Crunchy leaves. Cozy sweaters. Hearty supper soups. Yep, autumn is here in central North Carolina, a welcome relief after five months of heat and humidity. Join me for inspiration and smiles as I search for autumn bliss and reveal what I’m reading, watching, getting excited about, and more to enjoy this season.
How can a book be well-written, witty, delightful and heart-breaking all rolled into one?
Dunno, but Elizabeth Gilbert pulls it off.
The author’s clever narrative revolves around an elderly woman, who writes to a younger woman about her then-young life with a theater company in New York City in the 1940s. We’re surrounded by rich characters supporting this coming of age story told in flashbacks to keep you guessing as Gilbert slowly reveals the protagonist's bittersweet secret.
The audiobook is narrated by another one of my faves, Blair Brown, Tony Award-winning stage actress and star of television and film. A must-read for Gilbert fans in print or audio!
Getting Excited About
I'm not attending the Readers' Favorite Book Awards for Sweet T and the Turtle Team's silver medal in Miami this fall. But it's all good.
Spouse JM and I had already earmarked our travel budget on a bucket list trip to Arizona in the American southwest. We're pumped about taking gentle hikes around Sedona's red rocks country, discovering native peoples' ancient dwellings in national parks, enjoying Flagstaff's laid-back lifestyle at 7,000 feet/2.1 km. elevations, and exploring The Big Kahuna .... the Grand Canyon!
I'm also looking for literary influences in this land of stark beauty and rugged landscapes. I can only think of Barbara Kingsolver's Bean Trees.. Any suggestions for me?
And I must see landscapes immortalized on the silver screen where John Wayne and other Hollywood cowboys giddy-upped into film legend.
Oooooo....feeling another blog post coming on! Stay tuned for a photo walk about my Arizona discoveries here on Cat's Corner..
What an adventure co-writing a middle-grade book with author Rosie Russell .... especially since we live more than 1,000 miles apart.
But regular phone convos, emails, and chapters drafted and uploaded to a shared cloud drive keep us connected. We’re about 25% into the book. Hoping to finish by spring.
Hey, if you have a minute, can you have a look at our *draft log line* below?
"A shy 11-year-old farm girl
just wants to survive fifth grade.
But the new girl in school is out to take her down
and crush her dreams
of entering her horse at the county fair."
What do you think? Rosie and I would be most grateful for your feedback.
Does the log line tell you enough about the story without giving too much away?
Might it draw fifth grade readers (likely girls, although we have boys as secondary characters)?
* log line: a 1 or 2 sentence description of a story's central conflict and plot synopsis
It's a waiting game until December.
I submitted my 3-page summary of Sweet T and the Turtle Team to Wind Dancer Films for the producers to consider for a movie or TV adaptation.
I get tickled thinking about what actor could play which character in my tale. I wonder how the turtles and nests would be shown? What about the bullying scenes? And the tropical storm? I'd love for it to be filmed on location in North Carolina.
It's fun to think about possibilities, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. My research says a a book pitch has about a 4% chance of actually making it to the screen. Plus, there are production technicalities and values that I don't understand, so it's more than just the book's quality..
You’ll be among the first to know if anything comes of this opportunity. Please cross your fingers for Sweet T and me!
Making Me Happy
I’m finally putting down a garden around our cozy yellow cottage. It's been begging for one since we moved here last summer. Major soil amendments coming to sweeten our red Carolina clay that’s brilliant for making pottery but brutal on plants.
Thinking a country cottage look, but not too unkempt. I want a child's garden along the sidewalk where kids pass on the way to the bus stop or pool. Maybe dinosaurs and painted rocks there. But low maintenance and lots of native specimens everywhere. Definitely lots of color and garden art for whimsy, too. Can't wait!
Buckle your swashes! Captain Poldark and Mistress Demelza are back for the fifth and final season of Poldark. This season, its set in the power halls of London as well as on the Cornish coast. Are you watching the series? Read the books by Winston Graham? Lucky UK folk have already seen how our fave 19th-century couple fare.
Fingers crossed here for a happy ending for the idealistic hunky Poldark and his sterling wife (ditto for Drake and Morwenna, Jeffrey-Charles and Cecily, and the Despards).
Hard to imagine anything sweeter than a holiday book festival held in a town called Holly Springs.
If you’re in central North Carolina, please stop by the cultural center in downtown Holly Springs, North Carolina, between 10 am and 2 pm., to say hey! and meet more than two-dozen other writers of books for kids and adults. I’ll be rolling out silver medal stickers for Sweet T and the Turtle Team and bundling toy stuffies for both Turtle Team and Finding Fuzzy.
Seeing Through My Camera Lens
I'm passionate about capturing nature and landscapes with my iphone or Lumix GX7 digital camera. Photography is in my genes, as my great- and great x2 grandfathers were professional photographers in the late-1800s in Minneapolis, MN, and Everett, WN.
Please enjoy fall scenes from my part of the world.
(disclosure: taken last year because fall tints have not arrived yet in central North Carolina)
Thanks for keeping me company as I share my autumn happy places. How are you finding your autumn bliss (or springtime happiness Down Under)? Please do tell in the comment section.
10/21/2019 09:14:14 am
First, Happy Fall, Cat! You always have the best blogs and this one was so fun to read.
10/21/2019 01:21:53 pm
Thanks for falling into autumn with me, Rosie! Appreciate your kind words about Cat’s Corner -:D. I hope you enjoy Elizabeth Gilbert Gilbert’s tale and have a chance to catch Poldark on PBS, too. I am so impressed with how you keep churning out chapters in our work in progress and coming up with kid-friendly ideas to twirl around our middle-grade protagonist.
10/21/2019 12:13:50 pm
You have SO many exciting things going on! What a marvelous autumn for you. Woo hoo for the well-deserved awards and of course my fingers are crossed for the possibility of a TV or movie adaption of your wonderful book - double-crossed!!! Enjoy the southwest! It’s beautiful. Me - settling back home after a trip to Africa, so looking forward to fixing up our courtyard, planting flowers, and a herb garden so we can finally enjoy the cooler weather.
10/21/2019 01:24:39 pm
Julie, a trip to Africa?!? Wow! Bet you’ll have many tales to tell after that adventure! Your herb garden sounds delightful. Appreciate your good wishes for the Turtle Team. No matter how that shakes out, it’s been an honor to be a finalist, and I’m over the moon to share my excitement with readers like you.
10/21/2019 09:02:57 pm
Love your log line. Never heard of that term before!
10/21/2019 09:39:44 pm
10/24/2019 08:03:46 am
Thanks for stopping by Cat’s Corner and offering your good wishes, Maria. I am over the moon that you enjoy my posts and am grateful for your feedback -:D. Delighted we got connected through social media and an awesome group of women!
11/6/2019 08:14:01 pm
I'm a bit late reading this Cat, sorry, better late than never. I hope you are loving your trip to Arizona, it's on my bucket list too, whether I ever get there is yet to be seen. So proud and delighted for you that you have even been nominated for a possible film. Sweet T is amazing and you are already a winner my eyes. Good luck x
11/9/2019 10:20:53 am
Sandra, Appreciate your stopping by at any time. Looking forward to ticking off my bucket list and seeing where my writing journey takes me next. Thanks for your kind wishes!
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