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, October 28, 2011

What's Ahead: The Writing Project List


F.D. Reeve and I completed the first draft of "Opal of the Mountains" last week; I'm working on the second draft now. That's the promised "novel in iambic pentameter" -- or, more to the point, it's a novel all in dialogue. It opens in a vegetable garden, and climbs steadily upward, including up some cliffs. More on this, later.

I've got two photos that I want to share, for their roles in possible novels coming up. The first, nicely labeled from its original newspaper use, is an old "tavern" in Hardwick, Vermont. These town or village meetingplaces were some of the largest houses around, and there are still many on what look like back roads today but were once the centers of life in "hamlets" (small villages) formed from working families living close together. The inn that features in The Secret Room is related to this tavern as a structure, but with more emphasis on overnight rooms for travelers. From the size of the pictured tavern here, I'd guess there were rooms for rent in the Hazen Road Warner Tavern, too.

Because inns and taverns were places for local people to keep up with each other's lives, and also to meet travelers -- either distant relatives, or intriguing strangers -- this tavern is going to appear in one of my stories soon.  There are two classic premises to begin an adventure: "A stranger comes to town," and "Someone leaves on a journey." A tavern or inn is the perfect place for both.

The second photo was sent by Harman Clark and shows the Vail Mansion, which stood on what
is now the Lyndon State College campus. Many who stayed there recall it as haunted. No doubt, it will appear in a story of "haunting" that's bubbling up for me to tell.

My list here at the desk also includes revisions next month on my 1850 novel, The Long Shadow; crafting a first draft of a middle-grades book I've called in my mind "the captive fortuneteller"; and a collection of poems. If only I didn't have to make supper and do laundry and finish digging the carrots from the garden, too!

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