New Novel Begins Today

My next novel is concerned with extended families and adoption. My mother was raised by her aunt, and always knew she had two older brothers. But she didn’t know she had a younger brother until she was 35. So I’m interviewing her to learn more about how that all worked out. She’s given me a few surprises already.

Making Positive Predictions

I was playing Bejeweled 3. If you’re one of the six people who don’t know what that is, it’s a matching game. I was trying to line up five red jewels to make a cube (cubes are good). But I suddenly found that the only move I could make without sacrificing my existing cube was to set off a bomb that would blow up several of my red jewels, and lose the opportunity to make a cube.

Here’s where this has meaning in real life. I had faith that setting off the bomb would rearrange the jewels in such a way that I could make another cube. I had faith that something good would come of something not so good.

And I find this happens a lot in life. If you look for it.

And, of course, I now have two cubes on my game screen.

 

 

 

I am the God of little things

Like flowers

And pebbles

And ladybugs

The drops of sweat from a hard day of good work

A sip of tea on a summer day

 

I am the God of the swatches

Of the fabric of life

Are We There, Yet?

The editing project is getting closer to being done. I’m on page 290 of 360. Once that’s done, it’s on to the next novel. Yay.

It’s been raining here. The kids got out of school June 12th, and it’s rained every day but one since. We’re supposed to see 90 this weekend. Man, it’s gonna feel like Alaska!

Artificial Extended Families

I don’t apologize for being a Kurt Vonnegut fanatic. I’ve read all of his novels. Timequake was my favorite.  I liked Jailbird and Breakfast of Champions a lot, too.

One of Vonnegut’s novels that gets maligned a bit is Slapstick or Lonesome No More! Even Vonnegut said it wasn’t his best work. He was right. But it had a message of hope, in a post-apocalyptic world, that people could still connect with other people. Even if you didn’t know where your family was, and records were lost due to catastrophe, you could still make new friends by choosing a flower and a number for your middle name. So I could have been Vince Daffodil-37 Dickinson.

You could be Guest Hollyhock-9 Blogger.

So any Hollyhock would be like a fourth cousin. Anyone with a 9 in their name would be like someone who graduated from the same college as you. And imagine how cool it would be to meet another Hollyhock-9!

I like this idea so much that my next novel is going to be about extended families. And, ok, the decision was also inspired by circumstances very close me. My mother was raised by her aunt (whom I have always just thought of as Grandma, may she rest in peace). And she had three brothers who were raised by other families. The sister she was raised with was really her cousin, but to me she is Aunt Nameremovedforprivacy.

Also, three of my six kids have siblings they have never met (via other parents). Some of them are in another country. I think it would be pretty cool for them to meet those siblings.

And the reason I think it would be pretty cool is that this just happened with my best friend. When our state opened adoption records in 2000, he got himself a copy. All it had was her name and an address. He didn’t even have a name then. As he was 31 at the time, there was no reason to believe that address had anything to do with his birth mom. And so the document went into his safe and rested for 13 years.

He had a change of circumstances recently, and the safe came to his attention. He and I looked at the document and I said, “Let’s find her.”

So we did. And he met her for the first time this weekend. And her husband. And we had already met his two half-brothers (one in cyberspace only due to his Canadianality) before that.

So all of that (and Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slapstick or Lonesome No More!) inspired the premise for my next novel, which has a working title of the same name as the main character.

I’ll let you know more as I write it.