You’ve finished your book and braved the querying trenches. You’ve signed with your dream agent, who has begun the process of submitting your novel to publishing houses. It can take months for responses to start coming in from editors, with no guarantee that there will be a publication contract at the end of it.
What do you do in this time of limbo and uncertainty, the waiting time?
I’ve been busy scribbling away, writing the last chapters of Traveling Light, when I knew it couldn’t wait any longer. I had to visit the horses!
I drove up to Montrose, NY on a drizzly Tuesday to visit my friend Will, his wife Beth, and their menagerie of chickens, horses, dogs, birds and soon goats. When I turned off the highway I passed rolling hills covered in apple orchards, the stunted trees like coral in a desiccated ocean sky. Now, two weeks later, I’m sure the trees are bursting in bloom.
I pulled into the driveway of Will and Beth’s charming farmhouse to find Will deshedding his quarter horse with long strokes of a metal curry comb, flaxen tufts of Merlin’s winter coat lifting in the breeze like milkweed pods. Over the next couple hours Merlin and I became acquainted as he looked at me with his wise, gentle eyes and let me bury my fingers in his mane. I pressed my nose to his side and breathed in the smell of hay and wind and soil. Merlin, apparently, likes to roll around in the dirt. When I held out my hand, he delicately plucked radishes from my palm, the satisfied crunch of his chewing reverberating from deep in his skull. Horses, Will told me, have two sets of teeth. Out in the pasture, I learned about a horse’s different gaits, and how a sound they can’t see, like dried leaves rattling over the grass, can spook them. It was a wonderful visit, and I was grateful to Will and Beth for their generosity.
Best of all, when I got home from my adventure June was ready for her big riding scene! She returned to discover…Whoops. No spoilers;-)
Now, back to the garret…
I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as a featured writer for Crack the Spine’s Wordsmith interview series! Editor Kerri Farrell Foley has done a super job with the interviews, asking pithy and entertaining questions that also offer insight into the creative process.
I invite my writer friends (which includes everyone, from those who have published full length books to those who have published posts on Facebook;-) to pick a question and answer it for themselves in the comment section at the end of the interview, which you can read here. Let’s keep the dialogue going!