Monday, June 17, 2013


I am superstitious, about the usual, stupid things. I don't like the number thirteen.  Tails-up coin on the floor? DON'T PICK IT UP! Black cat crossing path? Change course! If I spill some salt, I make it better by throwing more salt on the floor, over my left shoulder. I make my kids do the same thing, which I am sure will be a big help to them down the road.

The post before this one (re: "Giveaway Weekend!"), was post number thirteen on this blog.  

Irksome.  Possibly dangerous.  

True, the weekend went quite well and thanks to all of you who downloaded the Kindle book.

Now, to make sure that those of you who procured it will like it, I am back here with post number fourteen.  (The flip side of this particular symptom of a weak mindedness is that I also have a belief in lucky charms. If some things are unlucky, others are lucky, right?)  

Here though, I am a little more original.  No rabbits feet or four leaf clovers for me.  As I was writing Up, Back, and Away, I surrounded myself with bits of English things that I felt would beam genius at me, or at least a little inspiration.  I wrote it in a few different places.  Mostly in this cabin behind our farmhouse.

I kept certain things near me in there like this:

This plate and one of its mates hang on the wall in the cabin, right over my writing desk.  (English pottery, particularly English transferware, has a role to play in the story and I have LOTS of it - don't start me).

I also had the works of Shakespeare, in a gimcrack 19th century multi-volume set, on the book case behind me.  I had an old Union Jack, the sort people might wave at a parade, stuck into a salt-glazed jug made by T.J. Mayer, Longport and dated 1851 on my writing table.

I had this stamp (and its penny and a half companion) in a little frame on the window sill:

I had these guys.  They MUST be lucky:

I had this 1917 pound note on my desk in a protective plastic sleeve.  It's just like the ones Miles brings with him on his journey.

And I had this: the original "Banded Stone."

You'll have to read the story, maybe on that free Kindle download, to find out what this is all about.  

These rocks are common in some places in Vermont.  I encountered them at one of my favorite places in the world, Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont.  If any place has magic, Shelburne Farms has magic.  I dragged my kids there one day while I was deep into writing the story and made them round up some choice examples to inspire me.  This is the one I actually wound up describing in the book. 


I can't help feeling so.

Thanks again for your interest.  I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I liked writing it. Fingers crossed.