Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stumbling Toward Fall

I cannot believe it was July 22 the last time I wrote! I'm beginning to sound like my grandmother when I can't help but repeatedly say, "Where did all that time go?"

It felt like I was glued to the television weather channels this summer watching all the crazy storms and earthquakes everywhere in the world. We just went through a weird cycle ourselves here in SoCal (though nothing dangerous like much of the rest of the country). It was very, very hot--in the 100's even at the coast, which is odd for us. This last Saturday I woke to thunder and lightning and a downpour! Then it was as muggy as the Florida Keys. The thunder threw Boo for a loop. We have gotten it occasionally in the seven years we've owned him, but it's never bothered him since it was usually so far away. Our rare thunder sounds very much like the fireworks at Disneyland (ten miles from us) so he was used to the sound. But this thunder shook our windows and he'd run up to the door barking thinking someone was trying to get in.

My heart goes out to the parts of our country who really suffered with weather catastrophes this summer. Here's hoping and praying that autumn will be filled with good, cool, DRY weather (except in Texas where they desperately need rain) and no more earthquakes or hurricanes.

I've been stumbling toward finishing this latest book--The Cattle Singer. I'm still not entirely sure that will be the title. I might even change it to The Cattle Singers as there are actually two people in the book who fit the description of those people who can sing to herds of cattle and keep them calm. I've been reading and watching all the crazy stuff going on in publishing, including the closing of Borders. I was published in 1992 so I've been in this business during a very unique time. We're watching a paradigm shift and it's both interesting and somewhat dismaying. Will "real" books survive? Will mid-list writers like me have a career in this business? Will they really stop teaching cursive writing in school?

This will not change. People will tell stories. And people will want to hear stories. How that happens is anyone's guess, but stories will continue as long as people are on this earth.

I asked recently on my Facebook page what books people loved that they liked to reread. I gave a few of mine (Cakewalk by Lee Smith; The Novel by James Michener; In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason; During the Reign of the Queen of Persia by Joan Chase...I could go on for pages). What people posted gladdened my heart because people had so many and varied books they loved enough to reread. For a writer, that is the ultimate compliment...not that someone would read your book (though we do love that), but that someone finds it worthy enough to reread. When you do that you are giving the writer your most precious commodity--Time. So, thank you to all who've reread my books. And thanks to the writers who've written the books I love to reread.

Onward to Fall--hot cocoa, chili with cheddar cheese, chicken pot pie, peach cobbler and good books to read on a crisp, cool day. Yeehaw Autumn!

Happy Trails, Earlene