In September, I decided not to republish Proper Grey Areas. It was my second poetry collection released in 2020. After reviewing the book and discussing the next steps with Lynne Knight, my new editor, I let the book go. Proper Grey Areas has been removed from the market. I have learned that better things will arrive when we are willing to trust our gut and let go.
So, the new thing is a new book that focuses on flash fiction and short stories. The book may include a novelette. Since August, I’ve had several epiphanies related to my writing. I also discovered a hidden interest in writing flash fiction and short stories. This leads us to Mystic, Ct.
Why Mystic, Ct. It’s more than 1600 miles away. Why does my writer’s soul seek to be there? I have no clue. I know that four years ago, starting in September, my soul longed to visit Mystic, Ct, and Cape Cod. Each year, the feeling intensified. I could not understand why. My soul’s longing to walk around the village and write was intense. So, last Christmas (2021), my son and I made the trip. When we arrived in Plymouth, MA, my soul felt at home. I wrote about the experience in my January in my post 2021 Holiday Road Trip to New England.
In September, I shifted my focus to completing my seventh book, which may include several poems from Proper Grey Areas. One Sunday afternoon, I started writing a story about a young woman who made unexpected decision to quit her job and move halfway across the country to Mystic. In the story, she closes her eyes and places her finger on a map of the U.S., and under her finger is Mystic Sea Museum. This is how she determined where she was going. The story is set in the 1990s.
At first, I thought the story would be about the character (Nicole) finding herself by channelling Thoreau (Walden and Cape Cod). Last year, while walking on the Cape Cod beaches, I felt a tiny spark of transformative energy, and thought to myself – am I willing to accept the opportunity to change course? The tall cliffs lining the beaches were intimidating as they stand tall against the mighty and unforgiving Atlantic Ocean. Gazing across the ocean, I thought of Mystic, the community, river and bridge and the area felt like a protective womb for healing and rebirth.
Instead, as I have worked on the story, it shifted with Nicole becoming part of a fishing family in Mystic, Ct. The family is healing from the unthinkable loss of losing a key family member at sea. The men are fishermen who fish for lobster and Black Sea Bass in Long Island Sound. This shift has surprised me. However, my intuition nudges me to follow the story and its characters, so I continue write and conduct research.
As a result, I’ve been making phone calls to Mystic seeking information about the area and the fishing business during the 1990s. As an author, my goal is avoid writing mistakes about the fishing industry and community. I’m reading everything I can find about the area, history, and fishing industry. As the character and story change, my research shifts as well. Nicole is discovering an interest in Maritime history which has been added to my research list.
For now, my writer’s soul is hyper-focused on the Mystic, Ct, and the characters as they make their way through life. The story has been in my subconscious as I feel a strong internal pull to be near the ocean. To walk, like Thoreau, along miles of open beaches with the sea challenging my thoughts.