The brick laid courtyard was edged with a bank of lilac bushes, an explosion of conical lavender clusters, each miniature petal carried a hint of spring’s eternal freshness. – EPER Novel in Progress.
Lilacs are my favorite. I can’t decide if it’s their color, purple is my favorite color, a blend of the soft blues of the ocean and the vibrancy of red hearts. Or, their soothing fragrance. Or, the childhood memories they evoke. My bedroom had windows on two walls. Outside one window was a bank of purple lilacs dividing our yard from our neighbors. Out the back window was a white lilac. I knew it was finally spring when I could open my windows and those fragrant blooms could join me inside. Is it any wonder for my first novel that they appear in the opening scene?
So when I saw this photo taken and posted by my friend Marjorie, I knew I had to use it for this week’s post. Just like the lilac flowers and the butterfly alit upon it, my novel is blooming. One of my Facebook groups of fellow writers designated this weekend as another marathon weekend of writing, #WeWriMo. I cleared my calendar and wrote. And wrote, and wrote. The most productive weekend and session I’ve had since starting back in January and ended in February with just shy of 4,000 words total for the opening chapter and the submission for the end of my class. This weekend yielded 2,008 words with 500 of them coming from a one-hour sprint guided by one of my Facebook organizers. Thank you, Diana S! I even managed to carve out time with a surprise visit from Brendan for the weekend. BTW – Happy Mother’s Day to All, whether you are a mother, grandmother, godmother, dog/cat mother, spending time with your own mother or enjoying some quiet time to recall special moments with her.
Eliza’s story has reached a good stopping point for a couple of weeks. I now need to prepare for my writer’s retreat in June. After last week’s post, I have lined up five friends to preview read for me. I have proofread, edited and outlined 10 questions for them. I will anxiously be awaiting their feedback. Fingers crossed they like it.
Finally, I would be remiss if I wrote about lilacs today and didn’t mention Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly. The WWII genre has been hot recently, including Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, and I have always enjoyed that period of history, even wrote my US History paper in high school on the Battle of Britain. Lilac Girls offers an interwoven story of three women whom you don’t realize are connected until deep into the book. The most powerful part of the book was finishing it and realizing I truly despised one of the characters. Ms. Kelly could have taken the story and wrapped it with a happy, we’re all friends, atonement conclusion. But, she didn’t. That ability to hold true to a character from start to finish is admirable. I hope I can replicate her success. Thank you Ms. Kelly and your dedication to writing women’s historical fiction.
UPDATED: The prequel to Lilac Girls, is also great. More info here: Lost Roses: Barbs and Beauty
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