Razor’s Edge, or Dancing on the Razor’s Edge as the case may be began with the title, formed in my mind many years ago when I was working with a patient who self harmed by cutting herself. As it turns out, hers is not the story that the book ended up telling but somehow the title stuck! The day I started writing Razor’s Edge began with this patient in mind but evolved within minutes to become a different story entirely. Once on paper the characters tend to tell their own stories, odd as that may seem, in this situation that is what exactly happened. The creation of the main characters in Razor’s Edge was spontaneous and occurred as my fingers went flying over the keyboard. The plot evolved from the characters and in turn created other characters as they were needed to fill the need of the plot. The whole story wove together, I won’t say seamlessly exactly, but relatively seamlessly over time, featuring a young woman with a trauma history and her most unusual therapist.
Dancing on the Razor’s Edge is a psychological thriller with many twists and turns. The role of ‘heroine’ is shared by these two women whose lives connect in the context of a therapy setting but it soon cascades beyond that setting and to keep things interesting and mysterious a psychopathic villain presents himself, weaving his own gruesome, indomitable tale throughout the plot. Writing Razor’s Edge was a joyous experience; writing it kept me on the edge of my seat and I hope it will do the same for you as you read it!
Check back again for news about Razor’s Edge; when, where and how it will be available. I think you’ll be glad you did!
My second lucky break into the world of publication occurred shortly after the first meeting I attended of the Maryland Writers’ Association. I was lucky to be present when Vonnie Winslow Crist was the presenter, reading some excerpts from her book The Greener Forest. At that time Vonnie also talked about THE GUNPOWDER REVIEW, a literary magazine she co-edited with Wendy Hellier Stevens. THE REVIEW specializes is works submitted by female writers in Maryland. She let us know that she would be accepting short stories and poems for the next few weeks.
Elated I rushed home and turned on the computer! I had written several short stories about animals and after a few revisions I was happy to send her a copy of “Buck and the Lady in the Lake,” featuring my first greatly loved Golden Retriever, Buck. After doing some of her own editing, Vonnie accepted the story and it was included in THE GUNPOWDER REVIEW 2011 edition! I was happy to be invited to launch the publication at a book reading held at Barnes and Noble in Bel Air in November of that year.
Many thanks to Vonnie and the Gunpowder Branch of the National League of American Pen Women for their efforts in creating this wonderful beautiful assembled collection of works by Maryland women authors and artists. The magazine is available at Lulu.com and Amazon.com. If you get the chance to read “Buck and the Lady in the Lake,” I would love to hear your comments!
An audio sample from the short story can be found here:
I have always been an animal lover and through the years have had and loved many animals of different species. Through the course of my life with my animals inevitably many situations arose, some funny, some tragic, some heart-warming. I always knew I’d write about my life with animals but it seems I needed a little impetus to get started. That impetus came through a series of some simple exchanges. I was having a conversation with a 7th grade teacher friend wherein she was describing an assignment she had given her English students. The assignment had to do with stories about unlikely heroes. Within moments I was telling her my ‘unlikely hero’ story. It was about my cat Rajah, a Siamese who indeed rose to hero status years before in an unlikely series of events. She was enthralled by my story so I told her I’d write so she could share it with her students. I wrote the story, she shared it and the students loved it! I called the story “The Hero.” And that was when I became a writer of animal short stories.
Serendipity dipped in a bit later when an author cousin of mine emailed me a link to a website for the Ontario Veterinary College. The announcement, a Call for Submissions, announced that in honor of their 150th year anniversary, The Veterinary College planned to publish an anthology of animal stories. I submitted “The Hero” and it was accepted for inclusion in their book entitled: Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People which was published in 2012.
It seems fitting that Rajah, my first beloved Siamese, led my first foray into the world of publication!
The book is available through Amazon.com and if you get the chance to read “The Hero” I would love to hear your comments!
One of the things I had on my bucket list was to write. From fifth grade English onward, when creative writing was assigned, I relished the task. Of course in those days writing was done in composition books with leaky ball point pens and eventually on peck and poke typewriters replete with smeary erasures. But I always enjoyed the process of writing my thoughts and observations, of creating scenes for the reader to help them see what I saw and feel what I felt.
Having been a sick child, I was naturally inclined toward being an observer, a watcher, a listener. Surrounded by doctors and nurses I learned to read their body language, notice their behaviors toward me and toward one another, read them. I absorbed myself, even entertained myself observing things in the world around me. Noticing even the smallest detail about a person’s expression revealed much about their true feelings and beliefs. I became interested in this process of noticing things. Although I was too young to reach many conclusions about all this and was years away from developing any insight or constructing any formulations about either myself or others, the groundwork was laid. All of this watching, listening and eventually thinking inclined me toward my chosen profession but it also dovetailed with my interest in doing some serious writing.
Through the years as a psychotherapist, there were many times when I’d look across at a patient and think, this is a story that needs to be told. These tragedies and these truths, they need to be shared with others and I’d tuck those stories away somewhere. It is from that wealth of knowledge, my in-depth understanding of human struggle and frailty, of success and recovery that many of my ideas derive. It is out of respect for their lives and their travels that I write and out of their souls come the essence of the characters I develop.