Page Change

Whoa.  I just looked at my last blog, and realized how long I’ve been gone!  Well, not really gone.  I’ve been here at my desk the whole time, plugging away at my new book.  But now we’re into October, and sweet corn is passé in New England.  What’s in?  Apples and cranberries (the picture below is actually of cranberries).  Ginger and yams.  Cool nights.  Fall foliage.

Fresh red cranberries

I’ve lived in New England all my life.  My favorite place to vacation is the desert, since its flora and fauna is so different from here, but could I live without our seasonal change?  I doubt it.  Fall in New England is breathtakingly beautiful.  The leaves turn tree by tree, some red, some orange, some yellow.  On a sunny day, the colors are brilliant,  But bring on a strong rain, and those leaves hit the ground in no time flat.

If you haven’t seen my Facebook page, click here to see the cover photo I just posted.  I took it in New Hampshire, where typically New England cemeteries stand at the stop of typically steep roads, where, in theory, the gravestones of typically beloved forebears are closer to God.  The foliage is gorgeous in this shot, though, by now, the peak color is gone.  Soon the trees will be bare and then covered with snow.


Or not.  When I was growing up, the year was defined by school vacations.  That changed briefly in my pre-parenting years, when I was working outside the home.  Once I had kids, the school schedule resumed, and fall meant back-to-school nights, basketball tryouts, shopping trips for school supplies and sweaters and coats.  My kids are still into that schedule, now with their kids.  But me?  It’s about writing.  Gray November days are perfect for hunkering in and going nowhere.  Same with snowy ones in December and January.  By February and March, the end of my book will be in sight, sparking a momentum all its own.

That new book?  Aha.  You were wondering about it, waiting patiently for early word.  But first, let me thank all of you who read Sweet Salt Air and posted such amazing comments.  When this kind of thing happens, I go into self-doubt mode, convinced – absolutely convinced – that I can never write a book as good and am therefore doomed to disappoint my readers.  So let me say, right off the bat, that the book I’m currently writing is very, very different from Sweet Salt Air.  I’ll need a title that is very different as well, though the powers that be haven’t come up with it yet.  Here’s what I can tell you, though.

It’s about a mother and daughter who are forced to compete professionally for the same job.

It’s about the fragility of life and its knack of changing in a split second of time.

It’s about beautiful old Victorian homes and sleek white condos, racy convertibles and dusty pickups, rescue cats and bully dogs.

It’s about sex and the fifty-year-old woman; it’s about sex and the thirty-year-old one.

Lots of good stuff, dragging me back there right now.  I’ll tell you more when the snow flies, but if you’re impatient, please know that I’m writing as fast as I can.

I’m also boiling cranberries.  The simplest, healthiest seasonal dessert can be made by simply boiling cranberries in enough water to barely cover, until they get all fat and soft, adding sugar or honey for sweetness, stirring and cooling a little.  If you add apple slices while cooking, your kitchen will smell amazing.  If you add orange slices while cooking, then chop in a blender, you get a wonderful homemade orange-cranberry sauce.  My husband and I love this for breakfast!

Got a good cranberry recipe?

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  1. Patty Vickery on October 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Thank=you,thank=you, thank=you for letting Leo and Charlotte stay together! I loved your book from beginning to end, (even though I guessed where it was going early on) So many times books have a sad ending. thank-you again for letting it end on a happy scale! Be the way, I knew it was going to be good when I ordered from the library and they told me that I had to wait for 120 others to read it first!!! Looking forward ro your next one! Patty Vickery

  2. Natalie on October 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Autumn is a season where the earth burst forth in bold, vibrant colors just before it rests for the winter. I guess we can say that Autumn is the earth’s last hurrah before winter frost and chill sets in. We , the residents of New York and New Jersey, are equally blessed to witness nature’s pallet of colors each Fall. The fresh produce including a delicious variety of squash, apples and cruciferous vegetables are abundantly available at local farmer’s markets.

    I have a FB page, Natalie’s Nutritious Nibbles, where readers can fine recipes, gardening tips, craft ideas and share their knowledge. It’s just plain old ordinary fun…give it a try…give it a “like” and a “share.”

    Happy Fall! Happy Halloween! Natalie

  3. Esther Sargrad on October 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I just this minute finshed reading “Sweet Salt Air”.
    I don’t know how to tell you how much I loved reading it.
    It is completely different from most of your books.
    I am so fortunate..I found the book on the table in the library under New Books..14 days.
    So I didn’t have to wait on line to order it, as I usually do.
    Thank you so much for making me feel great!
    Keep writing. I do love your work.

    • Mary Jo Reitsema on October 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Leo and Charlotte were wonderful characters, so vulnerable and yet so strong. Charlotte’s description of Leo as “honest” also fits your depiction of the two of them. I’ve always enjoyed your books, but this one touched me more than any of the others, for some reason. Thank you for writing a book I didn’t want to end.

  4. Teresa South on November 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Absolutely loved “Sweet Salt Air”! Did not want it to end so I SSSSLLLLOOOWWLLLYY read the last few chapters. I have read your books for years and you are my favorite for sure. Looking forward to your next. Can’t wait. Thank you so much for ALL the wonderful reads.

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