Labor-less Day

Labor Day 2011 found me home from a weekend at New River. Sitting in front of the computer keying in this weeks blog. Then trying to finish up the final edit of my next novel, The Color of My Heart. Before long I’ll be printing out the completed copy. Then, as with my other novels I’ll let one of my best friends, Kay Martin read it. I’ve also promised another good friend, Shelby O’Toole that she can read it too. My daughter, Wendy might want to read through it again since there have been many changes since she read it last year.


It has been a bit over two years since I started this novel. It took me about fourteen months to write the first draft. That was October of last year, so the other ten months have been spent editing, and re-writing. I should have finished it up several months ago, but I took some time off to spend with my sick aunt during her last days.


There is so much emotion that goes into writing a novel. I’ll always remember this one as the one I breathed life into as my aunt was breathing her last. It’s sad to think she’ll never be able to read this novel. Oh well, enough of all this gloomy talk. I am so excited about this manuscript. My editor and I are working on the synopsis for the back cover this week, while I finish up the edit.


I guess you could say I’m laboring on this Labor Day, but it’s hard to call what you love doing as labor. I’ve found during this past year that writing a book is the easy part. Promoting it is a whole new ballgame: Festivals, book clubs, schools, and individuals. I’ll tell my story to anyone who will listen. I’ve got several festivals lined up over the next eight weeks.


This Saturday I’ll be in Winston-Salem at BookMarks Festival of Books. The festival will be held on Sixth and Trade Streets, from 10:00am-5:00pm. I will be at the Main Stage area in booth number twelve, with author Angela Kear. This should be a fun day if the weather holds out and the hurricane that’s riding out in the Atlantic doesn’t decide to pay us a visit. I love these gatherings. I suppose because I enjoy talking, especially about my work. It’s sometimes tiring, but I still have a hard time calling it labor.


Then on Saturday, September 24 I’ll be at The Pumpkin Festival in Elkin with Richard Nance. Richard and I always have a good time sharing booths at festivals. If you haven’t read his novels look him up on the Internet. The name of his series is The Hidden World Chronicles.  I loved his books. They make you wonder what’s “really” going on in this world.


Next, Richard and I will be at The Davie County Festival of Books in Mocksville, Saturday, October 1 from 9:00am-4:00pm, Shelton Vineyards on Saturday, October 8, and the Dobson Fall Festival Saturday, October 22. Please come out and join us and enjoy the beautiful fall days.


Well to keep it short and sweet I’m going to sign off, but not before I share with you a few words from my next novel. I can’t wait for people to start reading it.



November 1858

Jekyll Island, Georgia


Just like every morning when I woke up on the ship, I look down at my toes. Then I wiggle them, so I can feel them too. That first night, a rat chewed the ends right off a little young’un’s foot. That boy looked to be about half a year, just old enough to be cutting his first tooth, which made him sort of fitful.

When the morning light shown into our dungeon, his momma saw the real reason he screamed all night long. When she saw them little baby toes all chewed up, she sat into screaming too. So momma took the baby boy, and when the water got to us, Momma poured a lot of it over the nubs. The blood made a little creek that swirled around our feet. All the peoples pushed back away from the bloody mess, back against the boards of the pit. Into the darkness where the bugs and spiders lived, I think I am more scared of spiders than blood so I stayed with momma and that young’un.

Then Momma started a movin’. She took her underslip and tore off pieces and wrapped them real tight around that boy’s foot. That baby finally cried till I reckon there was no cryin’ left in him and he fell asleep.  Then his own momma took him back.

Momma’s white underslip turned bright red where it was wrapped around that little fellers feet. I know what’s under them blood-soaked rags. I close my eyes and try not to see, but I know I won’t ever forget what chewed up baby toes look like!

I hope this made you want more? Keep your fingers crossed as I start sending queries to agents next week. Thanks guys for all the encouragement, and especially for reading my stuff.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joy Atwood September 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Miss you guys. Sounds like you are a busy lady. Can’t wait for your book to hit the shelves. Larry keeps his nose in a book all the time.
Looks like the time is drawing near for Kim. She looks anorexic, so I guess her body is feeding off itself.We know God’s grace is sufficient and we love Him so.

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