Writing Andean Rituals, Adventures, and Characters

November 17, 2013


Then life opened up in a whole new direction. With great delight I signed a contract to publish a collection of my fictitious works– Andean rituals , characters, adventures, and plots. I proposed a book to Linda Ligon, founder of Interweave Press who was just starting a new imprint, Thrums Books out of Colorado. The book became “Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life.” Fear followed delight for I promised to deliver the manuscript in nine months. Doubts crowded my space. Such a short time. How could I tap into poetry? What stories from the downtown office were in good shape and would fit into the whole of Inca life today? How many new stories to write? What folktales had the potential to be expanded, developing the sense of place, real characters, and adequate hints leading to the layers of meaning?

writing Burlington

What to do? I moved out of my downstairs office. A new home study shaped up, a small inconvenient corner under the eaves in our bedroom where, during the days, I could hide out with my laptop on one of those clever rolling stands. There is a door and most of the time I shut that door. Luckily my husband was exceptionally attuned to my need to flee into a newfound tower until the stories came to life. Better still he, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and once-editor of an essay journal in college, was prepared and happy to serve as my first reader. So the book began. I continued those glimpses of Inca life, shaping them into the eventual book that is now at press, due out by December.

There’s a sudden breath in time. So I’m at work moving back into my downstairs office. And here, dear reader I will stop the account of my writing life. I love to hear about the writing lives of others. If you should feel so inclined, find the contact us space, tell me about some particular writing experience of yours and I’ll get back. My editor, Linda, ended her first emails, “Onward and Upward,” just what a writer needs to hear. I pass those words on, to you.