delete

Writing Update

In April, a pipe burst and flooded more than half of our house. I am thrilled to say that (much as I love our contractor and his crew) the last worker left this afternoon, and the work is done! It will be a bit easier to write without the sweet sounds of nail guns and wet saws—not to mention being relegated to my great room dining table because my office was in the flood zone.

Nevertheless, I have powered through and completed a book. The Wanderer is with the editor now, and on target for a September 20 release. I’m especially pleased with this final book of the Highland Soldiers series, as I hope readers will be.

I’m now beginning a new project that I’m very excited about. I’m finally writing the Christmas story I’ve been wanting to do for some time. It’s a big change from anything I’ve written before, but I won’t jinx it by talking any more about it yet. Watch for it this Christmas season!

The Christmas Cabin Cover

delete

Draft 1 is done!

And this book was made in Scotland!

The-End

delete

Coming September 20th

HS4-Summer2016

delete

Notes from my Journal

I came across my Moleskine journal from last summer, and this took me back to that day—my first day back in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’d slept part of the night and awoken on New York time. So I went for a walk very early in the morning, and I wrote:

Friday, August 11. 2015

At eight in the morning, the Princes Street Gardens smell sweet—a vague scent of flowers and grasses I can’t name. The rubbish collectors are out picking up trash left on the grass and walkways. I’ve never been here before at this time to see it. I tip the solid wooden bench aright and sit down as a workman calls up to his friend at street level. The accent, as always, charms me as he answers the other with that Scottish upturned inflection, “Fuck yourself off!”

Only one other person (non-worker) is here—an artistic sort in Doc Martens, holding a notebook and writing. (Another writer.) The Waverley speakers announce arrivals and departures in an unintelligible blur as a train pulls away, and I wish I were on it. I should come here again in the morning, while the city is only beginning to waken.

delete

Remembering Pat Conroy

Remembering Pat Conroy (excerpt from The Prince of Tides):Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 3.03.35 AM

delete

Julian Fellowes: ‘Intellectually sniffy luvvies’ look down on popular books

Screenwriter Julian Fellowes at Highclere Castle, Hampshire, the location for his television show Downton Abbey
Screenwriter Julian Fellowes will swap Downton Abbey for Doctor Throne for his latest ITV adaptation Photo: Andrew Crowley
delete

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman puts her unrequited romance at the center of her creative life

la-gettyimages-159826901-jpg-20160224
LA Times book review – LA Times

After encouraging Charlotte’s talents, Constantin Heger, who has been teaching her French literature, has grown more formal, signaling that he “will never see her in a romantic light.” Ultimately, Harman writes, he will “cost her two years of intense heartache, humiliation and futile hope.”

As she recounts in a letter to her sister Emily and, later, in the novel “Villette,” Charlotte wanders forlornly into a cathedral, an unfamiliar haunt for the daughter of a Church of England minister with Methodist inclinations. There she confesses, in French, to a priest. The experience “solaced” her and “gave her an idea not just of how to survive or override her most powerful feelings, but of how to transmute them into art,” Harman writes.

Read more.

delete

Fairy Tales Could Be Older Than You Ever Imagined

Via  | smithsonianmag.com | Smithsonian

fairy tale illustration

Jack may have been climbing that beanstalk for more than 5,000 years

A few hundred years ago, fairy tale auteurs like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault helped bring magical tales of princesses, evil ogres, dark forests, weird spells and thwarted love into the storybooks—and to the bedsides—of children, everywhere. But how old are the tales they transcribed? A new study suggests that their origins go all the way back to prehistory.

In a new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, a folklorist and anthropologist say that stories like Rumpelstiltskin and Jack and the Beanstalk are much older than originally thought. Instead of dating from the 1500s, the researchers say that some of these classic stories are 4,000 and 5,000 years old, respectively. This contradicts previous speculation that story collectors like the Brothers Grimm were relaying tales that were only a few hundred years old.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonianmag/fairy-tales-could-be-older-ever-imagined-180957882/#1C52PJEYphMEgXHd.99