Saturday, November 2, 2019

The season of gold

The publishing contract for the book I'm collaborating on was signed yesterday, and now it's official. In theory, I'm not supposed to start writing until my first payment is received, but my subject is the soul of integrity, so I have been writing ever since our kickoff meeting at the end of September. It's hard finding my way in. I have to somehow break open the chapter summaries I crafted for the proposal, set most of it aside, and rethink each chapter more spaciously. In the entire month of October, I managed a single chapter, the second one, since chapter one was already written for the proposal. I drafted the introduction as well, though I'm not sure it will survive in its current form, but for now it's there, holding space. Chapter two was hard to figure out, as my subject's memory from that period is sketchy, and secondary sources are only partially accurate. But now, I have 5,524 words of a chapter, and in editing what I'd written yesterday, I happened upon the perfect sentence to open it, a sentence that was originally halfway down the first page, and when I got to it, it shimmered and said choose me.  I love when that alchemy happens. I'm still editing, as the chapter is pretty rough yet, but I will start on the third chapter next week. I'll begin by doing a fresh interview with my subject to get new stories for it, or new takes on old stories, and I've already made a list of areas to pursue that will take me beyond the lockjaw of the three page summary in the proposal. Writing is hard, y'all. I'm not yet at the stage of hearing celestial choruses because I love the work I do. In fact, right now I think I just imagined that there ever comes such a stage.

It's been a rather special couple of weeks in my family, and I have a raft of pictures I've not yet shared. Here are some.

Last Saturday, our two families celebrated our children's engagement to be married. There was so much laughter and shared joy. My son's fiancée has felt like a daughter to me right from the beginning, so I couldn't be happier that she and my son will be making it official. 

Here's my son's lovely fiancée with her sister-in-law (her brother's wife) on the right and her sister-in-law to be (my daughter) on her left. One of the realities of young people hitching their lives together is the linking of families. When it's congenial, it's a gift indeed.

The newly engaged couple posed with her grandmother, who I'm told adores my son.

These two got teased all day with suggestions that they would be "next up to bat." 

I brought home tulips for the man on his birthday.

 My daughter and her boyfriend are fostering a hyperactive six-month-old pup named Sarah. We all fell in love with her, especially my niece and my son.

We are a family that tells stories, especially the men named Radford.

 Definitely not an HGTV kitchen, but there was something about the light. Heck, I was even feeling some affection for the well-trod look of the scuffed floor.

And now back to work. No such thing as weekends when you work for yourself. I love writing at the dining table when the trees are so boastfully spilling their light. In a week those branches will be bare. I'm relishing nature's extravagance while I can.


  1. I feel so caught up now! Thank you! Your family is just the most beautiful. It's the love and it's the way the love makes everyone glow.
    Like your kitchen which I think I would feel most comfortable in.
    Your writing is going to be amazing. We all know that. Maybe not YOU but we all do.
    Love you, woman. Love you to pieces.

  2. In the fall the yellow and orange trees seem to have an inner source of light, don't they? The one in your photos is absolutely glowing.

    What wonderful photos of family! Good luck with your writing.

  3. Just delightful are your words "boastfully spilling their light"(clap clap)

  4. Such a beautiful family, a wonderful happy time for you all! I love that well worn floor, it shows it’s been a productive lived in home!

  5. Congratulations on the book deal. I love reading about how you write. And the photos of family, I loved those too. The leaves here are all on the ground now. It's snowed a couple of times but nothing to speak of and it's already melted, but winter's coming.

  6. Your beautiful loving family just expanded. How lovely. The photos show great joy. Your book project sounds both challenging and rewarding. The Fall color seems to be at peak, the air is quite cool and crisp, soon it will be hat, coat and gloves weather. Enjoy. Susan

  7. You’re a beautiful writer, just the phrase “boastfully spilling their light” brings me joy. Your lovely family brings me joy.

  8. what an amazing view out your window as fleeting as it may be. we don't get color like that, at least not often. I know what you mean about no weekends when you work for yourself. or when you are a creative. you work when the muse tells you. and what a lovely joined family.

  9. Such a beautiful family. And I lover reading about how the perfect sentence said, choose me. That's what makes you a writer.

  10. Your happiness flows with every letter typed on this page. I love reading about your book, your work, your family. All of it full of such beauty. Thank you for writing it down and sharing the light with us.

  11. I love all the photos and that your lovely family is growing! Congratulations.

  12. The trees are beautiful. I do miss that about the east. Seattle gets a tiny bit, but most of those trees are evergreens. The desert doesn't color up in the fall. Your writing process is interesting. Since I can't do that, it's fascinating to learn how it's done.

  13. So much happiness happening in your life! Your soon to be daughter's grandmother obviously is extremely happy because she just Beams in the photo of the 3 of them. Isn't it just wonderful when families Unite?
    I just had to smile about the scuffed floor. How many miles has that floor seen and how many meals, snacks and conversations has that floor seen and heard?
    I always wanted to be a writer. I spent many hours filling up spiral notebooks with stories while my kids were little. I never did quite adapt to the computer for an entire so called book but I still write in those spiral notebooks. Some of the things I have written are not half bad. Yep I just gave myself a pat on the back lol.
    Funny my granddaughter and I were discussing terrariums this morning. Remember when we went to Fredericksburg and stayed at the moldy hotel lol? Our fish Cappy died that morning and I still have his aquariums and Cathy and I were talking about making terrariums out of the aquariums. Nice to see that yours is so pretty. xx

  14. Thank you for sharing these happy moments in your family's life. It was wonderful to see so many happy smiles.


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