Well, just when I thought my self-publishing blitz was winding up for the year Kelly presented me with a list of fifteen or sixteen of her favorites from my "early" writing days in the 1990's and 2000's. This was when I was in my French phase...so last night we spent some time playing with Google Translate to make sure my rusty French was as accurate as possible- merci Madame Roth et Madame Moran for 6 years of French in middle school and high school.
I didn't even know she liked these stories. And if truth be told, I didn't remember several of them. Had to blow the dust bunnies off my memory- and then was rather amazed that I was so wickedly descriptive and funny. I was influenced by Maurice Chevalier, Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer and others watching old movies when I was growing up. I used different technique writing these stories- in a couple there is an omnipotent narrator who gives us a little insight here and there. In others the story is character driven.
I chose eleven of the stories for this volume from her list, and she came up with the title, Auspicious Beginnings, while her father and I were away in Maine and she was home editing the stories and putting them together in one file for the book.
The description on the back cover was probably the longest I ever wrote, although it's more or less trying to describe the story in a single sentence- not an easy thing to do. Kelly's favorite is The Sentiment of Roses. My favorite is probably Nova because it was based on a real place where my mother took us for hiking and hot chocolate in the fall. I have an old photograph somewhere of my college roommate and best friend, her boyfriend, and my brother having a picnic on the flat rock overlooking the oxbow below where Nova contemplates hurling herself out into the void. It was like picnicking on top of the world. Since that time (late 1970's or very early 1980's) a freak microburst storm struck the mountain, cutting a path of destruction across the west facing slope of this state reservation. That was about a year and a half ago. It still makes you catch your breath to see the raw power of nature- how it literally broke trees in half like matchsticks.
Anyway- this is book fourteen arriving at summer's end for cozy autumn and winter reading.