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The Generosity of Readers

The light and shadow, solidity and wisp, Autumn. I had more brilliant pictures of Fall color more intense than any here since I arrived eighteen years ago. But this one captures best the complexity of my readers' comments and the effect they have had on my re-write of Widow's  Walk. Five talented and generous people have now read my first draft, and a few more are right in the middle of it. Already their comments are giving the narrative more depth and filling it in where I took too much for granted.

I spend from three days to a week or more with each reader, returning to the narrative through their eyes, listening as deeply as is possible for me to their questions, suggestions, confusions, reactions. Each reader has his or her unique gift that motivated me to request their assistance, from personal experience with the flow and content in this novel, to a particularly accomplished sense of literary structure, to a creative ability with language, to a habit of reading contempl…
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The Vanishing Point

Here's a photo snapped at sunset off the Oregon Coast while my author husband and I were spending a few days on a writing retreat. My new novel, Widow's Walk, had just reached a scene in which the main character, a widow, is instructed to look into the vanishing point. How could I communicate how terrifying this was for her, but at the same time, compelling?

John and I had just finished an early dinner at the Asana Bistro and returned to our cabin to sit on the bench while the sun went down. We'd watch for the green flash. But what I saw was something that, because of the story I've been trying to tell for months now, felt even more stunning. I was looking right out over the ocean at was was clearly the vanishing point. The clouds, the water, the point of light, all those colors around that SPACE just shook me with a realization that I needed, somehow, to get into my book.

Twice in this life I have been widowed. I know the secrets that widows hesitate to tell. About a…

Carol in the Hand of God