Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dedicated to the One I Love...

I'm working on final edits for my October release, Love is Grand. I know some authors don't enjoy edits, but I do. This is my final chance to make sure I have chosen the right words to tell my story.

And I love this story. For those of you who've read the other books in the Walk in the Park series, you're familiar with Ainsley and everything she's gone through. Here's the tentative back cover copy:

Ainsley Davis had it all. . .

. . .a job she loved
. . .a husband she adored
. . .a baby on the way

But after her husband’s unexpected death, she left her job and retreated to the safety of her parents’ home. Two years later, Ainsley is still there, raising the baby alone and envisioning danger around every corner. When her position as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon reopens, she realizes God may be trying to tell her to return—if she can face the fears that hold her captive.

Fellow ranger Dustin Cooper is thrilled to have his old friend back. But Ainsley isn’t the fearless girl he remembers. Even so, Dustin pushes her to put her trust in God and jump back into her life.

Policeman Jake McGuire fled to the Grand Canyon after an on-the-job mistake. He’s determined to live a stress-free, anonymous life. Until he meets Ainsley. Suddenly he realizes he’d like to be a hero again—if only in her eyes.

Can Ainsley regain her zest for life—despite the risks—and find the right man to walk alongside her? If so, she may be surprised to find that even the second time around, Love is Grand.

Well? What do you think? Sound like a book you want to read? I hope so!

In addition to edits, it's also time to pen the dedication. I find dedicating the book to be very difficult. I read somewhere that a book dedication was kind of like a tattoo--once it was inked, there was no turning back.

So far, I've dedicated books to both of my parents, both sets of grandparents and three of my best friends. I have a couple more days to settle on the dedication for Love is Grand. I have an idea for the dedication, but I'm not sure yet.

How about you? If you wrote a book, who would you dedicate it to?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Letters to Juliet...my own version

At Juliet's tomb in Verona, Italy (I'm back row on the right)

I went to see Letters to Juliet a couple of weeks ago and was hit with nostalgia.

Why? Because once upon a time, I spent three months traveling through Europe. During that time, I visited so many amazing places. One of them...Verona, Italy. And you guessed it, I penned my own letter to Juliet while I was there!

So you can imagine my delight at seeing the movie. I love Italy. Love it. (I secretly consider putting all of my belongings in storage and bumming around Italy--writing, eating yummy food, and talking to cute Italian guys...)

And to get to revisit Verona on the big screen was cool. Honestly...I had all but forgotten writing my own letter to Juliet until I saw the movie. It all came back to me as I watched, and sure enough--when I got home and found the battered journal I filled that summer...

"Saturday, June 14, 1997...I am on a train headed back to Florence via Bologna. We visited Verona today, the city of Romeo and Juliet. We walked to Juliet's tomb from the train station and it was so cool. There were a ton of letters and flowers and we were the only ones there. I wrote a 'Dear Juliet' letter and left it at the tomb. We walked to her house and saw the balcony and her statue..."

I won't bore you with the rest of the entry, but will say that there was a pressed flower stuck in that page that I'd taken from one of the bouquets left at the tomb.

I only have a vague recollection of my letter to Juliet. If I remember correctly, it spoke of true love and soul mates--and was written on a piece of purple notebook paper I borrowed from one of the other girls traveling with me.

Thirteen years have passed since I penned my letter to Juliet. During that time I've had some really bad dates. And some really good ones. Along the way I've met Mr. Almost Right, Mr. WRONG, and Mr. Could Be...If He'd Get His Act Together. (LOL)  But like I told a group of students recently...the path I'm on is the one for me. I look back and those times I thought I was flailing around aimlessly, I was really gathering the experiences that I would someday write about. The experiences that would add up and make me who I am supposed to be.

And I'm thankful that one of those experiences was traveling through Europe and writing a letter to Shakespeare's most famous heroine. :)

Photos of the trip below: (and yes, these are pre-digital camera pictures that I had to scan...so the quality isn't all that great!)
On the train on our way to Verona...yes, that is a Yoda figurine with us. He was sort of our mascot that summer...

Plaque at Juliet's tomb, quoting Shakespeare


Statue of Juliet, outside her house

At Castleveccio in Verona (mentioned in the movie)
And how about you? Have you ever visited a place that later showed up in a movie or in a book? Or is there an experience you wish you could "do over" because it was so cool?


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