Monday, July 25, 2011

On the way home...

On the way home! La route est longue, the French say. Eight hours from here to there. Between south Georgia and North Carolina or the reverse… Sandra and I have talked almost the whole way, in spite of the fact she didn’t go to bed until four this morning! My morning was busy today, Monday. Went into Black Mountain to attend an interview with a lovely lady named Barbara who works for the Black Mountain News. She obviously has done this type of interview before and put me at ease, even though I felt I stumbled through parts of it. As my mother reminds me, it was my first interview, so maybe I didn’t do too badly!
An important part of the interview for me came unexpectedly with some of the questions Barbara asked, taking me back to the beginning with Jill. My mentor Jill Jones, multi-published by St. Martin’s Press. She has seven books out. She took me literally under her wing, gave me advise, painstakingly helped me revise my first manuscript (which started life with over 700 pages!). I’ll never forget the red pen and how it took me at least three days to adjust to the changes needed each time I sent it to her and received it back. I would read them, put them down, take deep breaths, close my eyes and tell myself it was all right. Then I would wait a day or two, until I couldn’t stand waiting anymore. Only then would I wade in, take the plunge with both hands held high and swim among all that red. Before long I noticed that each time the red grew less and less. We went from her actually writing in the words that needed to be there, or something like those words, to ‘I understand what you’re trying to say here, but this needs different words, or sentence structure or direction’, to ‘this doesn’t work. Change it.’ To ‘I like this but not this, find out what’s wrong.’ She was a graceful editor, gentle but to the point. She didn’t let me off easy, but she made it easy to accept my deficiencies and grow. She cultivated me and my ‘potential’, didn’t overshadow me with her own obvious talent. She gave my seedlings sun and rain and clouds and good fragrant earth to grow in. Then she let me alone to grow. I can’t thank her enough. Someday when that first book sees the light of day it will be dedicated to her. Jill Jones. If you’re interested in reading her books you can find them at Emily’s Secret is the first, and my personal favorite.
We then went into Asheville to Malaprop’s Book store to ask about them carrying Evangeline’s Miracle before the book signing in September, so if someone wants to buy the book before the signing they can in a local bookshop. We’re also working on a local bookstore in Black Mountain proper.
Sandra was awake and ready to go once we returned to my sister’s house. Along with Mother and Tristan in her car, we passed by her house to say good bye to Greg, and then headed into the green of the road they live on, literally covered in some areas with kudzu. Such a destructive plant to be so green and beautiful. I wish someone would find a way to use it for some good. It must be worth something!
Listening to Duffy right now and loving it! Mercy! She sounds like a throwback to the 50’s in this song. Straight from Motown. This was the first song I heard of hers. I bought two of her albums the same day I heard them. Well well well was my next favorite, and now I have too many to count. Time flies while driving and listening to Duffy. And Jean-Jacques Goldman, Sinead O’Conner, and Paolo Nutini… and Procol Harem. I’m introducing Sandra to new music, for her anyway. I will write about the weekend tomorrow I hope. It’s too much to put all in one post. Wonderful and worth sharing… stay tuned….

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