In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Stories That Matter: Local News

Here's a photo of the construction team headed to work on the rooftop skylight of the St. Johnsbury (Vermont) Athenaeum today (cell phone photo, so a bit fuzzy!). Problem: Skylight work means the Athenaeum's noted art gallery is closed for the season. Opportunity: Another part of the building, Athenaeum Hall, has a glorious history including visits from President Benjamin Harrison, Henry Stanley ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"), receptions for other speakers like "Mrs. General Custer," Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Horace Greeley -- this was a hotbed of discourse in the late 1800s! So a handful of us collaborated this spring in researching these "stories" and an exhibit will open in a week or so, lingering through summer and early fall, giving visitors to the Athenaeum a new set of adventures.

To see the work of creating this exhibit, check out our "workspace" at

I am so excited as I tell people about "Libbie" Custer and her powerful effect in redirecting history around her husband's disastrous battle; about how Stanley pandered to Victorian taste in his narratives (that are now strongly in doubt in several portions); about President Harrison's light-bulb moment that resulted in flags in public schools; about Lincoln's argument with Horace Greeley. If people can be seen as plants, our roots are in these stories, and our blossoms and fruit are shaped by them, whether for good or ill.

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