Thursday, November 19, 2015

New England November

by Helen DePrima

November is one of my favorite months with its restful quiet. The hurly-burly of
gardening and harvest is finally over with only cutting and stacking wood to finish before snow overtakes New Hampshire. All the trees except the oaks have shed their leaves; now the shape of the hills, the bones of the earth are visible. Heavy frost furs the grass in early morning when I take our dog out for her first run of the day; the last flights of geese honk their way southward while northern juncos from Canada make their appearance to spend the winter in New England.

This November I’ve been especially grateful for the hiatus between the summer and fall activities and the flurry of holiday events. My novel IntoThe Storm from Heartwarming comes out December 1, the first in the Cameron’s Pride series about a Colorado family involved in the sport of Professional Bull Riding. After traveling through the Four Corners several years ago, I chose southwestern Colorado near Durango as the locale for Cameron’s Pride, the family’s home ranch. Writing Into The Storm allowed me to revisit this beautiful region in my mind with my memories refreshed from my library of photos.

Another November highlight was the New Hampshire Writers Project Writers Week,
seven days of events throughout the state. This year’s theme was The Writer’s Journey, a series of panels on moving from initial motivation to eventual publication. Because I had so recently gone through the pre-publication process with Into The Storm, I volunteered to contribute to presentations on Creating a Kickass Final Draft and Before Your Book Goes To Press. Although I’d spoken before groups many times on my work as a wildlife rehabilitator, this was my first time talking about my writing, a daunting experience. At least my talk didn’t get stuck in a loop repeating the same thing again again again . . .


All this while completing a revision for the second book in the Cameron’s Pride series by December 3. Maybe the holidays will be more restful after all.

17 comments:

  1. I am very much looking forward to reading your December 1st Heartwarming release, Helen. One thing that caught my attention in particular in your post is that you work as a wildlife rehabilitator.

    I would love to learn more about that. To me, it sounds like a wonderful topic for a future post!!!

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    1. I've had many people tell me I should write about my experiences rescuing and rehabbing everything from bats to beaver to porcupines. After 25 years of 2 AM feedings and cleaning up after baby birds when they pooped every twenty minutes, I haven't been greatly attracted to the subject. Yours is a great suggestion; I'll go through my photos and put together a blog entry on some of my patients.

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  2. I loved fall in New Hampshire. Congratulations on your December book, Into the Storm. I look forward to reading it curled up in front of my fireplace.

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    1. Fall in New Hampshire is almost too dramatic to comprehend, whole mountainsides of red and gold and purple. My taste runs more to a single scarlet leaf floating on a quiet pond, the road less traveled.

      I hope you enjoy Into The Storm -- nothing better than a good read by the fire and a cup of your favorite tea or coffee as a companion.

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  3. I'm with Kate, I'd love to hear more about your work as a wildlife rehabilitator. It sounds like fascinating work.
    I look forward to reading, Into the Storms. Perhaps you can rest up with a stack of good books over the holidays, Helen.

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    1. I do manage to slip references to wildlife and rehab into my work. Maybe a future protagonist will follow that path, certainly plenty of possibilities in the subject.

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  4. I can't even imagine a New Hampshire fall, even though I've seen photos that I'm sure don't do justice. Congratulations on your release Into the Storm! Can't wait to read it.

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    1. The colors here are magnificent; visitors come from all over the world to catch the show -- we call them leaf-peepers. This year was especially brilliant and lasted longer than usual for some reason. I've posted some of my own favorites on my web site http://www.helendeprima.com.

      Hope you enjoy Into The Storm. I put a lot of care into the setting because I love that part of Colorado.

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  5. We don't get much fall in California, but your pictures are beautiful.

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  6. Congratulations on all your hard work, Helen. I think you should make a batch of cookies and eat them all. (Unless you'd like to invite me to help - with the eating, not the baking. I'm from southeastern Mass. not too far away.) The week after my mother died, my family went to North Conway - happened to be Leaf Peeper weekend. Horribly crowded, but have never seen such beautiful countryside. It must uplift you ever day.

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    1. Hi Muriel,
      I so agree about the cookies -- wish I could indulge like that. My husband is the baker; he made a batch of dark-chocolate chili cookies that are calling my name from the cellar freezer. And I was in North Conway this fall at peak season, not too bad for a Sunday afternoon. Wonderful colors this year.

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  7. New Hampshire is so beautiful. I went their many, many years ago and never forgot it's loveliness. Congratulations on the upcoming Heartwarmibg release. I like the cover.

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    1. Hi Laurie,
      I've seen some beautiful fall photos of western NC as well, but we do seem to have the greatest concentration of gorgeous fall colors.

      I'm glad you like the cover for Into The Storm -- it is eye-catching.

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  8. Absolutely beautiful pictures! Makes me want to come visit. I also love the cover of your book. Can't wait to read it :)

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    1. Hi Amy,
      New Hampshire has its own form of beauty, very different from southern Colorado. I've spent a lot of time out West and am working out my homesickness for the wide open spaces by setting my Cameron's Pride series there.

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  9. I think I lost Thursday this week. Helen, your book sounds delightful and the cover is very nice. Look forward to reading it.

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  10. Hi Roz,
    Don't feel bad about misplacing Thursday -- I'm missing several days in the midst of a major rewrite for the second book in the Cameron's Pride series. I hope you enjoy Into The Storm. Revisiting the Durango CO area made it a joy to write.

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