To my one, maybe two, loyal followers out there, WELCOME! This is my first post, and I'm feeling a little Wizard of Oz-ish, or ODD-ish, at the moment, having finally arrived in the Blog-o-sphere from the Land of the Technologically Backward. Although I'M the one in need of a brain, I hope that YOU will find plenty of heart and courage here, as I share the day-to-day challenges of writing my second novel, along with the rigors of life in general. 

    Getting Out of Dodge was my first book. It took eight years, with two years off to earn an MFA, to complete. I started my writing "career" in nonfiction, with essays and articles, and I find fiction difficult, something akin to driving through the woods at night, without headlights, with your eyes closed, which, for the most part, I try to avoid. But despite the hand-wringing, hair-tearing anxiety, I discovered that there are magical bursts of light that make the experience just so damn (can I say that?) much fun, that now I'm doing it all over again.  

    I'm not sure how I made the leap from a three-flat in Evanston in 2007, IL, to a rice plantation outside Charleston, SC in the 1830s, except to say that change is good, isn't it? (And the weather is better.) It is a coming of age story about fifteen-year old Henry Manwaring, the overprotected son of a troubled mother and an indifferent father, who blossoms (if you know what I mean), at the hands of Lydia Winship, a beautiful portrait artist. I'm about 180 pages into my first draft; I probably have less than a hundred to go.

     OK. I just wrote Henry and Lydia's first love scene yesterday. (Whee! THAT was fun!) Now I want to ask you (both of you out there) the same question that Lydia asked Henry: "What is easier to bear, Henry," she said, "Guilt or regret?"

    How would you have answered her?

    Happy Trails!





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