My Third Novel's Conclusion, My Heartbreak

My heart begins to break when I think about completing this particular book -- because this narrative has sustained me like no other story I've known. It's both more personal and more universal than my other works. But beyond memory and archetype, it's a cri-de-coeur about needing to become the person one is destined to be. And in the writing, I have met my own life's work, my own fated journey -- having the sense all the while that the pages are suffused with a resonance, an energy, an electrified field that defies explanation. Writers hope and pray to be overtaken by a work in this way -- to be conscripted into passionate service of a profound story. To experience it even once in a lifetime seems a great privilege. I still have several months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Face of Love

The Icon Prize is privileged to receive this transcendent portrait by artist Miguel Martinez of Taos, New Mexico.  (Mr. Martinez is represented by the Michael McCormick Gallery in Taos, for those of you who want to see more of his luminous work.) How remarkably this woman's gaze captures the wise spirit of Anna de la Senda, generous, serene, a witness to the beauty surrounding her.  Her eyes contain a reflection of that which is eternal and beloved.  I recognize her, though I've never met her outside of the fictional realm of The Unfastened Heart.  What a bright, shining gift!

Anna de la Senda lived for love.  Not her own, but other people's.  She took on counseling patients of all ages and attitudes, of all dilemmas and doubts, and she spoke with them in their living rooms about the health of their concealed hearts.  In return, they paid her with what they could, with cash or avocados, with money orders or cotton cloth.  The currency didn't matter to her.  What mattered was the healing of the brokenhearted.


  1. What a beautiful Anna Mr. Martinez has created. You can see the depth of her heart reflected in those pale eyes. The unique world you shared with us in The Unfastened Heart is coming to life in completely unexpected ways. The images your readers are creating have inspired me to start working on my own version of your work. It's so encouraging to know I'm in community with other outstanding artists.

  2. Artist Miguel Martinez has truly captured the spirit, and even the aura, of the beautiful soul of Anna de la Senda. Having been inspired by reading this sensitively compassionate novel, I have tried to imagine what this heroine would look like physically. Miguel Martinez has created a work of art that reflects the caring and compassionate essence of Anna. She practically leaps off the page with her shining eyes, mirrors of her soul. Congratulations to both artists, the novelist, Lane von Herzen, and the painter, Miguel Martinez. My life has been enriched by both of these talented individuals. A gift that will keep on giving. Thank you and bless you both.