Sunday, May 18, 2014

A little thread from A TAPESTRY OF TRUTH

     Tonight's the night...I'll finish the final edit on my latest novel and send it off to my editor for one more look-see.  And on June 3rd, it'll be available for digital download on  The splice and dice has taken a while, but I'm thankful for one more go 'round.  One more chance to hone a story that echoes the voice of a character who revealed herself to me almost twenty years ago.
     Once an enormous enigma, throughout the journey of bringing her story to life, she's no longer a mystery to me.  And in finally knowing the timing is right for this novel to reveal itself to you in whatever way you embrace it...well, that's the great gift of writing.
     It's been a long journey to bring Annie Schreiber out of the shadows and into the light.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

     Here's a little taste of what's to come....


Seattle, Washington
present time

Tucked in the tranquil corner of her backyard, my great-granddaughter plays in a sandbox shaded by maple trees.  The sun glints through the lush green leaves as Sophie scoops up endless shovels of sand and dumps them into a pink plastic bucket near her feet.  She wrinkles her eyebrows, deep in contemplation.  I imagine what she's thinking as she surveys the tall, round turrets that run the perimeter of the sandbox, allowing no way in and no way out of her palace under construction. 
Finally, Sophie stands up to survey her work, hands on her hips.  A few moments later, she steps out of the sandbox and takes off her shoes and socks. 
I watch with effervescent expectation. 
With her bare feet she squashes the turrets on the south side of the sandbox, pushing the errant sand back into the middle where it can be recreated into something new.
I'm content to silently look after Sophie, for it is intriguing to witness the span of generations in a child so young to this world.  My own life ended long before my great-granddaughter was born and now I am in-between worlds, in a place of non-existence.  For this is not the peaceful heaven I was promised by countless ministers who believed that a penitent life would yield divine rest in the end. 
No.  I am certainly not in any heaven of God’s making.  In this personal hell I don’t see my husband or my children who have passed.  Nor my mother or father, or even my sisters.  Their spirits have their own places to be I suppose.  Their own time to keep.  
Or perhaps I hide myself from them in death as I did in life.
Memories of my carefree childhood days in Shaker Heights filter through as I watch my granddaughter's daughter grow and change and remind me so much of my Allyson.  But darker images also rise up and frighten me with their gnashing intensity.  In those moments, I long for a bottle of Smirnoff's to help me forget all the lies I told, the lies that were told to me. 
This must be the purgatory my mother-in-law used to warn me about in the time periods between my children’s births and their baptisms.  I have been baptized, not once, but twice, and still here I am left to witness all that has happened in my earthly life and all that passes after my death. 
A vengeful penance for all the things I did and didn't do. 
All the choices made and unmade.
Still, after all this time, I know there must be a way out of this solitude.  There must be something, some passageway that will connect me to the souls of the ones I love.  I am desperate to believe that is true and yet in the midst of darkness, I’m helpless to direct the ebb and flow of where I am, not only in the present with Sophie and her family, but also in the memories of my past where I linger in the hopes of discovering the shattered pieces of who I once was so long ago.  Perhaps in silently standing witness to the lives of those who came after me, I can find some purpose in the reason I was born.
That I wasn't a mistake of fate. 
So I watch over Sophie as she wipes her brow and continues building her fortress of mystery.  And I begin to wonder if perhaps that’s all we truly are…each one of us.

A fortress of mystery, longing to be solved.