Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back at Work on the New Novel

I just spent Christmas with the Saint, the kids, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, their two daughters (my nieces), and my brother-in-law's mother and brother. In Charlotte, Vermont. It's (Char-LOTT, not CHAR-lut, by the way). Charlotte, Vermont, makes my hometown of Cooperstown, or even the actual town where I grew up, Fly Creek, look like Manhattan.

It's 220 miles due North of Boston. Only a couple of hours from Montreal. In other words: The North Pole.

We had a wonderful time, except that my oldest son came down with strep throat. I got a terrific book from my mother, called From Fly Creek, by Jim Atwell, a guy from Fly Creek I've never met. If you're from Fly Creek, you'll know just how hard it is to be from Fly Creek and not know someone else from Fly Creek.

In my defense, Jim Atwell took early retirement in Maryland and moved full-time to Fly Creek just as I was graduating from college, getting ready for law school, and transplanting myself full-time to Boston.

I digress. Jim Atwell's book is a spectacular take on small-town life. First-rate storytelling and spellbinding prose. I had an inkling the book would be great, because I've been reading Jim's columns online in my hometown paper for years (many are reproduced in the book). But the book is even better than the collection of columns.

Note to self: Meet Jim Atwell on the next trip home. It's funny that a book by a guy who transplanted himself in Fly Creek makes me long for Fly Creek... You'd swear that Jim Atwell had lived his entire life in Fly Creek. Well, actually, you wouldn't, but you could. It's funny to read how a college professor became a pig, chicken and sheep farmer. Among other things.

Anyway, you can find out more about Jim Atwell's book at his website. I can't wait to read this one again.

A side note about the trip to Vermont (nice, nice vacation). Over on his blog, Joe Konrath is talking about how he hasn't taken a real vacation in 4 years. I logged in to say that I'd have answered Joe sooner, but I was on vacation.

Try it, Joe. You'll like it. All that rural, Northern countryside inspired me. I found about six chapters' worth of the new book up there in the Green Mountains. Even after edits, that means at least two chapters will take place there.

Don't knock vacation: I spent time with the Saint, my kids, my parents, and most of that side of my family. And the extreme rural... ruralness?... rurality... ruraliciousness?... And the extreme lack of people supplied the setting for some really good scenes from my new novel. Plus, the maple syrup was delicious.

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as mine were.


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Blogger Kelly said...

Call me stupid. I read a story/article in a writers magazine by Konrath (duh) I recognized the book covers.

7:32 PM, December 27, 2005  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Konrath's terrific for new writers.

His blog is my first stop almost every day.


7:51 PM, December 28, 2005  

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