Take My Hand

TakeMyHand_lowres

“Take my hand.” A simple request with the power to change everything.

Artist Clay Cahill retreats to her hometown of Pine Cone, Georgia, when she’s betrayed by a woman she thought cared and the pressure of the New York City art world becomes too much. Setting paints aside, she takes a job at her grandfather’s garage seeking the restorative comfort of small town life where women are sweet and life flows as slow as molasses.

Manhattan art gallery owner River Hemsworth is preparing for a show when she’s informed her aunt has bequeathed her a local gallery in Pine Cone, a place where the idea of fashion is anything with a Carhart label. En route to review inventory and unload the property quickly, River wrecks and Clay comes to her rescue.

If River can convince Clay to start painting again, she may be able to pull off the show that will make her career and quench the desires she never expected to feel again.

Welcome to part one of the sweet, romantic adventures of Pine Cone, Georgia. I was super excited to write this trilogy with two of my favorite authors: VK Powell and D. Jackson Leigh

Trilogy wallpaper

 

Provincetown schedule, see you there!

IMG_7336Here I am, in one of my signature plaid shirts, in front of Recovering Hearts preparing for a signing in 2015. This year, I’m aspiring to wear solids, but I might not pull it off.

Okay, so it was summer for like a minute, and then I blinked… and now it’s October. Which means… Women’s Week in Provincetown, Mass!

My first visit to this charming coastal village was in 2015 and I’m excited to be back this year to meet up with old friends and a few new ones. I’m doing a quick post here to share my signing and reading schedule:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12TH:

2:00-3:00 PM @ GABRIEL’S: I’ll be moderating a panel titled “Out of This World.” Panelists include: CJ Birch, Jane C. Esther, M. Ullrich, Ali Vali, Brey Willows, and Barbara Ann Wright.

5:00-7:00 PM @ HARBOR LOUNGE / 102 BRADFORD STREET: Bold Strokes Books Meet ‘n’ Greet. All are welcome to attend.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13TH:

10:00-11:00 AM @ LIBRARY: Author Q&A: Genre, What Genre? Moderated by Melissa Brayden. Panelists include: Missouri Vaun (aka: me), Jean Copeland, Jackie D, M. Ullrich, Ali Vali, and Barbara Ann Wright.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14TH:

2:00-3:00 PM @ LIBRARY: Pivotal Moments, moderated by I. Beacham. Panelists include: Radclyffe, Missouri Vaun, Mickey Brent, Robyn Nyx, Aurora Rey, and Emily Smith.

3:45-4:15 PM @ RECOVERING HEARTS: I’ll be there signing books with Radclyffe, Aurora Rey, Mickey Brent, Robyn Nyx, and Emily Smith.

For more information about all these great authors check out the Bold Strokes Books website.

 

 

Where Good Stories Come From

McCullers sketchbook

You never know where a new journal will take you.

“The challenge to writers today, I think, is not to disown any part of our heritage. Whatever our theme in writing, it is old and tried. Whatever our place, it has been visited by the stranger, it will never be new again. It is only the vision that can be new; but that is enough.” – Eudora Welty

My third year of grade school was pretty eventful. I attended three schools, in three states in one year: Georgia, Alabama and then finally Mississippi. It’s bad enough to have to endure being “the new kid” once in your school experience, but three times in one year is asking a lot. And yet, I wasn’t really unhappy… I genuinely enjoyed the adventure of it all. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t lonely.

Thankfully I credit loneliness with the genesis of my creative leanings. At some point in my kid brain it dawned on me that I could create characters and stories and that they would be sort of like my own special group of imaginary friends. The stories were simple and I even illustrated them with stick figures and crude drawings, which in my head were fully formed images, regardless of how they manifested on the page. Through my childhood and teen years I kept notebooks full of stories, characters and ideas. At some point in early adulthood I began to doubt and question my stories. I became distracted with the challenge of building a career and spent far too much time chasing girls and all the while, I left off my note taking.

But in the deepest part of my brain, details and thoughts congregated to be filed away, and at some point, gathered into something meaningful. The urge to create is a compulsion for some. Me being one of those folks, a compulsion can be ignored or stifled for a while, but it always comes back. Maybe mine just had to ferment for a time.

When I was in my mid-20s a successful New York City editor reviewed some of my work and told me that I definitely had talent, but what I lacked was life experience. She said that the only remedy for that was to get out and live some life. At the time I wasn’t sure what to make of that advice. Did she mean that what I had experienced up to that point wasn’t worth writing about? But now, years later, I think what I was missing, and what she meant, was that I needed the perspective that only life experience can offer. I think I needed some emotional distance from my own experiences to be able to write about them and incorporate them into some evocative narrative.

During the past few months I’ve been pulling out notes I’ve had tucked away for years. Now seeing them with fresh perspective, I sort of believe there are no new stories. What can be new is the unique perspective of the individual who tells the story. With 20 years of perspective I now see that growing up as a lesbian in the Bible Belt of the Deep South has granted me a wealth of stories to tell. Not just stories set in the South but more importantly, I believe, stories about belonging. I have a lot of good stories to write. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.