‘Hair Cut…Two Bits’…. Nostalgia – (part 6)

Just because……….the few people that have purchased or read my first book of poetry seemed to love this story the most, I thought I would share it with my readers.

cathedral, New Orleans, history, music This story originated from old papers, receipts and journals owned by Marcel Guerman that I found in a trunk in the attic of a building on Camp Street in New Orleans.  The building was being renovated into apartments and I was to be the first tenant.  My third floor walk-up looked out on St. Patrick’s cathedral. (seen here)  One day we crept up to the attic to take a look. Among the many things in the attic was a single, cherrywood door of an armoire that I have to this day. Off in a corner was a leather and metal ribbed trunk forgotten for decades. As I read pawn tickets, journals, papers of this stranger’s life, from decades earlier,  I could envision this European man as clearly as if he stood next me.    I wrote the first draft in 1979. Continue reading “‘Hair Cut…Two Bits’…. Nostalgia – (part 6)”

Inspiration Mixed with Research = New Novel! (part 2)

alaska, northern lights, fiction, best sellers, alaska, Yukon,            I am taking a small break this morning from writing. I have written 37,000 (of 75,000) words of my new novel,  “Song of the Yukon”.  One of the Guyer sisters, family stories, writing, journaling, story telling, Alaska, research, sisters,LaVerne, has run away to  Alaska to write her music. (far left in photo)  This novel was inspired by the true story of my auntie living in Alaska and the poetry of Robert Service. By the way, have you read anything by him? It’s worth it, I promise!

I wanted to talk about research for a moment.  Just fifteen years ago research for this book (set in the 1920’s in Alaska) would have meant hours and hours in the library and a mountain of reference books. NOW?!!??

It’s just two clicks of the mouse and I can find anything I need on line. How long to sail from Seattle to Anchorage in 1922? Was there rail service to Fairbanks in the 20’s? Was there river travel from Fairbanks to Tanana where my story will take place? What was the name of the trading post in Fairbanks back then? AMAZING!!!

I have even been able to research the languages of the Upper and Lower Tanana native Alaskan.

Then I got a bright idea!  My heroine is writing music, right? So the very least I should do is have some of her lyrics in my story.   I am not a musician other than singing in the shower.  So I called on my dear friend, Ben Rafuse, who is a professionally, trained pianist and composer.  He is collaborating, with me, on the music that LaVerne writes and with luck, we will end by publishing the sheet music for Ben’s original songs  in the back of the book and even offer a download.  I’ve mentioned before how much I love to collaborate with others.

So, if you can’t reach me…..it’s because I’m deep in the wilds of the Yukon….at least on the inside!
NOW Available!  My new novel,  Wild Violets”  for sale here and on www.amazon.com
DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!    Join us at the Writer’s Corner! I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Caroline Leavitt, Sue Grafton, Karen Robards, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!   Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.  Later this year we will feature Andrew Grant and Karen Robards.

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One Candle Can Light Another

A good friend called me the other day; He’s a very accomplished pianist and musical director. He was reading my book of poetry, Butterflies and Bullets. He went on to say that while reading my work he kept hearing music in his head. And could I give him permission to use my poetry for lyrics. What a compliment! He said he was especially taken with, “Hair-cut…Two Bits”, about a down-and-out cellist, gambler and barber in New Orleans.

We artists, regardless of what we do or what we write should lift each other up whenever or wherever we can.  When I review a book I make certain that my review (if bad) lists helpful and constructive criticism and never cruel. 

It is my hope that my posts relating to writing helps a new writer begin their journey in writing….and helps experienced writer learn something  new.