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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Ms. Carol Nelson has gifted us with these luminous poppies -- layered and extravagant -- creating a shimmering world unto themselves. Certainly Anna would grow blooms such as these on her flower-filled lawn. There's a kind of beatification of the simple in this particular painting, a blessing of small and daily gifts, that somehow reflects back onto the viewer. The poppies shine with such resplendence that, reflected in our eyes as witnesses, so do we.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Waters of Life

Ms. Tina Calderin manages to capture in her painting a sense of the overflowing gifts which manifest in Anna's life. Entitled The Saints of Cordojo, this work seems to spill off the edges of the canvas with its bright portraits of the Cordojo women. Their bonds to the natural world and to one another are depicted here as generous and seamless, like the flow of the waters of life. Thank you, Ms. Calderin, for this vibrant and mystical work!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fragile Seeds

Ms. Emily Chappell sends us this captivating design, which feels so warmly hand-wrought, so genuinely conceived. From the turning currents of the lettering, to the crowding, gathering spheres of the motif -- I find myself drawn to the abundant, swirling world it represents.

In Ms. Chappell's words:

"The Velcro-like amorphous drawings were initially inspired by the Hackeysack toys played with by the local children in Part Two. The colours were chosen to represent the colours of Santa Rosa -- 'like dinosaurs, jagged-backed and blue,' and the 'foothills, which stretched out raw and brown.'

I was also taken by the shifting waves of fragility in the novel, and likened them to falling California sycamore seeds -- round, spiky, vulnerable and Velcro-like."

Thank you, Ms. Chappell, for this wonderful piece.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Magical Trees

Such a remarkable fluidity in this piece, from Mr. Brook Powell. All flows outward from Mariela, as if she herself were the source of life's bounty and benevolence. Mr. Powell has brought into being a kind of visual prayer -- lambent and pure. I'm so thankful to him for creating this generous, resonant work.

Mr. Powell's words:

My painting was inspired by the scene in the book when Mariela is waiting in the orange grove for Addison to come to her, and the trees seem to be acting magically. The entire book is very wonderful this way. The painting is a 22 x 30 inch watercolor on hot pressed paper.