Beginnings. How many times in one short life can we begin yet again? I hope the answer is “as many times as you dare” because this new year brings a very concrete new start for me: I have a new publisher! Here is the announcement in Publishers Marketplace, the rag of record for the publishing industry.

The backdrop is the view of the Blue Ridge from my house, taken last summer when the tickweed was rioting in splendor across the fields. As the announcement says, the book is set in the Blue Ridge (and in Charlottesville) which means I wrote it while looking at the landscape to which my characters, particularly a girl named Iris, belong. And I do mean belong. TRUE PLACES is very much about our connection (and disconnection) with nature, so the setting, that glorious wilderness beyond my window, was at the center of the story’s creation.

My new publisher is very excited about this book, which is nice of them, don’t you think? And it makes me hopeful. As cynical as I can be about publishing, a shiny new book deal is a beautiful thing. All writers want, after all, is to put our stories in the hands of readers. That’s it.

Oh, and a nod from Reese or Oprah.

And a movie deal.

Just kidding! But not really. A girl can dream. A girl should dream. Even a fifty-eight-year old woman who is still a girl inside should absolutely dream and begin again and again and again as many times as she damn well pleases.

New year, new publisher, new book, new hope. New page.