Monday, August 31, 2009

Transition again

Why haven't I written lately? I have been handed adventure and u-turns in my life to the point where I hardly know what to think, never mind write. Last February, my husband drove his Subaru over the Rocky Mountains through the winter blizzards, and then all the way across the plains, and then finally, right back to where we started. . . CAPE COD. Reason: a new interesting, challenging job. Since then, I have been the flying wife (as opposed to the flying nun). He has been out to visit in Montana once since his departure, and was able to fish his beloved Swan River in June.

I have flown over the Continental Divide five times since the little Subaru left Montana, and if you do the math, you'll know I'm on Cape Cod right now. Have been enjoying the CC grand kids with pail and shovel in hand for the past three weeks.

The August Cape Cod weather has been beach-able and sail-able, and we've dodged Hurricane Bill and Tropical Storm Danny. I'm used to storm dodging, both here on Cape Cod and in my life. I've been in Hyannis through two Kennedy deaths- Eunice, the founder of the Special Olympics, and the very Honorable Senator Edward Kennedy. This country will soon discover what we have lost in Senator Kennedy. No one cared about us as much as he did. No one. The insurance companies and international banking corporations will have their way and create a new fuedalism unless our elected leaders develop some backbone.

So, for me, back to Montana to our homestead soon, but I plan to be on Cape Cod for the worst of the winter. I can't bear to live in Montana through the snow without my husband. I think I was in too much shock last February when he left to know what I was in for by myself. But, now I know. Snow up to the rearview mirrors on my truck. . . and cold cold cold. It's just as cold on Cape Cod in a raw northeasterly kind of way, but the warm body next to me at night will help in unmeasurable and unprintable ways.

About the book:

With luck and support, out by January, 2010:

Eva and Henry, a Cape Cod Marriage. The genre is best described as women’s literary fiction with an emphasis on the domestic life of the 1880’s. The story is set in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and begins as Eva Paine and Captain Henry Smith are to be married. Eva Paine is an intelligent young lady who lives in the coastal neighborhood of Paine Hollow. After grappling with the question of whether she should travel to Boston to attend college, she decides to stay home and marry a close friend who also happens to be a second cousin. The novel explores Eva’s transition from an expectant bride to a wiser young widow. The issues Eva faces will be recognizable to the modern day reader as the universal newlywed challenges of living in a new household, accepting unforeseen responsibilities, and learning that a newly acquired spouse is a deeper and more complicated being than courting days revealed. The responsibilities of repetitive housework drudgery are compounded by the emotional weight of tragic events. Henry’s mother dies unexpectedly soon after the marriage, which greatly affects Henry. Eva manages to maintain her own interests and direction. She adapts to the comings and goings of her husband who is out to sea for weeks at a time and then home for the entire winter. She soon finds that the life of a sea captain’s wife is a life of extremes. She loves her husband deeply even as she is frustrated by his overbearing moods. She desperately wants children. While she waits impatiently for pregnancy, Eva looks to her female friends for support and solace, and she surprises herself by starting her own professional sewing service, thus gaining financial freedom to spend money on herself.

There is tragedy and triumph not to be revealed here. All the key points of the novel are true and based on the life of my own great-great aunt Eva Smith. Of course, I have fictionalized personalities, scenes, dialogue, and several of the supporting characters. Months of research went into trying to be as accurate as possible about the major life events of Eva and Henry and the details of domestic life during the period from 1886-1889.

So do be in touch, all, and cheer me on in my quests: to get the book out to you, and to keep my own relationship burning brightly, even when we are thousands of miles and several mountain ranges apart from each other. Thank God I live in the era of Skype and air travel.