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Filling the Well

We writers live pretty solitary lives.

The upside is that we rarely have to put on actual pants (as defined by zippers & buttons rather than elastic & drawstrings). We also get to spend a lot of time having imaginary conversations with fictional people, which is awesome, because *revisions*. I’ve heard there are people who can convey their thoughts to other humans in complete sentences in real time, but I am not one of them. I’m a word salad girl all the way, so there’s something deeply satisfying about polishing dialogue until it’s a witty, charming rat-a-tat-tat exchange that actually makes sense.

The downside to all this luxurious alone time?

It’s lonely. And (true story) you can get so good at lonely that you sometimes forget you *are* lonely, so you stay there until you get so weird that lonely is your only option.

This sounds grim, I know, but stay with me. There’s a solution.

Writer friends.

Writer friends totally get it. They know where you are because they live there, too. They speak your language. They reach into the black hole of your alone time & drag you into the sun. Mostly they do it via the internet (nobody can text/tweet/instagram/FB/whathaveyou like writers) but sometimes…occasionally…they arrive IN PERSON.

And then the world is good and perfect and light and you talk non-stop until your husbands retreat to some high-profile sporting event so they can sit silently side-by-side, grunting at the field, drinking beer & avoiding both eye contact and verbal interaction. Because they’ve had enough of us & the words. (So many words. ALL THE WORDS.)

So as I look down the barrel of Thanksgiving (good gravy, people, it’s next week!), I’m pausing for a moment to give thanks for my squad. Particularly for the incomparable Inara Scott, who got on a plane & braved actual snow (!) because she loves me.

And because I love her, I put on pants.

And because our husbands love us, they went to a football game.

Welcome to the Disaster Zone!

wrecked-carFun Fact: My house & I are approximately the same age.

Not-So-Fun fact: We seem to be falling apart in unison.

Now I used to be a ridiculously healthy person. My dental hygenist cooed compliments about my well-flossed teeth.  I could have digested steel wool. (Probably.)  I didn’t even stock aspirin because I never used it. Why would I? Nothing ever hurt.

Then my forties happened.

Now I have a fake tooth and a chronic cross-stitch injury. (I’m not even kidding.  I hurt myself sewing.) Oh, and my digestive system has revolted against dairy, which is nothing short of a tragedy when you live half an hour from Wisconsin.

But all of this pales in comparison to what my poor house has been through.

rainyAbout a year ago, I was sitting in this very spot, cozily typing away while a thunderstorm raged outside. Rainy days are wonderful for writing and I was getting a lot done until I realized that it was not only raining outside but inside as well. Water was pouring into my living room via the ceiling.

This is never a good thing. Nor is it cheap. By the time we were done, we had a new roof and gutters, a rebuilt sunporch and chimney, an exterior paint job, and oh, hey, a new furnace. Because go big or go home, am I right?

Things were quiet for a while after that. We really enjoyed our water-tight roof, and the newly squirrel-proof sunporch was a hit. Then Mr. Sey and I walked into the house one recent Friday afternoon to the sound of running water.  Which is normally music to this Great Lakes lover’s ears, except…we hadn’t left any water running.

By the time we got the main water valve shut off, the laundry room had two inches of water on the floor, and we learned that you’re supposed to replace those hoses on your washing machine from time to time. Who knew? Not us.

dym_3dcover_transparentWe know now, of course. Life is an excellent teacher but it doesn’t have a pause button, and it doesn’t give you a heads up when things are about to get hairy. It just throws stuff at you, and you do your best to keep up.

Which brings me to Willa and Eli, the couple featured in my new release DISCOVER ME & YOU. They strolled on stage in PICTURE ME & YOU, and while I knew Willa was going to be a big part of Devil’s Kettle’s history, I had no idea who Eli was.

Turns out he was a lot like Willa.  Both had some big hurts and serious disappointments in their pasts, and both were dealing with it alone.  Like alone alone. Neither was looking for it, but love — like a leaky washer — doesn’t wait until you’re ready.  It happens when it happens and you just have to figure it out as you go.

For Willa and Eli, falling in love was a huge discovery process.  Building a future together meant dealing with their pasts, and that’s never easy for anybody, let alone people with baggage like these two. But in the end, it was worth it.  Love always is.

I hope you’ll tune in for their journey!

DISCOVER ME & YOU is available now exclusively on Amazon!

Catch up on the whole series!  PICTURE ME & YOU is also available now!

Behind the Scenes

Picture Me and You finalThey say there are two things you never want to see being made — laws and sausage. I would respectfully request that we add books to the list.  And why?  Because we writers are shameless thieves.  We’d rather you didn’t know that, though.  We’d rather you just believed in the magic of our imaginations.

The sad truth is, we don’t make much up.  We don’t have to.  We’re inveterate eavesdroppers, ruthless carpetbaggers.  We snatch our stories from random strangers’ cell phone conversations, from the car next to ours at a stoplight, or from the neighboring table over lunch.  We find these exquisite little details just lying there on the ground like abandoned mittens.  So of course we put them on & pretend they were ours to begin with.  The owners are long gone — who’s going to mind?


The WSoGR on the Devil’s Kettle Trail

Normally, I limit myself to co-opting nothing bigger than the proverbial lost mitten but for my latest release (PICTURE ME & YOU) I stole an entire waterfall.  Well, half of one, anyway.

Wait, I can explain.

See, I took a vacation a while back with a few of my girlfriends (who, due to a sauna incident I won’t get into here, are now known as The Women Scouts of Grand Marais.)  We were supposed to go canoeing in the Boundary Waters but the weather turned on us & we ended up exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior from the comfort of a cabin with hot running water instead.  (It was a very good call.)

Devil's kettle

The real Devil’s Kettle

Turns out, we were only a few miles from Judge C. R. Magney State Park which is rumored to have a disappearing waterfall. Who, I ask you, can resist a disappearing waterfall?  Not the Women Scouts of Grand Marais!

One steep, slippery hike later & sure enough, there it was — an actual disappearing waterfall.  We stood at the top of a cliff & watched the Brule River split itself into two waterfalls, one of which dropped over the cliff & headed happily for Lake Superior. But the other half — and this is half of a fairly sizable river, mind you — dropped into a hole in the ground and disappeared.


Not something you see every day

Seriously, it just disappeared into this pothole they call Devil’s Kettle. And nobody knows where it went.  Smart, scientific people have studied this phenomenon & have not gotten to the bottom of it.  Fully half of a big old river is just GONE.

There is no writer alive or dead who could resist.  I didn’t even try.  I stole the name & the waterfall (along with a giant papier mache fish from one nearby town & a pie shop from another) and created a new trilogy around them.

So there you have it.  I’m a thief. You’re welcome.

The WSofGR

The WSofGR at Betty’s Pies.