Books by the fire

A heartfelt thanks to pattyisbooked for the IG Book Tree Challenge.

I confess. Christmas grinch here. Not horrible and grouchy and mean and selfish, just sluggish in a to-everything-a-season-in-due-course way. Every year, I awake with a jolly spirit in my own time (usually around the 21st of December or so). Well, who could’ve guessed this lovely little challenge would speed things along?

A magical trio for sure: Books, firelight, snowflake.

My newly published Lainey Cash, Book One found its way front and center amid a mad dash of personal authorship must-haves in tree form:

  1. The Travel Book because the more you go, the more you know.
  2. The Canterbury Tales because characterization is key.
  3. Time Travel Short Stories because I need inspiration and direction for my newest venture, a historical, Halloween, time-traveling work-in-progress, Return.
  4. The John Deere Story because Lainey and Jed are farmers. I’m a farmer’s wife and it’s something I celebrate!
  5. Lainey Cash, Book One because I wrote it, it’s published, and that’s self-happiness, glee, and cheer in a rectangle.
  6. Bella Tuscany because I adore Italy, particularly Tuscan lands and memories of Florence.
  7. Such a Pretty Girl because such a pretty cover hooked me and every author harbors a to-be-read pile.
  8. Pocket Thesaurus because this lady still loves one.
  9. Writer’s Block because I penned an entire unforeseen trilogy in a sparked frenzy this summer from one question in there.

Live your joy. –Clare Cinnamon

Cover me up

In the writing world, there are identification terms for how the author generally pens the story known as plotter and pantser. The pantser flies by the seat of her/his pants with a story star-bursting in passionate energy that cannot be denied. Me. Writing furiously and feverishly all at once! Nine novels in twenty years, most started and finished within months.

For an author, inspiration can come from anywhere. Out of the blue. A look, a card, a canvas, a person, a word, a song. And, unfortunately at times, nowhere…

Today as I sit by our Christmas tree (which our grown kids insisted building a toy train around), I revisit last December 23. We were at a gathering of friends; guy had a guitar; we sang along. He broke into a tune that hooked me from the start. I’m a music addict, right behind books; however, I didn’t know the song. When we got home around midnight, I sat by the Christmas tree, alone in the dark, and downloaded it.

It was a book in a song. A song in a book. A love story and a tragedy. Not only did I have to hear it, I had to write. With immediacy. The title alone, “Cover Me Up” spoke volumes. I was lost to it. My own new story, characters coming in a vivid flash. Their beauty and neediness. The up and downs of family, home, and love. On a creek bank in Georgia. A Nashville wannabe torn between two brothers since she was fifteen. One in the Marines, the other living next door. A mother with a drug habit. A hardworking, chain-smoker father. Her songs, her surroundings, her story as clear as a coffee table picture book.

I could quote lyrics to “Cover Me Up,” but it’s the whole of it. Simple, gripping, pure. My .02.

A year later, a novel 2/3 finished all because of four minutes and fifty-three seconds of another artist revealing his own soul, in one way or another. I don’t believe anyone would pick up my A Town Called Lake (on the roster for 2021) and make any sort of connection. But, credit where credit’s due.

What a treat, to wonder, to know, or not to know, why we write what we write. Happened to catch Jason Isbell talking about “Cover Me Up” recently. He and his girlfriend challenged each other to write a song in a day, departed, wrote, and reconvened. He’s a pantser, too, I guess!

Never doubt, your words can change the course of fate. -Clare Cinnamon

May you find a nugget of inspiration and express yourself. -CC