I’m nearing the end of the final draft, which means my beta readers will soon whisk away my manuscript for their constructive perusal. The timing couldn’t be better.
With the weather finally improving, I look forward to a couple of months to recharge and get ready for the next steps.
Friday turned out to be a super nice day. So mid-afternoon, I tore myself away from the laptop to step outside into sunshine, breathe the soft ocean breeze, and enjoy the view.
I think Maisie had the same idea.
It wasn’t easy to go back inside, but when you can see the finish line, it gives you more incentive to keep working. And once that line is crossed? Rest assured, Maisie–I will stay out with you much longer then.
“Best advice on writing I’ve ever received. Finish.”
~ Peter Mayle
These photos of root cellars are from one of my November posts five years ago. I’ve been thinking about them lately because in the speculative novel I’m writing, an abandoned root cellar figures largely in certain plot points of the story.
More than 130 root cellars have been documented in the Elliston area, dating back as far as 1839, and some are stillused todayto store homegrownvegetables.
According to Elliston folklore, the older folks told the children that babies came from root cellars. For more photos and info, click on the link below:
This is one of my favourite books of all time. Though I read it in my twenties, it has always stayed with me.
I was delighted when my husband Paul bought a copy recently and read it. I was equally delighted that he enjoyed it as much as I did!
A small sampling of reviews:
“Besides telling a good story, the author has peopled it with a small group of characters so powerfully drawn as to linger long in memory.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
“To me the most impressive aspect of ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race.” – Richard Wright New Republic
“The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has remarkable power, sweep and certainty . . . Her art suggests a Van Gogh painting peopled with Faulkner figures.” – The New York Times Book Review
Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation at the age of twenty-three. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.
What novel have you read that stayed with you for many years?
Here’s a throwback to July 2013, when I was in the thick of creating the first draft for Calmer Girls. At the time I was also blogging twice a week, but hey, when your muse is whispering in your ear to pen a poem and she won’t shut up, you pen a poem. There’s no getting out of it.
She wakes tangled in themes
through a cobweb of dreams
with gossamer remnants
that linger and tease,
pushes back dusty curtains
and on a page blank and white
She deletes the clichéd
yesterday she okayed
and contemplates words
like ephemeral and moonglade
they taste like confections
with her tangerine sections
and jolts of black coffee
She’s reminded of chores
she keeps trying to ignore
with the scatter of crumbs
that litter the floor,
shrugs her shoulders and thinks
it will be there tomorrow
The bills wait, unpaid
And the bed’s still not made
There’s this blog post to write
and it can’t be delayed
her novel must wait
it’s a musing or rhyme that
She reaches again
for the manuscript when
her mind can’t break free
from the plot line within
and it makes him uptight
there’s no dinner tonight
but he digests her flaws.
After all, it’s because
It’s a cold and snowy day here at home, but the following warms me down to my toes.
I’m thrilled to see another powerful 5-star review on Amazon for Calmer Secrets!
Take a look:
“Calmer Secrets is a fascinating and mature, well-written second look into the lives of the Cross girls which takes place some four or five years after the events of the first book. The time gap and the substantial content in each novel support Jennifer Perry’s decision to split this story into two books.
Samantha is all grown up, Ben is gone, and against her self-centred, irritating sister’s advice she tumbles into a relationship with old friend Kalen – who has turned into a hot rocker. Their mother continues to wrestle with her issues, and the charming Henry, Veronica’s four-year old boy, is Samantha’s darling. The scene is set for a gritty, realistically told and engrossing unravelling of events, and old secrets, which will change everyone’s lives.
The gripping story kept me helplessly reading on, late into the night. Hints are dropped, with a thud, or a tickle of the mind, and I yelled at Samantha not to be such a fool, at Ronnie for her attitude, at Kalen, at Ben, at Darlene, at Cash… the only one I didn’t yell at was little Henry.
*Much* is explained as the final secrets are revealed and the ends of the story are resolved, and one begins to understand the complexity and depth of these beautifully crafted characters.
This is an excellent novel of family, love, and the damage that secrets can do. Highly recommended, but you have to read the first book first. Together, they make an epic story of ordinary life.”
As anyone who follows me regularly can attest, I don’t use this blog too often for shameless self-promotion of my novels.
Please allow me to make an exception for today.
I am on Cloud Nine since Wednesday, when my debut book Calmer Girls peaked at Number One on the Amazon Canada Bestseller list for Teen Fiction, specifically in the Kindle Store categories of Teen Pregnancy, as well as a peak at Number Two for Dating & Intimacy.
What a nice feeling to hit those numbers. Thank you, Canada.