(Top) My desk in Vermont.
About the Author. (me)
At various points in my life, I thought I might grow up to be a fashion designer or violinist. Writing wasn’t for me, although there was a magnanimous A- for the short story I wrote in junior high about a mean teacher whose students turn on him in an extreme way. There wasn’t a happy ending, at least not for the teacher.
I’m pretty sure my own teacher—a strapping six-foot-tall, take-no-prisoners type who could keep 28 junior high students quiet for the duration of her class—thought the story was about her. It was actually about the grumpy guy who taught English across the hall.
The minus attached to my A was all about the story’s fabulously wonky spelling. Spellcheck eventually solved my spelling problems, which stem from a slight dyslexia that often attaches to left-handed people—at least that’s my excuse. Thank goodness for my writing goddess pal and copyeditor supreme, Carolyn Haley. If you ever need help with developmental or copy editing, I can’t recommend her enough. FIND CAROLYN HERE
I was in elementary and high school during the late 1960s through the mid- ’70s when a lot of experimental education was being thrown at the wall (of students) to see what would stick. One failed experiment included not teaching me and my classmates a single thing about prepositions, past participles, possessive whatevers, and the like. Nevertheless, all the academic papers I wrote in high school and college received grades that moved me on to the next level. I give credit for that to my mother. She received her elementary education in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Connecticut during the 1930s. It was a fine education and she passed a few writing tips on to me, although diagraming sentences wasn’t part of her pass-along.
But I digress.
What I feel compelled to say is that looking back on my education as a graphic designer and musician, I see that novel writing isn’t as surprising a leap as I supposed. I have a vivid image-based imagination that allows me to envision a scene down to the tiniest details. Plus, I have a musical ear left over from my violin-playing days that allows me to hear when a sentence is wrong, even if I can’t recognize a main clause from Santa Claus.
Sometimes it is exciting to do what is a little scary and challenging. Writing novels is both for me, but I reached a point where I knew how to do good design work and was ready for a different kind of challenge. The result is Willing. I had so much fun writing Willing that I plan to keep going. I’m already writing my next novel, a story about Arielle, the best friend of Willing’s heroine, Liz.
The first thing d was that the entire parking lot was covered in old pieces of carpet …
The ground turns a deep periwinkle blue in spring as a carpet of Chionodoxa bloom …
If you ever told me—rugged Vermont individualist I consider myself to be—that I would walk a dog dressed in coat and boots, I would have taken offense.
I’m content. Or rather, I was content until C. made his entrance.
—Willing | READ AN EXCERPT