That girl in the photo is me in 1970 at 16 years old. The expression on my face pretty much sums up my attitude during a wide swath of my adolescence: wary, protective (check out those tightly crossed arms), and kind of ticked off. Don’t get me wrong. That girl had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. But this photo captures her default mode and, based upon her life up till then, she was right to view the world that way.

For some time I’ve been working on a novel based upon that girl’s story. It’s been the most challenging book I’ve ever written. I’ve thought about running from it and moving on to different projects but that girl with her gimlet stare won’t let me.

In early 2020, I believed the novel was ready to submit to publishers. I ignored a nagging feeling that I hadn’t told the story quite the way it wanted be told. Then the pandemic and the lock-downs happened. I didn’t want to subject this book-of-my-heart to that unfathomable world. Other life issues piled on so I set the book aside.

I’m working on it again. The time-out was good. I’m seeing the way forward more clearly. The book is taking a different shape, more in line with my instincts about how it should be.

All of which is to say that I still haven’t finished that blasted book! But I’m getting closer. Stayed tuned. Thank you for reading this far and for your interest in my work.

Final thought: I miss single-pocket T-shirts.

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