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Fragments of the Story

Today it rained and I set out to make a large painting that would serve as the cover art of my new novel, the Galveston ghost story featuring Betty, Edna, Suzanne, and Josephine. I had collected many watercolors and drawings from this blog that are inspired by that manuscript. I decided to copy them in black and white, but was totally at a loss as to how to incorporate them into a large painting, and what exactly the background should be. It pretty much took all day, involved a lot of soul searching, and a lot of physical labor, but I now have something I really like! The final version of this painting will be revealed during an exclusive event at the gallery at the end of this month – when I will also reveal the title of this new book. But for now, here’s a sneak peek. Also, it’s totally surreal that it’s raining while I’m working on my hurricane story.

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The Horses

“Everyone knows those horses lived,” Gina said. “There’s nothing wrong with them saving their horses.”

There’s a story, probably apocryphal, about two horses rescued from the 1900 storm, that keeps coming up in conversations among the characters of my new novel. I really liked inserting that into the manuscript. And the longer I work on it, the more such ideas come to me.

I also made a different kind of abstract painting today. I’m calling it Layers of Identity. And I also did something I rarely do: I went to the movies with a friend and saw Hustlers, and really really liked it. It made me miss New York though, and made me think of how strange it is to have lived such different lives in so many places.

At night I saw the heron again. He appeared as an elegant silhouette in the grass just as I was thinking of some new ideas for my business. I took this as a good omen.

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Storm Survivor

Today marks the anniversary of the Great Storm of 1900. It was a perfect day to work on my Galveston ghost story. Spoiler alert: neither Suzanne nor her nurse, Josephine, survives the Great Storm, but they house they live in does, so it occurred to me that in the 2008 chapters it should have one of those plaques marking it as a storm survivor, and that the characters should acknowledge this plaque, maybe even touch it for good luck.

The rest of the day was brightened by a trip to the Chrysalis, a meal with my friend, a half an hour reading outside at sunset, and a phone call from my mentor who wanted to check on me. All of this was nice and comforting, and I feel that the week ahead looks promising.

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The Sea Isn’t Always Blue

Today I finished the fifth draft of my Galveston ghost story. I’m starting to be really thrilled with the depth it’s gaining, though it’s a slow process. Things come to me gradually, and they work their way into the book. I will try to stay patient with this one – not always an easy thing for me to do.

I also painted a seascape inspired by a picture taken by one of my friends in Galveston, a place where the sea isn’t always blue, but it’s always lovely! And I had the closing reception for my Dog Days of summer project, which was quite a good time! For the first time I had a child visit the gallery, a nine-year-old boy who made fast friends with Holly, and who, while the adults were all busy talking looked at the art carefully and identified a small painting he wanted to buy. He negotiated a discount like a pro, and paid for it with his own money! I was so impressed!

Also, I raised $300 for BARC Houston and I can’t wait to give it to them next week!