As Arborview’s September 29 publication date draws near, I’m sharing another snippet from the novel. Here, Ellen ponders the state of her life and what—if any—advice she should give to her student Rosa.
Because both Ellen and Rosa are pastry chefs, dessert plays a big role in Arborview. Visit me on Instagram,where I’m sharing snapshots of some of the dishes featured. Please follow, like, and share!
The Kindle version of Arborview is already available as a pre-order on Amazonand elsewhere.
Here’s today’s excerpt:
This was how she had come to think of herself: a divorced person. She disliked “divorcée,” which Alice liked to throw about suggestively. The word had the faint stink of misogyny, of finger-pointing, the whisper of failure—more so a woman’s than a man’s. Why was that? American men were simply “divorced,” a neutral proclamation. No cutesy French name had been borrowed to designate their failed-marriage status.
And in truth, if Ellen had failed anyone, she had failed herself. This stinging little insight had come to her in Arborview, lying in dappled sunlight, where she was free to look at things and creep near the truth. The truth was she had fallen like a stone to the earth after all these years, and the voice she had learned to ignore had only grown louder. She had abandoned, or at least shelved, herself long before Zach worked up the courage to do it.
She really should tell Rosa: “Don’t worry about what your mother thinks, or your brother, or anyone else. Choose, or the world will do it for you.” This was what the girl needed to hear.
The galley proof for my new novel, Arborview, arrived just as I returned from my Collegeville Institute writing fellowship this week. My editor sent the galley with explicit instructions to proof carefully. This is the final step before publication. It’s the last chance to catch typos, misspellings, and all the little dings that make you cringe when you see them in print.
But before I dive in, I want to share some of the key takeaways from my workshop, which was led by writing coach Michael McGregor. It was such a rich, vibrant experience, exploring writing and faith and the many ways they can intersect. Our group of 12 included poets, essayists, nonfiction writers, fiction writers, and clergy members. So many perspectives, so much talent—I have pages of notes to mull over. And I miss everyone already.
I definitely miss my workshop writing spot:
Here are some insights and inspirations from the week that really hit home. I hope they help you, too:
Writing needs to be human, above all.
Whatever is withheld, is lost.
Hardness of heart is, in fact, weakness. Open yourself up to what’s really inside.
Spiritual lives are ever renewed and ever fresh.
When working with language, strive for what is true, necessary, and possible.
As writers, we are trying to capture, in words, a fleeting reality that is constantly rushing past us.
A good story doesn’t resolve, but it finds a place to rest.
Be wise on the page. We tend to denigrate our own wisdom. We don’t put it out on the page. We hide it. You have to dare to be wise, to make a statement that is wise on the page. Those are the gems that stick with people. – Michael N. McGregor
Feeling stuck, discouraged? To infuse your writing with a sense of joy, try this little exercise: write about something you truly love. Whether it’s your child, or chocolate chip cookies, capture on paper all the beauty and connection and meaning it brings.
I am so, so excited to begin my weeklong writing fellowship at the amazing Collegeville Institute tomorrow! One week to do nothing but write, make new writer friends, and work with author Michael McGregor in individual coaching sessions!
Yes, I’m still pinching myself. Yes, I’m feeling pretty blessed to have been selected!
Author DV Stone was kind enough to feature “Arborview” and me on her blog, in a fun feature, today. Take a peek. Looks like I’m going to have a September release! I’m waiting on the date… Cheers, Karen
My publisher has just revealed the cover for my forthcoming novel, “Arborview.” I really and truly love it. The designer captured the spirit of the book so well.
It’s a little nerve-wracking waiting for your cover, hoping that the publisher’s vision meshes with your vision, especially since the publisher — who’s paying for all this — has the final call! I couldn’t be more pleased.
Thanks to novelist Darlene Fredette for giving my forthcoming novel, Arborview, its first bit of early publicity. Darlene has dubbed this month February Fur-ever, and she’s featuring writers and their dogs on her cool blog, Finding the Write Words.
I have the most wonderful news. My new novel, Arborview, will be published next year.
Yes, you heard right. The contract has been signed. Final edits are underway, and so is the cover design. The Wild Rose Press, a well established and growing publisher, has purchased the rights, and I’m working with a super supportive and generous editor.
I’m still pinching myself. It’s a magical way to kick off the holiday season, and some good news to cap off a year that’s been so difficult for all of us.
I don’t have a release date yet, but it will be in 2021, and I’ll keep you all posted. While I’m on that theme, I want to thank the friends and colleagues who’ve helped me bring this book–which has been in the works for six years–to life. They know who they are, and I’ve got a hefty “Acknowledgements” section in the novel.
It goes without saying that Cathy has been on this ride from the beginning, through multiple revisions and moments of hair-tearing doubt. She is irreplaceable, and the best editor I’ll ever have. I’m not going to say I love her, because she already knows it.
Writing a novel is like running a marathon. You dig deep and push with all you have. Now we’re crossing the finish line.
It isn’t every day dreams come true. Thanks for being part of mine.
Here’s hoping the blessings of the holiday season–large and small–bring us all comfort this year.