Six panes. Six favorite scenes. This reclaimed cottage window, now turned picture frame, hangs in my Cape kitchen. Looking at the six scenes made me think of the six preview readers helping me with my upcoming writers’ retreat assignment. My primary request was to have them identify five pages which they consider the most poignant, the strongest example of my writing. So far I have heard back from 4 of the 6. They have each selected a different scene.
The good news – within my first 48 pages, four people have identified different scenes for a five page excerpt and none of them match my own personal favorite. Taking some liberties with math, that means readers like nearly 50% of the book to date. Very encouraging!
The flip side – I still need to identify a five page excerpt. I have two other readers who I expect will get back to me before the due date I listed for the feedback. Here’s to hoping at least one of them matches up. If not, at least my six-paned window of scenes will be full. Maybe I’ll have to resort to eenie-meanie…
When I settled on the idea of using this window as an image, I thought I might find a clever phrase or quote to accompany it and did a quick Google search. Nothing struck me as appropriate, but I can’t help sharing two which jumped out at me:
My favorite journey is looking out the window. Edward Gorey
I love this sentiment. Maybe because Jim and I spend so much time driving and I love looking out the window to take in the nuances and quirks of the places we drive through. Bonus is that it’s from Edward Gorey best known for his macabre illustrations. He was a Cape Cod artist who lived down the street from my Nana (now our cottage) and was a regular in the little ice cream café/shop I worked in for two summers. He would sit at the counter and order an egg salad sandwich on white bread or a hot dog on a grilled roll and finish off with small dish of one of our homemade ice cream specialties – like peach. He would always doodle on the paper napkins. Foolish 17 year old that I was always threw them away when I cleared the counter.
We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
An interesting thought by an acclaimed artist of words and images. Windows in all forms make a difference. Looking out, looking in and looking inward. Isn’t there another saying, the eyes are the windows to the soul? My preview readers will recognize the name Khalil Gibran for he does appear in my book based on family facts I have unearthed. I guess everyone else will have to wait until publication to learn how and why he would appear in Eliza’s story. And, I have another book to add to my summer reading list, Gibran’s The Prophet (A Borzoi Book). I have never been a huge fan of poetry and I guess I am quite ignorant. I never knew Gibran has been listed as the third best selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. One of my readers knew him and commented to me with her feedback. I’ve just ordered a copy.
I received “The Prophet” when I was a teenager and it has been a go-to- book for me ever since. So beautiful, so wise and brilliant!