And Away She Goes!

 I have finished my vaccinations. i am nearing the halfway point in my quarantine with two negative tests behind me.  I am ready to burst out and be the post-lockdown Laurel when my fourteen days are up. And boy, do I have plans for her!

This feeling of bursting out is bigger than that, though. In the last year I have had an amazing run of creativity that I haven’t written much about, because…well, that’s just the way I am.  I feel ready to share a bit more now.

When I first started writing for mainstream adult audiences, my first book, Until Our Last Breath, was non-fiction.  I found that terribly frustrating because I had to strangle my desire to imagine stories beyond what were in the historical record.  What I really wanted to do, I decided, was exactly the opposite: write fiction, where I could make better use of my imagination.

What I loved most about historical fiction was the dialogue I was free to invent.  In fact, my first drafts of books are heavily weighted towards dialogue because that’s how I find out who the characters are.  I think my books in the end rely more heavily on dialogue than many authors, because that’s what I love writing most.

So last year, when I revisited my decision to quit writing historical fiction, I realized that my love of dialogue made me well suited to writing plays instead. Upon discovering the story of Alfred Loomis, a Wall Street tycoon who used his private fortune to fund some of the most critical research in World War II, I knew in my bones it needed to be a play.  And now it is.  The Glass House was written in the months before I left for British Columbia.

I loved writing a play, and immediately upon arriving in Victoria, I began writing another, about the city’s “favourite daughter,” Emily Carr.  I am pleased to say that, with the support of several people in the theatre community, EX3 (Emily Times Three) will be workshopped later this month in Victoria, and from there, I hope to get it placed for production.

Something about writing these plays reawakened my desire to tell stories, and I came across a wonderful one a few months back. Novelists are reluctant to talk too much about their plans for future books for fear of being scooped, so I won’t say more, except that in the next few days I hope to write the first pages of a novel about one of the most amazing female world explorers ever. This one is too complicated to be a play, but it would make the most amazing musical.  SInce that is probably beyond me, I’ll write a novel instead.  Then, who knows. Anyone out there looking for the next Hamilton?

Oh, and one more thing:  shortly before my husband Jim died in 2012, I finished the first draft of my fifth novel, The Intuitive.  I put it aside then because I had a far more important matter to pay undivided attention to.   I had lost all my enthusiasm for the publishing process, so after his death, I never opened the file on my computer. Actually, I didn’t write anything. For years. Another project since I moved to Victoria has been a huge revision of that work, and now it is sitting again, waiting for the time and circumstances to be right.

One novel rewirite and two plays in a year!  I guess you could say I am on a roll.  Add to that, I now have a number of cruise assignments from this fall into next summer.  The  idea of planning travel is exhilarating, and of course I have some great ideas for a few new lectures, also a major source of creativity for me. So, break out the champagne and the brass band—the girl is back in town! 

One thought on “And Away She Goes!”

  1. Marilyn Wolovick says:

    I love your unbridled enthusiasm! Thank you for sharing your creative journey. I am looking forward to seeing what unfolds for you as you blossom into the fullness of your writing.

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