It has been almost a year since my collection of stories, A Flower in the Heart of the Painting, was published. I get asked when the next one is coming out. I sometimes wonder if people are disappointed when I tell them, “Not for a long time.” More often people ask me if I am writing another book. Now that’s a different question. Yes, of course. I was writing that first book of stories for ten years or so. I’m not about to stop the habit of writing. Am I writing anything that might be a novel or another collection? I sure hope so.
I used to believe if I told people what I was currently writing about, it would somehow doom the project. I would try to be close-mouthed about my endeavors. That sounds like superstition, and I’m not superstitious. So here’s to all you curious readers out there: I’m writing a long story (hopefully it will extend into a novel) about a family who has moved from suburban life to a dairy farm. The father, who made the decision, is changed, and the rest of the family tries to understand how to live in all the upheaval. The mother is an artist (of course!). And the nearest town is based on a town I am familiar with, which boasts many outdoor sculptures. The sculptures will be important/interesting as the story goes on, and I have an idea that the sculptor’s direct descendant might be an important character in the story as well. I’m not very far along yet, so the story is very malleable.
I’ve been reading a lot of Bronte and admiring their excellent characterization, and their captivating dialogue. I have read Portrait of a Lady by Henry James twice, but I’m feeling like I need a reread now. I love the psychological depth of his writing. And I’ve been interested in the “stream of consciousness” idea. I’m not sure I can do that sort of writing to its full extent, but when I try, I come up with some interesting ideas (and the first few lines generally need cutting).
I hope to write another post in the near future to let you know about the publication of a shorter work. I can’t always be working on a long piece:)