"You are never too old to set another goal or
to dream a new dream."
I am dreaming a new dream and keep pinching myself to make sure I am awake.
Four years ago, I set out on a journey of discovery. I returned to Virginia where I once substitute taught in some schools and participated again in the Goose Creek Friends meetings. I walked old pathways, visited graveyards, dipped into vintage books about the Civil War, visited battlefields and museums, talked with locals, and fueled my dreams for writing a pre-Civil War novel for middle grade children.
I began writing my novel and reading it at my Cambria Writers group and with my Kiddie Writers. When I received their well considered critiques, I would zoom home and sit at my desk doing rewrites for hours. I plodded on and on, writing, rewriting, dreaming, doing research, and hoping that someday my book would become a reality.
Now, I am beyond happy to let you know that Random House/Delacorte Press has purchased my novel, which they will release in the fall of 2014.
I have a fresh stack of the absolutely necessary yellow tablets. When I am finished, there will be a stack of them filled with my field notes and footnotes.
So every day I am doing more rewrites, more research, and more little drawings for the book. I love this leg of the journey. Won't you join me as I work onward and upward?
Yesterday I visited our local AAA for a stack of maps. I cut them apart so that I could track my routes on the Underground Railroad.
Learning the names of the nearby rivers, creeks, and mountains.
I lay out all the maps on the floor in Mockingbird Studio. I'll use a yellow highlighter to indicate roads, farms, villages, and possible sites for stops. I love research.
To celebrate my new beginning, I am so happy to offer some wonderful give-aways to readers who leave a comment on this posting. (Remember, if you leave a comment as "Anonymous," begin your comment with "Sharon." All others go to my spam filter.)
First, a double Mayan hammock (regular price $54.99), courtesy of Serenity Health and Home Decor. What a great place to welcome the coming of Spring.
And, an illustrated journal of the travels of the famed naturalist Carl Linnaeus will be added to the give-away if lucky winner is a member of The Grimy Hands Girls' Club. (Sign up for the club if you're not already a member). This is a delightful read with lovely illustrations. Drawing will be in a couple of weeks.
Sending love across the miles,
P.S. Kathy (in comments) left a note about the AAA maps not cutting it because town names etc. change. She is right, but mountain ranges, river courses, creeks, etc. don't change (unless a dam is built), but I use my trusty links to historic societies and primary sources to secure maps of the time such as this plan of one of the towns I am featuring. Actually, one of the main towns I'm writing about went through a name change during the times of the Civil War. Just wanted to make this clear to all of you.