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Lucky Seven

It began on the veranda of the Gibson Inn in Apalachicola, Florida, the town locals call Apalach, where oysters once reigned and the river whispers of pirate ships disappearing in the streaky dawn.

Boats on ol' Apalach
Boats on ol’ Apalach

In the waning heat of a summer afternoon in 2008, I joined my husband on the second floor porch of the hotel whose bar would make Hemingway weep and there, beneath the widow’s walk and cupola, I read aloud.

For two weeks, we lolled in this charming town, rooting out the public library, taking lazy trips to St. George Island. Riding bikes past shop windows where sponges and scuba suits reminded us of an era when diving beneath the waves required great courage.

Mound of oyster shells
Mound of oyster shells

When the heat built up to boiling, Tom returned to his Adirondack on the veranda with a book. I wrote. And when I’d rolled down for the day, I scooted my own Adirondack close and read what I’d written that day on a new work I called the Mother Mary novel.

That was 2008.

Over the intervening years, we returned to Apalachicola many times, introducing the kids to the Gibson Inn







and the streaky dawndawn

but the work on the Mother Mary novel transferred to Memphis, where the novel is set. There inside my treehouse home

My own veranda on Mud Island
My own veranda on Mud Island

I wrote through the blizzard of 2010

OK, it's a blizzard for Memphis
OK, it’s a blizzard for Memphis

and the flood of 2011

The flood outside of my front door
The flood outside my front door

and, after we took an apartment in New Orleans, the Zombie apocalypse.

Outside our apartment in New Olreans
Outside our apartment in New Orleans

I wrote as I welcomed a new dog to the family


and two other new members of the family

The Mythical Jackalope
The Mythical Jackalope


The Myth of the Jackalope continues
The Myth of the Jackalope continues








and lost my dad




Finally, in the spring of this my seventh year of work, I finished the novel, read it out loud, and sent it to an editor so I could begin querying agents: will you represent me, I asked, and try to sell my book for me? The opening sentence of the query letter acknowledged the oddness of the book: THE BONE TRENCH is a literary fantasy of 103,000 words that uses religion and humor to explore mass incarceration and the private prison industry—I know, religion, humor and prisons; you’re either going to love this or hate it.

Guess what? An agent loved it! He literally said, “I love it,” and offered me representation. William Reeve of the Virginia Kidd Agency. The agency is the grandmother of all Science Fiction/Fantasy agencies and, because Mother Mary and Jesus aren’t real people (not to mention the Demonittes), The Bone Trench is Fantasy. I’m joining a stellar list of “repped by” authors. And—extra good news here—he required no extensive revisions, so maybe all that writing was worthwhile. 🙂

Many of y’all have been with me on this journey. Acting as Beta readers, offering feedback. Kind enough not to ask, whatever happened to that novel you were working on? Others have followed at least snatches of this journey. So I wanted to share my happiness with y’all. (I sound so calm, don’t I? I’m not.)

Just to be clear: I’ll let you know what comes next. 

the mantle of companionship
Mother Mary and Tall Jesus continue the journey

Apalachicola, getting an agent, querying an agent, revising your novel, The Bone Trench, Virginia Kidd Agency, William Reeve

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