Zarda…a glimpse into the novel…

Finished correcting the second round of proofs last week.  Looking forward to being able to “accept” the new proofs this week.  The publication date will be in April…not sure when. I have decided to share the first page with you today.  Enjoy!

“I love old books. And flea markets. Being connected to the history of other people through their valuable treasures is very comforting to me. The seller talks to you of family, when the item was bought, how the new puppy broke the fourth cup of  a beautiful breakfast set bought at great personal sacrifice, and why did grandma every think they would like a purple platter with white roses that she made as her first senior citizen project!

That’s what browsing in thrift shops, boot sales, and antique stores are like. Used bookstores are the best. As I gently caress the faded cover of a poetry volume published in England, 1864, and read the inscription…To Helen, in memory of our youngest, I stand with Helen mourning the baby who died of flu that winter. The wee babe cried until exhausted. Helen bathed her daughter with cool cloths, held her to her breast, and walked the dark death corridor praying to the Great Goddess and Mary and the Queen to spare this one, red-haired angel. However, dawn brought stillness to the child, emptiness to Helen, and the doctor’s steps, all too late to lock the gate to the netherworld, if ever he could. CONNECTION.

In the summer of 1976, our American Bicentennial year, I was studying at the University of Durham in Northumberland, England. With a group of American teachers, I was housed at the castle next to the Cathedral, built in 900 A.D. to  establish the power of the Bishops of Durham in their struggle against the dark forces of whatever group was put into that category in the 900s.

Each day, after classes, a colleague and I would walk down the medieval cobblestone streets that wind down from the Cathedral into the center square, where farmers and priests, workers and wives shopped for supper, swapped gossip and conducted their daily business in the town…locked between the 10th and the 20th centuries. Stopping to look in a shop window I often heard horses clopping along the stone street or saw the reflection of long velvet skirts or heard the shout of a fishwife as she advertised her fresh mackerel. Imagination or Connection?”

 

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