Saturday, August 25, 2012

Three Rivers: Full Circle

In 2008 I ran into my sister's friend Emily at a bar. She had just purchased a cabin up in Three Rivers, CA and told me it would make an excellent writing retreat, and if ever I wanted to write there to get in touch with her. I think I got in touch the next weekend. I was struggling with my novel at the time and needed a place to clear my head. I set out on a rainy day in February armed with my laptop and not much else, and when I arrived 3 1/2 hours later I marveled at the setting. I spent the next three days marveling at the setting, taking walks, taking naps, having dinner with a neighbor, reading books, watching movies. I did everything but write.

But a funny thing happened. About a month after returning from my "writing retreat" I had a dream about a character named "Ruth Tichner" and in my dream she was having sex with her boyfriend and somehow in that dream I knew she was a hoarder. I woke up and started writing the dream down (which ended up being one of the first scenes in the book) and soon I started writing more than the dream. Soon the cabin in Three Rivers started playing a role in the novel - at first a small role and then a bigger role. And soon after that I realized I had two major characters in my novel and that I had to figure out how to unite them.

This past Thursday, the whole thing came full circle when I had a reading of "Imperfect" (only $4.99 wherever ebooks are sold!) at the Three Rivers local library. You see, in May I ran into Emily's sister Anna at a party and she suggested I get in touch with Christina, the neighbor with whom I had dinner 4 years ago on my "writing retreat". One thing lead to another and before I knew it, Chris had organized a reading for authors who have been inspired by the town of Three Rivers.

I grabbed my friend Maggie Marr and we road-tripped it up to the cabin. At the library we set out about 25 chairs which were all filled by members of the community. I loved hearing the other authors read. Later, we had an excellent dinner at neighbor Chris' house (who has her own novel coming out in November) before retiring to the cabin that inspired the subplot.

Isn't life funny?

Setting up with Chris and Maggie

Reading from "Imperfect"

Author Dalan Smith

Poet Bill Haxton

In front of the library.

Yummy dinner

Maggie and I walking in Three Rivers...

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