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, March 25, 2010

A Simple Beacon

Artist James Thouborron shares this luminous piece, entitled The Lamp Post, rendering a suburbia transformed by a simple beacon, a candle held up to the rather ecstatic natural world.

Outside, the oaks tossed their leaves behind their woody shoulders, the same way that women move their hair from front to back.  The old gas lamps cast aureoles of light onto the pavement, but directly in front of the de la Senda house, where the illumination stopped, the street turned into a broad thoroughfare of blackness and ideas where anything might happen.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Intricacies of Love

We are delighted to receive this striking illustration from Jessica Rae Gordon of Toronto, Canada.  Anna's heart is here both interior and exterior, secret and revelation, sequestered and generous.  I can't help but be drawn to these contrasts.  

Ms. Gordon writes,

In my illustration I wanted to show the intricacies of love by showing the mechanics of a woman's heart and circulatory system.  Also, because the book has many descriptions of flowers, I put in the patterned wildflower drawings in the background.  With my line work, I wanted the drawings of the weeds to mirror the veins in the body.

Thank you for sending us this remarkable work, Ms. Gordon!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Waiting to Be Found

Thanks to Erika Haight for honoring me with her beautiful photograph and cover design, titled Sweet Thoughts of You.  The work evokes such a sense of hope, longing, expected renewal, all of which reside in Mariela's spirit.  Erika's words:

Dear Ms. von Herzen,

You have the most remarkable ability to express in words what it means to love and be loved by another.  I was especially taken by the tightly woven relationships that were formed between the women characters in your story. . . Since finishing your book I have purchased three additional copies and mailed them to people whom I have shared similar experiences with.  The image I have submitted for The Unfastened Heart is that of a young woman in quiet contemplation holding a flower. . .it could be any one of us who has ever loved, lost, or is still waiting to be found.

Art Inspires Art -- You are truly an inspiration!

Warm regards,
Erika N. Haight