Monday, April 9, 2018

Behind a Laurel Hedge

Okay, I misspoke--or mis-wrote--or even worse, mis-forecast my future a while back.  I said good bye to my readers, you folks who have been tuning in to Breakout Novel: A Race. . . on and off for several years.  I know about you because Google Analytics (a ghostly Google entity) has let me know that even after I gave my last hurrah to this project, some of you kept tuning in.

I'm back as a blogger.  I'm also back as emerging novelist, not that I haven't been emerging for fifteen years or more until I decided to stop emerging. The reason is that my publisher has accepted a new story of mine, one that I wrote a year or so ago and gave up on because it didn't have an old lady in it.  She will publish it in September, despite the fact that it doesn't fit the Henlit model. No old ladies wander its pages, just memories of an old lady.  Me.

 The time is about l970;  the place is the postwar housing development I grew up in and left in l956 for marriage and who knew what. The small bungalows were built for returning veterans and for
shipyard workers like my father. Families had some money, probably for the first time in their lives. They could afford a new house, two bedrooms, one bath and yards big enough to build a garage in.  They were beginning again, this time without war. The future looked good. The neighborhood filled working husbands and wives who had time to make friends over morning coffee klatches.

But war continued, not THAT war, but the one in Korea, then Vietnam, then the Middle East.  When the first settlers in the development moved on, their old homes filled with new surges of veterans' families glad to have a chance to begin again, to heal. Eleanor, old timer, white, in the neighborhood, meets  her new neighbor, Patsy, black, through a hole in the overgrown laurel hedge that separates their houses. Different wars, different colors, similar struggles. Their lives entangle, like the limbs of the hedge between them.

I really like this story. However, my publisher and I cannot agree on a title  My idea, You've Come to the Right Place is a copyrighted song title.  She says we can't use it.  Do any of you have a suggestion? 


Jo Barney Writes
Website: www.jobarneywrites.com
Blog: breakoutnovelarace.blogspot.com

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