Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Summer Country

What I need is a Summer Country.

You go in through one of these interdimensional portals, with Britt, your dog, at your heels.
A shimmer surrounds you. And there you are.

The sun is directly overhead in the blue sky. It's warm, but you just know it's going to cool off, come evenings. Cool off to sweater temperature.

The fields on either side are full of humming bugs and smells that send Britt coursing in the tall grass, tail flagpoled, nose to the ground. A dragonfly flits ahead of you. You follow the path down to the lake.

The cabin is gray wood, weathered by god-knows-howmany-years. Just one room. A big screened porch looks out over the rocks and the smooth water. The wicker chair has blue flowered cushions on it. There are loons out on the lake, and tonight the geese will fly over.

Britt clickclicks across the wood floor behind you, then finds the waterdish next to the sink. You put your laptop on the desk at the window. The plug on the extension cord looks funny when you pick it up, as if it were shifting. But then it's just the ordinary American two-prong. You know the electricity will be right, in the same way you know it'd be right for anyone else who came here, wherever they came from.

Lord knows how that half-sized refrigerator works. It's uncannily silent. There's tupperware tubs of food, upper shelf and lower, all topped with white labels. The writing is all caps, each letter drawn, not written, as if somebody didn't use this alphabet often. In the door of the fridge, bottles of coke are lined up -- the old green kind of bottle that they don't make any more.

The bed in the loft has feather quilts.

You know, however long you stay here writing, it'll be two o'clock on Thursday afternoon when you climb back up that hill and walk through the portal again.

You let Britt out to explore -- there's nothing in these woods and fields that can hurt her -- and sit down and start working.


  1. Maura8:36 AM


    Please contact me at I did a review of Spymaster's Lady for Coffee Time Romance and the publicity person for your publisher keeps changing, so I do not know if you got it.



  2. Hi Maura --

    (Waves) Howdy.

    Yes. Berkley did change publicity people. There's just a lovely woman doing it now. I'll drop you a line and, among other things, give you her name.

    And how kind of you to do a review. Good or bad, I appreciate it.

  3. Jo,

    I dream of that place. Only it looks a little different to me, which is the magic of it, I suppose. There are trees and falling golden leaves and trails winding past, and a view over an ocean of mountains, endless blue waves rolling into the distance.

  4. Ocean. Ocean is good.

    I saw you're many words ahead in the WIP. All goes well?

  5. Hi Jo,

    Love your blog! I must find the time to sit down with a cup of coffee and read the whole thing.

    Btw, your tagline is excellent, but even your bio is enough to make me want to grab everything you've ever written. A fish named Bait...snort

  6. It's slowing down right now, due to the Christmas flurry. But I do write most days, which is a huge improvement. [wry g]

  7. Hi Joanne,

    Can you please contact me privately? I'd like to list your book on our website: and would like to get some info from you first.


  8. Hi Lucy --

    I've sent you a message at your site. I don't know if it will actually go through. Let me know if it doesn't and I'll arrange another way to contact you.

  9. Hi Novel Woman -

    I bought the fish at PetsMart. They had lots of these little goldfish swimming around in the tank.

    "OOOhhhh. I'd like one of those," says I.

    And the very nice clerk fished one out for me, so to speak. The one I picked, which was -- naturally -- unique among the other 387 fish.

    "How much?"


    So I says, "How do you make money selling fish for 10c?"

    "Well ... we sell them in large batches. To repeat customers."

    I looks at the fish. The fish looks at me.

    "Hi, Bait," says I.