as my offering to the 2011 Charity Sip Blitz -- James, the man who can heal, but who falls in love with everyone he helps, and Ambient, the man James pulled out from beneath a truck and who fell in love with him and broke the "curse." I've been having a heap of fun with these guys and finding out what's really going on.

Shorter projects have kept interrupting this poor novel, but I finally reached the end of my rough draft last week. I'm not one of those lucky writers who can outline a story before writing it -- I need to write it to see what it's going to be about. On the other hand, not being bound to an outline frees me up for the plot twists and turns that happen along the way. I've learned to give in to blind trust that everything will work out in the end, and so I charge full speed ahead, as eager to find out how it's going to end as the readers. Once there, I always breath a sigh of relief, and then go back and start making the beginning match the ending. I always find, amazingly enough, that I need to do very little plot revision. All the seeds were planted and grew to fruition on their own, with very little assistance from me. The only thing that comes close to describing it is to consider what it's like to sit down to chat with a friend. You don't know what your friend is going to say next, and you might not even know what you're going to say until you start to say it. For me, writing is a lot like listening to people having a conversation, or transcribing a movie. It's just a matter of getting it down in as descriptive a way as possible.

Anyway, Another Healing is shaping up, and A Sky Full of Wings is on the way!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guys and Bananas and Spring

Yesterday, I overheard a young man say that no guy would ever eat a banana in public. Unfortunately, I was in a setting where I not only could not laugh, but I had to pretend  that I had no idea what he was referring to. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to slip away to where I could explode. Ah, those tricky situations where my lives collide! Now I shall never see a man eating a banana without having to hide a smile.

On to more serious matters. At the risk of sounding like my grandfather who was, like all Vermont farmers, obsessed with the weather, I have never seen a spring like this before! We have had day after day of temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's, when usually we're just starting to melt and feel lucky if we see a robin. Right now, I'm sitting with all my windows open listening to a deafening chorus of frogs (spring peepers) from the nearby beaver ponds, and I couldn't be happier. This is my favorite time of year, except that it usually comes in May, not March.  I worry about what's in store, but not too much.

Some photos:


Mud (yes, I have to drive through a mile of this to get home):


(Canada Geese, today, on one of the beaver ponds.) I swear, these photos are just over a week apart!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Brook is Free

When I got to school this morning, I burst into the room where I work and told everyone that I'd just seen my first TV! Students and fellow teachers looked as though I'd lost my mind. I let them think that for a while, until I explained that TV, in birder's language, means Turkey Vulture. I'd just seen the first one of the season, riding north on gusty south winds, its wings in the typical V angle as it teetered slightly in the air. Not five minutes later, I saw another V in the sky -- my first flight of geese heading up the lake. And about a minute after that, another TV.

It was an auspicious start to the day, which was good, because I was searching for some positive lights after learning that a former student has just passed away and that a friend's cancer has moved to stage four. Time to grab my camera and the dog and go for a walk in the wind.

Today, the brook broke free of its ice for the first time all winter. When I left the house this morning, the only bare ground was around the bases of the apple trees. This afternoon, I can see the lawn again. These are good things. Take pictures, look into the wind, and pretend that's why I'm crying.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy March!

I love the first of March, because it means, to me, that winter is losing its hold. March is when the snowbanks begin to melt and form puddles on the sides of the road, when our dirt road turns to wonderful, mushy mud, when our neighbor taps the maple trees across the road, and when robins and redwing blackbirds first appear again. Yeah, there are cold nights and snowy days and sometimes it seems like winter will go on forever, but the light lasts longer, and when I turn my face to the sun, there is warmth there again.

The bay is still frozen, but my daffodils are starting to poke up.

March is the begining.