I have struggled with time throughout my life. I grew up with the analog clock and never figured out how to tell time. Imagine my relief when digital clocks arrived! As a teenager, I was ahead of my time—reading books as a freshman that weren’t offered until senior level English class. I was behind my time as an adult, not getting married or having children until long after my girlfriends took the plunge. I remained a step ahead or a step behind everyone else. Until now.
In terms of my manuscripts, my timing has been impeccable. I’ve read that the exquisite Yerkes Observatory is closed and on the real estate market. I toured it years ago when first writing The Stars Prevail, seeking inspiration for the book’s Knockinton Observatory. I have also discovered that the North Point Lighthouse has been shuttered and can only wipe my brow, relieved to have visited that round ruin in the past, learning about Fresnel lenses for the climax of The Stars Prevail. If I went to either place now, I would be facing locked doors, not inspiration.
My time spent abroad was also...well, 'timely'. Various trips to the UK were all hosted during the first weeks of June. My own school semesters wrap up when most other educators and students are still attending. As a result, I was able to explore Cornwall--a muse for Barrington Bay--long before the crush of summer tourists outnumbered the grains of sand in their harbor. The same is true of Fore Abbey (Ireland), Oxford (England), the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and Hay-on-Wye (Wales). Each site lent depth and vivid realism to my writing only because my visits were uncluttered by the disruptive footsteps of camera-happy tourists. Absolutely perfect timing!
When I was finally ready to submit my manuscript to literary agents, Covid-19 stopped all clocks. The publishing industry, like many other business around the globe, was brought to its knees. Libraries closed for months on end. Unemployment spiked. When you’ve no money to pay rent or buy groceries, you’ve no money to purchase books. Sales plummeted, and precious bookstores folded. I joined other writers, literary agents, illustrators, and publishers in the crying room for weeks on end. Finally, though, I stopped cursing the stars for this delay. With plenty of time for reflection, I soon plunged into rewrites and am now penning Chapter Thirteen of a fresh manuscript. Instead of rushing ahead or slowing down, I finally learned to accept time as an uncontrollable companion and to simply appreciate every moment granted.
Now, I can only hope that a literary agent will someday have time for me.
This blog is where I post my inspirations for each book in the Barrington Bay series as well as behind-the-scenes tips, pics, and other tidbits. Feel free to click 'Read More' for in-depth posts.