Here it is, the last weekend of summer, unofficially and I am pleased to announce in the past fifteen months I have completed my manuscript. I have carefully combed through it removing anything that doesn’t carry the story forward. I have sketched the characters and drawn floor plans of the important settings and now comes the really hard part, finding the right home for it.
It is my belief that creating a novel or an oil painting is a lot like hatching an egg. While mammals carry their young inside the womb; birds, reptiles, amphibians and even octopi are the guardians of their young in their particular precarious environment. While I am sure that no thieving crow will swoop down from the sky and carry my baby off, I am still cautious before I reveal it.
Growing up in the Tidewater area of Virginia I have a much different idea of what the last weekend of summer feels like as opposed to my contemporaries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For us on the peninsula of Virginia summer did not magically stop at the Labor Day weekend, no it went on for weeks and in some years, months. One of my many fond memories of the Christmas season in Newport News is shopping on Christmas Eve and having the weather warm enough to wear cut off Levis and sandals. No it doesn’t have to be freezing to enjoy a candy cane; they’re good all the time.
While many people are preparing their children for back to school, and the holidays to follow when I think of those rainy days of autumn that is the best time to enjoy a new book. Right now as the rain falls on my roof muffling all the sounds outside I can easily focus on the page before me as I write. A slow drizzly rain I find is the best background for reading and writing as long as it isn’t the kind that can squash a community. When the power fails and batteries need to be conserved all that is left is playing cards, reading or perhaps journaling by candlelight. For people with small children sometimes that is the time to have them tell you their own fairy or ghost stories as my husband and I have with our daughter while weathering a hurricane without electricity.
It is no secret that in the publishing industry like the film industry they look to Christmas and the summer as a time to promote their hopeful top sellers, but I think maybe the New Yorkers’ missed a potential market; hurricane season. If not in imminent danger and I really mean not in danger of having your home and community swallowed by the aftermath of a gigantic storm and when there is no electricity to charge the smart phones and tablets, why not enjoy a good read by candlelight? There is simply nothing like reading to take us out of ourselves, out of our own world to see something we have never seen before and sometimes that something new is in the pages of a great book.