I am always excited to have Sally drop by for a visit!
Many, many thanks to the wonderful Lori Caswell for inviting me to drop in again. Dolly’s cozy corner is a perfect place to take a break, to relax with friends like you…and to talk about books and life. Today my topic is:
THE PERFECT PLACE TO WRITE
Recently I watched an HGTV show featuring a couple looking for their dream home.
The husband—a writer—was having a horrible time because he could only write in a bathtub, he said, and none of the homes they toured had one he considered suitable. Lots of questions ‘surfaced’ in my head—is there water in the tub? A pillow on the bottom? A waterproof computer on his knees….? (And certainly I had major curiosity about what he wrote.)
But each of us has our own quirks about where we write, and I moved on from bathtubs to thinking about a notable writer, Stephen King, who has strong ideas about where writers should write. He says all novelists should have a serene, preferably dull, writing place. But dull and serene is very subjective, don’t you think? I spend lots of time writing in a local coffee shop. I easily block out the cappuccino machines and gossip and crying babies. But when I need to come up for air and prove to myself that there are other people living in this beautiful universe, I look up from my laptop and rejoice at the people around me, proof that I haven’t totally left the world of the living.
Different stories require different writing spaces. While working on the fifth book in the Seaside Knitters Mystery series,The Wedding Shawl, I spent the summer writing on my screened porch with Nancy Pickard, who was writing The Scent of Rain and Lightning, The view of my back yard, where my daughter was married a few years earlier, was the inspiration for Izzy’s wedding inThe Wedding Shawl. It was the perfect place to write that book.
A portion of a A Fatal Fleece (now in paperback) was written in the Pleasant Street Tea Co. (which is in Gloucester, a REAL town on Cape Ann, just down an ocean road from the fictitious Sea Harbor). The shop, which has deep, comfortable couches and an amazing prosciutto and pesto panini sandwich, is where Nell, Izzy, Birdie and Cass—the Seaside Knitters—would hang out with me, leading me forward, as together we faced a ghost in Birdie’s closet, dealt with an unexpected turn in Cass Halloran’s life, and solved the mystery of a colorful old fisherman’s murder.
But for my most recent book, Angora Alibi, I retreated to Nancy’s deck—a most necessary move since my son and his family (including 3 children under 4) were living with my husband, me, two dogs, and our cat. The porch, filled with toys, no longer held its former serenity. But Nancy’s deck definitely did. As I looked out over the duck ponds and jogging trails, Angora Alibi came to life, and I followed along as a pregnant Izzy and her knitting friends worked deliberately and desperately to uncover the secret behind an infant baby carrier abandoned on a Sea Harbor beach, the untimely death of a young man the seaside knitters all knew—and the murder of an old man each of them held dear.
And now I’m writing the 8th book in the series, the one in which a stranger comes to Sea Harbor to find out who she is. Where, I wonder, is the best place to write it? I’m thinking it could be on a porch…a coffee shop…a deck…a library. Hmmm…well, it could be almost anywhere, as long as Nell, Birdie, Cass, and Izzy stop by and sit with me, telling me what’s happening next in their lives. Anywhere. Sometimes that’s the perfect place to write.
About This Author
Sally Goldenbaum is a philosophy teacher, knitter, editor, and the author of more than two-dozen novels.
Please visit her on Facebook.
Or at her Website: sallygoldenbaum.com
A Seaside Knitters Mystery
7th in Series
Obsidian (May 7, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
E-Book File Size: 702 KB
The sun is shining in Sea Harbor and a group of friends, the Seaside Knitters, are spending Thursday evenings knitting the sweetest of gifts—a baby blanket. But as the due date draws near, they find they must take time away from their needles and yarn to confront a murder and untangle a mystery before a certain baby is brought into the world….
Everyone is excited about the upcoming birth of Baby Perry and Izzy is trying to take perfect care of herself by getting plenty of exercise. On one of her walks along the beach she notices an abandoned infant car seat complete with a yellow angora baby blanket. After several days she realizes no one is claiming the seat and it bothers her to just leave it there. She stows it the trunk of her car but then the seat starts showing up in her dreams/nightmares. She just can’t get the thing off her mind. What happened to the baby? She just has a feeling something bad happened or is about to happen. Are her raging hormones responsible for these terrible thoughts?
Then a young man who does odd jobs around town dies while scuba diving. Is this the bad thing that has been on her mind? When it is learned that he was murdered and he has a connection to the car seat Izzy rallies the Seaside Knitters to investigate. Their attention to intricate patterns may be just what is needed to catch a killer.
I look forward to my visits to Sea Harbor. Sally has created a special place with very special people. The friendship of these characters is so genuine, readers feel like a member of the group. Nell, Birdie, Cass and Izzy are blessed to have each other in their lives. The joyful preparations for the new baby are so much fun, aside from the murder, of course.
My favorite character this time was Gabby. She has grown up before our eyes and has a heart as big as all outdoors. She also has a real talent that comes to light which was quite a surprise to the other characters as well as readers.
The death of Horace caught me a little off guard as he was a very interesting individual that had a great way of compensating for his failing eyesight. Something that unfortunately led to his demise.
The new characters really made the plot very complex with several red herrings that keeps the reader on their toes. We are also kept guessing about whether Izzy is having a boy or girl until the big moment arrives. I found this very refreshing as most couples these days know and have a name chosen months in advance. I like the surprise and while we had a list of names ready after the birth of all four of our children it was important to us to actually see and hold them before donning their names upon them. Only one child came home with the first name on the list.
An excellent story, a delightful place, rich characters – I couldn’t ask for more! But there is a tasty recipe and a baby blanket pattern too!
I am anxiously awaiting my next trip to Sea Harbor!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”