Welcome fellow writers and readers to my blog.
This evening I look out the window of my study at the western horizon, where Mount Washington and the White Mountains at its skirts, fade in the rapid approach of night. Lucky is how I’ve felt since I moved to Maine three years ago. My back to the view and focus returned to my work, I know I’m fortunate. Here is where my mind flies loose and tells the kinds of stories I thought everyone had in their heads, only to discover in middle-age, most people have no stories but their own lives in their heads. Two writing groups have helped me understand the way in which imagination is a both a gift and a responsibility. These factors send me deep into myself, where I find the characters and tales I bring into the light.
At the moment, I’m finishing a historical novel about the English painter, the Honorable Dorothy Brett. In 1926 she chose to make the American Southwest her home. Her passion for her art informed all of her life decisions and allowed her to produce a prodigious body of work, which celebrated for fifty years the land, indigenous people, and customs of Northern New Mexico. She chose friendship as the most important relationship in her life and acted on this belief with all those she cared for, from the influential (Mabel Dodge Luhan, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Alfred Stieglitz) to the ordinary, (the Hawk family, and Indian friends like Trinidad and Rufina Archuleta). In her art and her friendships she struggled, as we all do, to achieve a level of understanding and skill which would lead to true maturity and mastery.
Research for this book has introduced me to new ways of thinking, to new friends, and to a new view of myself and others. Now, I hope for every writer’s wish: let this fourth draft be perfect so I don’t have to do another revision. I know that won’t be how this goes, but hope springs….
I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts about Brett, as she was known from her art school days. Her life spanned nearly a century and encompassed extraordinary changes in technology, psychology, medicine, the arts, and human thought and belief about the universe. I’ll tell you what I know about her regarding these changes, which I may not include in detail in the book. In future blogs, look for photos of her and her paintings.
Please, join me.