Well, folks, after taking a year and a half off, I’m back. I don’t promise to blog on a regular basis, but I do promise to write as I’m inspired. I don’t know how daily bloggers have the time! Time? Isn’t that supposed to come with retirement? Hardly. My days are filled with more than ever – but at least I’m doing what I love – writing about the history and landscape of women, California, and the future we’re shaping – all part of my novel – The Desk. (Note: “The Desk” was the former working title for “Heart Wood” before 2020)
In my last blog (April 2014 – really?!) I had just taken on the editorship of our community’s small newspaper – The Camptonville Courier – rescuing it from near drowning. Nineteen issues later, it’s again thriving.
In spite of being distracted by running a newspaper (which I love), I’ve made decent progress on my novel this year. I’m semi-disciplined to rise before dawn and with a steaming cup of coffee, write for a few hours. The darkness keeps the real world out, and I can float back into Great-Grandmother’s world of 1850-1915, or forward to the future world of Great-Granddaughter, Amisha, end of this century and into the 2100’s, or stay right in the present and witness the slow deterioration of our planet.
Like the racing tortoise, (slowly, but Shirley), I’ve been steadily working on this book for over six years now. As I look back at 2014, I’m amazed at some of my accomplishments.
First, the novel is now fully fleshed out, thanks to a few personal writing retreats at Skyline Harvest Retreat Center. Having days alone with few interruptions enables me to immerse myself in the other worlds I’m creating. There’s an unseen energy at Skyline that beckons me into a much deeper place.
I’ve made a few historical site visits. Woodland, Yolo County, is where my Great-Grandmother lived and worked. I drove past where the family farm used to be (now a trailer, rusted cars and barking dogs), and left a bouquet of lavender on her grave in the Woodland cemetery. This summer I followed traces of her little-known life in the Nevada Desert before California – but that’s another blog!
I’m now standing at a new plateau in writing this novel, getting ready to interweave the three women’s stories with the legacy they inherited with the desk. Time to get out the cork board and move those 3X5 cards around.
© All materials copyright Shirley DicKard, 2015, except as otherwise noted.