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?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From the Ashes of a Christmas Fire

On December 23, 2012, a massive six-alarm fire erupted in a downtown building in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The fire in the "1879 Building" destroyed a much-appreciated florist shop, the homes of at least seven people, and what was once the storefront of Landry Drugs, most recently operated by the French parents of Bruno Ravel, owner of the structure. With his parents' deaths relatively recent, and many of the furnishings of their lives also destroyed by the fire, Bruno's losses were enormous. And the first news stories of the fire declared the building a total loss:

Today, though, with Bruno's savings and much assistance from state and local agencies, rebuilding of the structure is underway. Palmieri Roofing erected scaffolding, and at least four of the roofing company's workers were on site as I snapped this photo.

My novels often include structure fires in them (I've been there, done that -- my home burned in 1984). What intrigues me the most is the courage shown as people choose to rebuild lives, homes, and structures from the ashes. A high-five salute, then, to St. Johnsbury and to Bruno Ravel and the people pitching in -- on this gray late-January day, you point to what matters.

UPDATE: See March 17, 2013, post, as the structure is rebuilt. Yes!!