Today I found the meaning of something enormous: 888 words today, 5962 total.

Fifth book in the series. The other four are written (but not revised), and I’m almost ten percent of the way through this one…

AND TODAY I found the primary subtheme of the entire five-book arc.

It’s been there all along. It’s been there since the first scene of the first novel in the first draft.

It’s been in every single book.

But TODAY is the first day I saw it — and it took a time-traveling smack on the back of the head from my seventh-grade Ohio History class over at West Branch Junior High back when I was thirteen years old to make me see it.

Parts of what this series and this world I’m building are about have been clear to me from the start. I love Ohio, I have always loved Ohio, and in the forty years I was away from it, I never stopped missing it. This is the dirt I was made of, and the place that made my ancestors even back before this was a state.

That love was, and is, and will be the baseline on which the series is built. Love of a place long-lost, never forgotten, and finally regained.

Not the same when you return as you remembered… because you didn’t see a lot of what was here when you were little.

But some parts of this series have come leaping out at me and grabbed me.

This just slipped up behind me and whispered in my ear… and then chuckled before disappearing back into my subconscious mind.

It’s a huge plot point, so I can’t even hint, dammit.

But it was beautiful to discover what the part of me that works without telling me what’s its doing has been doing while I’ve been writing the parts I DO know about.

I love this job. It’s a nutty, weird job. But I love it.

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By Holly

Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

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Bev cobbett
Bev cobbett
1 year ago

I can relate so well to your back-to-your-roots emotional ties, Holly. This post make my heart squeeze.

My mother separated from my dad and moved us kids back to her home town when I was seven, turning eight. I spent the next six years immersed in the tiny, but rich and robust farming community life surrounded by my maternal grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. I loved my life and planned to put down my own roots there. But on a whim, Mother again packed up the car, dragged me (the youngest and only kid left at home) across two and a half provinces to the wild, densely-forested British Columbia far north—far, far away from my beloved prairie fields.

Like you, Holly, I never stopped missing it. But too much happened, too much time passed, and there were too many changes in my life to ever go back.

I think it’s interesting how your book series came from this hidden source within you, unbeknownst to you all this time. How satisfying learning this must feel.

I’m very new to reading your work but have loved everything I’ve read. I look forward to all your books. I love how you write! It’s now my challenge–my dream–to learn to write like you.

Thank you, so much, for all that you’ve given to us students, for all the hard work that you’ve done, so that our work is less. I can’t begin to tell you how much I admire your writing.

Bev Cobbett
Bev Cobbett
Reply to  Holly
1 year ago

Thank you, for all of this. It means a lot.

On another note . . . I don’t know where you’re at with things, but you had been asking for help with proof-reading . . . If you still need help and will direct me, I’d be happy to help out.

Bev Cobbett
Bev Cobbett
Reply to  Holly
1 year ago

I’ll be here if I’m needed.

Christine Randall
1 year ago

Yayyyy. A real a-ha moment for you then!

1 year ago

That sounds amazing. So much fun.

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