You know, writing is one of those things that I’ve always done throughout my life, but never to the point of publishing. I have scores of stories that I’ve started, all waiting for me to bring them fully to life, but when Polly showed up in my mind, I knew she was real and she brought a lot of friends along for the ride.
The little town of Bellingwood exists in its entirety in my mind, too. At least once a week, I drive past the corner where I planted the town in some poor farmer’s fields. It’s the Bellingwood corner to me. When the morning mist hangs over the horizon, I swear I can see the buildings rising up to greet the day. Did you ever see the musical Brigadoon? Kind of like that. I know just where Sycamore House lies and how far it is from there to the downtown. I see the facades on the fronts of the downtown shops and the library, with fifteen steps going up to the front door from street level. I see Joe’s Diner, with its red checkered curtains hanging from the midpoint of the windows and the name painted in white with red outlines on the glass. The bell on the doorway rings every time someone walks in and Lucy smiles as she carries ice-filled glasses of water to the tables. “Order up!” is heard and she carries plates of tenderloins and burgers around while people move out of her way as they talk to their friends over cups of coffee and glasses of coke.
There is nothing more fun for me than to listen in my mind as the townspeople tell me what is happening in their community and find a way to transmit it, so Bellingwood continues to live on, even amidst the seemingly constant tragedies that show up around Polly Giller. For a couple of weeks every few months, she gets embroiled in something or other and those are the stories I have to tell. The rest of the time, her life is as normal as anyone else’s. She lives, laughs, loves and plays with all of her animals and her friends.
Book 1 – All Roads Lead Home will be free until Saturday, March 15th. I hope you have fun with us in Bellingwood! Click on the book link in this paragraph or on the picture of the book at the beginning of this post to get your copy!