Thursday, July 18, 2013

trying to write with a dog staring at you

Poppy listens to an awkward sentence
I have two supervisors who take turns staring at me while I write.

Poppy is pictured here by my laptop, taking over Daisy's shift, who is in the background settling in for an extended nap.

They're great workers. They listen patiently as I read aloud from my work-in-progress and as long as I feature a dog in the story, they don't complain about the plot.

The only time they ditch me is when they hear rattlings in the kitchen!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rescuing Clementine, Part 2

paperback or ebook
As a young Girl Scout at camp, my friends and I learned a bunch of folksongs, among them "Oh My Darlin' Clementine!" which we belted out with gusto. Now some decades later, I thought it would be fun to connect this old favorite with a work of historical fiction: thus this novel: The Waiting Light: Clementine's Story
       This song's original music and lyrics are usually credited to Percy Montross, circa 1880. Since then, Clementine has become a popular song with countless different stanzas that children sing in school, Scouts, and around summer campfires.
       Most folklore and modern urban legends often have some basis in truth. In this vein, The Waiting Light follows themes from the lyrics. I pretended the song was a legend spawned from Clementine's life, so using clues from the verses, I worked backwards: her father was a "forty-niner" and they lived "in a canyon" by a river. She cared about animals ("drove she ducklings to the water ev'ry morning just at nine"), but she stumbled from a bridge ("hit her foot against a splinter") and fell into "the foaming brine." As for the herring boxes, they're mentioned in the novel, but not as the exaggerated image that ends up in the song (size-nine sandals).
       The singer appears to be a grieving beau: "I kissed her little sister, forgot my Clementine," is a curious ending which inspired my imagination. Who were these people, what happened, and why? So in my story I gave Clementine a father, a sweetheart and a little sister, and included them in the mystery.
     I hope you enjoy this new release!