The novel is finished!

I’ve been working on a novel for over a year. The final title: SECRETS LOST.
Here’s a synopsis. Let me know what you think.

Somewhere, just beyond her perception lies a mysterious truth that has eluded Morgan Hill. Wearing old spectacles she finds in an heirloom trunk, Morgan catches a glimpse of lost generations and exposes long forgotten family secrets. Her expansion and awakening begin to flourish when a young author, Yuri Bozek, visits her country inn. Deeply attracted to one another, Yuri and Morgan spend evenings by the fire while he leads her on a journey to remember the secrets and find the love that has eluded her.

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Howard, Affable & Clairvoyant

Meatball sized raindrops fell when I took the dogs out at 6:30 am, in the very dark, now that it’s daylight “savings” time. Andy, the 4 year-old Wheaten Terrier, looked at me as if to say, “Make it stop, I can’t work in these conditions,” while Howard, the Bichon Frise, just did what he needed to do and headed back to the porch. We could hear the Bard Owls talking to each other from either side of the little yard, “whoo-a whoo-a, whoo-cooks-for-youall.” They don’t mind the heavy rain.
This photo of Howard inspired a clairvoyant little character in the novel I’m writing, Secrets Lost Howard, gentle and affable, seems to understand things beyond his earthly experience. The baby chick, in a cameo appearance, helps to illustrate an important lesson near the end. I’m half-way to the finish line, about 100 pages left to write. The remainder of the story is in the middle.
This morning, as daylight hesitates, eagles sing like songbirds overhead, but this wet, windy day will make beach-walking unpleasant for dogs and humans. It’s perfect for getting lost in the middle.

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Perfect Inspirational Billet

Quiet moments are the norm at my Hood Canal cottage. Silence is broken by nature, rather than man-made obstacles to thought. While eagles seem to discuss nesting possibilities, the hummingbird hunkers down for winter in a tall bush on Teekalet Bluff, making tiny chirping sounds if I come too close.  The north wind combines with high winter tides producing rhythmic waves, and a clicking percussion of small rocks in receding salt water. Then the tympani beats the next wave. Each crunchy step is reminiscent of frozen snow. At low tide, a base of colorful rocks and wet sand support oyster and cockle shells, bleached white and weathered fragile by the metrical surf. A cool gust on my face smells of seaweed, salt, and wood smoke. Humidity nourishes my skin in weather that makes damp a verb. Sunlight is precious and rare on Hood Canal in winter. Days are short. If I unplug the telephone and turn off the computer, no unnatural sound disturbs me, just wind, and water, and birds. In all honesty, a plane might fly over, a fishing boat might pass, or the ice maker might drop its cache, but my solitude and inspiration remain un-compromised.

I need very little beyond rent, food, and utilities. My old Ford runs—usually, the cottage is warm—enough, I’m eating healthy food. Sometimes, when inspiration overpowers sleep, I wrap myself in a blanket and write until dawn.

The novel is coming along nicely. Secrets Lost begins on a B & B/llama ranch and ends on Hood Canal beach, but beyond that, it’s fiction. Conjured Irish mystics and Jewish Russian ancestors make cameo appearances. Like most novelists, I’m annexing and modifying real life—my own and others’, so a lot of this book is twisted truth—fiction.

To someone living a hectic life of cooperation and compromise, my writer’s escape might sound like the Buddha going into the forest, or a contemporary version of Thoreau’s On Walden Pond. My methods are less extreme but my purpose is similar. I want to live deliberately, while learning to awaken to the universe around me, unencumbered by unnatural and irrelevant noise, demands, and conflict, especially the ubiquitous and relentless wireless realm my career helped create.

If, as some suggest, each human on the planet radiates her or his energy into the world 100-fold, then maybe I’m doing my part.

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Living in a Dream

sunriseSince mature fir, cedar, and maple trees block the sun from the east, south, and west sides of the cottage, my point of observation is from the beach. Normally, I need to notify the landlord that I’ll be coming through, which is fine, but of course, I never call too early or too late. Recently, my neighbor to the east, Elizabeth Warren, encouraged me to use her access to the shore, anytime, day or night. So, at sunrise this morning, I descended to the beach with a mug of hot coffee, Mary Oliver’s House of Light and my little Sony camera. Sometimes the old Canon 5D and backpack full of lenses is too much. At high tide, intermittent fallen trees either restrict the path, or force wading knee deep in cold salt water, so my walk was short but sunny. I found a big, dry log, read for a while, then captured the early light with my camera.

As relaxed as humanly possible, I listened to the waves, eagles, gulls, and a creature that remains unidentified. Glutinous seals surfaced here and there, gorging on salmon, in season for humans as well. From behind a fallen tree, I watched my neighbor to the north, Chuck, also my landlord, row to his moored power boat. His constant companion, Bailey the brown labradoodle, stood like a hood ornament as they motored the canal to inspect their crab pots. I’m hoping that Chuck will share one more delicious fresh crab before the season ends on Monday.

better than the gymI forced myself up the stairs to my cottage and decided, before working on a client’s web design, I’d go to the post office in Port Gamble, one-half mile east. I drove the car since the tide prevented walking. Yes, I could have walked Highway 104, but its speeding traffic would have spoiled the mood.

Port Gamble, once a prosperous and bustling lumber town, sits on a bluff above the canal. Reluctant to return to my cottage-in-the-shade, as lovely as it is, I walked across the street to the General Store for coffee and a cinnamon roll to go, then sat on a picnic table in the warm sun. On the way home, I stopped at the locally grown produce kiosk. The farmer didn’t have carrots today but promised to harvest a bunch for me tomorrow.

beach treeWhile balancing my purchase, a melon, an apple, and a tomato, at the cottage door, an all-consuming sense of gratitude overwhelmed me. Andy and Howard jumped as if I’d been gone for hours. The clock said 12:00 noon. I had been gone for hours!

Time is insignificant when you’re living deliberately.

Life is but a dream -
Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da, sh-boom
Life is but a dream, it’s what you make it….

Songwriters, Hy Weiss and Raoul Cita, must have lived near here.

I think I’ll have lunch on the porch, it’s sunny there now.


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