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?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Endless Summer ...

One reason that I write novels called "young adult" -- novels in the voice and view of someone around thirteen to sixteen years old -- is the magic of that time for me. Summers were endless, a long stretch of time until the next schoolday. From the throngs of peepfrogs chanting in the damp hollows, to the flurry of nearly identical robins rising up from the lawn, to the nights sparkling with uncountable stars, summer wrapped me in amazement. And there were "people things" in summer that delighted me: savoring the movement from "new girl" to "here I am again" at a summer camp; taking the bus into a city with a girlfriend, to walk the bustling sidewalks, explore museums, discover startling green parks and waterfalls tucked between tall buildings; riding with my family (even when they didn't understand me!) to the distant lake with its swimming beach and old rowboat with the creaky oars.


Today, summer is three moons long. I try to pay attention to each of them. The golden luminous full moon last night, rising above the crest of the hill, stopped my breath for a moment.

In The Secret Room the story unfolds through Shawna's eyes. But in this start of a poem, it nestles in the words and thoughts of Shawna's best friend Thea, also in eighth grade:

There are more than three, of course: one for tonight,
its faint sorrow hanging over the cornfield,
one for the next night, slim and pale
as though throwing up dinner made her into
a waxed princess, faintly glowing. Thea knows
there are more than three moons.  Especially now.
Summer lasts almost forever.

Across the road, close enough to hear
if she yelled from her window, her best friend sleeps.
It’s so unfair. 

Want to hear more? I'll be reading the finished poem tomorrow in Brownington, Vermont, as part of the "Kingdom Perspectives" poetry gathering at the Congregational Church, sponsored by the Old Stone House Museum and the Orleans County Historical Society. 

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