In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I am working on book #3 in the Winds of Freedom series, a teen adventure series set in the 1850s in North Danville, Vermont. My 1852 Vermont adventure THIS ARDENT FLAME is scheduled for June 2021 publication with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you updates and early order information as soon as I know! I'm also writing a memoir; revising a mystery; in the midst of a novel about a grandmother and her granddaughter; and always writing poems. Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goodbye to March 2012

Sometimes life provides "coincidences" that couldn't be believed in a novel. Really. (There's a saying that I like: "Coincidence is God, acting anonymously.")

My mother's heart stopped beating on March 26, 1984 -- was restarted after "too long" and mercifully failed again in the wee hours of the next morning. Her unexpected death at age 53, when I was still a very young woman, heavily pregnant with my second child, meant I had a lot of grief to handle -- and yet didn't want to give way to it very far, because I wanted to keep my almost-born baby healthy, as well as take good care of my toddler and husband.

This past week, on March 26, our community was shattered by the murder of a wonderful 33-year-old science teacher and mom and engaged member of multiple communities -- and I cried. A lot. So did a lot of other people. I actually didn't even think of my mom's death until five days later, when our local paper printed a banner headline "LOVE WINS" along with the dates of Melissa Jenkins's life.

In so many ways, our region has insisted that love win this time. It's for Melissa, who taught people around her the saying, "We need to love those the most who need us the most."

Most poignant to me today are: (1) The recollection of overhearing a busy woman Friday, as her friends tied pink balloons to parking meters, so that even the rough March downtown sidewalks proclaimed Melissa as the area adopted her favorite color. This woman, racing past a balloon-tying friend, called out, "I've made pink roses for us to wear in the bar tonight." (2) The lingering pink balloons, tied to railing, fenceposts, mailboxes, and more.

The stories that matter are often true stories. The story of Melissa Jenkins and Vermont matters. And it always will.

PS -- The front page of the Burlington Free Press shows a number of male political leaders greeting President Obama on Friday in Vermont. My husband pointed out their pink shirts. "For Melissa," he said. Love wins.

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