It is hard to know, with each piece of fiction we create, if it matters. This novel I have finished does not challenge your knowledge of World War 2, or create a world where women act as hand maids but eventually rebel. It doesn’t expose the wrongs of the American justice system or enact a parody of our president. (That would be too easy).
So, does it matter?
The novel, just picked up to be published by Wido publishing, tells the story of three families in Sonoma, California. It weaves their tales together, their past, present and futures becoming entangled in the ways lives do, whenever we share community, geography, secrets, love and lies.
The characters are inspired by the people I know. They are frightened but resilient, lost but found, distant but attached, depressed but occasionally manic. They drink too much wine and occasionally share a joint. They push through grief with a paint brush, or a horse. They immigrate from far away places but hold firmly to the ground of the Sonoma Valley. They are family but not always related by blood. They seek answers about their past, dream of the future but have trouble being present. They are inspiring and frustrating at once. I know, as I have spent a lot of time with them. They are all a little like me, and you.
I hope the novel matters, because in the end we all want our work to matter. But either way, it needed to be written, because the stories were waiting to be told. And it needed to be published, because they needed to be shared.
I’ve written this novel in various forms for years now, changing the form again, and again. Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert, I am finally sending it out to the world.
She writes in Big Magic:
“At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is – if only so you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart.”
Ah, the joy of a glad and determined heart!
So here I go.
Below is the press release. I hope you’ll come to my author site and join my mailing list. Most of all, I hope you read the novel when it comes out, and that you come to like these folks a little bit, and feel inspired to reach out to someone you love, or reach for a pen and write a love letter or lift a glass of wine and say a toast to those you’ve lost.
If so, then it mattered.