Welcome to the new Louise (the Web site version)...
I can do many things but Web design is not one of them. After hours soul-crushing labor--I saved the changes! I did!-- and throwing the little rubber hand exercise balls around my office (carpel tunnel, the mark of a true writer), confusing my little dogs (playtime?), it is finished. I have my friend Kim Primerano to thank for the cool photo I used as the background. Kim lives in Ocean Beach, in a little house on Lotus Street, where I go to write sometimes. Kim is a runner who takes really pretty photos. Her subjects, no doubt, amazing: the beach, the towering palms, the cotton candy sky, her white boxer Lily (love!), and all the places she travels to.
My novel is finished and I have to say I got some of the inspiration there. Part of the book takes place in Ocean Beach after the Second World War. My protagonist, guess where she lives? In a little bungalow on Lotus Street. I moved Kim's house a tad closer to the beach, which she was OK with, and painted it sky blue with a petal pink door. My next book dives into a time period when men were coming home from war, and the women were coming home from the factories, breathing sighs of relief. As Charles Dickens said:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."
I just love that opening line in A Tale of Two Cities.
The working title for my next book is Falling Toward Home. In brief...
They survived the worst calamity in modern history and went on to rebuild their lives with all the promise of buttercream cakes and marital bliss; homes decorated in the colors of heaven and ice cream, with blue kitchens and pink bathrooms, rose gardens and white-picket fences. But the war days haunted them.
Of course I used all my war history knowledge--one character is a survivor of USS Indianapolis--and my penchant for massive amounts of research in constructing this tale. My protagonist is female though, as this is a part coming-of-age, part love story. I have always said that war stories are people stories to the core. To me it's never been about bombs and territories; it's about the people affected by what happens. And the lingering effects always take place on the home front. I have to say writing fiction is a very different beast to slay, but I love it. I am already planning my second novel.
Today I am well into the querying phase--trying to find the right agent to find a home for my book. So far reception has been good. But publishing moves in molasses so I am trying to be patient. Ahh, patience...that virtue I keep forgetting about. In the meantime, a little story. Kim's house is old. Early 1900s and very, very cute. It's been renovated and I have to tell you, the photos in the kitchen, whoever nailed those in place really nailed it! (Inside joke: They are crooked. Really, really crooked. Kim was moving in and I decided to help her unpack and decorate. Of course this involved a lot of wine, laughing, and a late-night purchase of a cow skull with flowers. And the hanging of pictures. Kim says it's like a DUI test. If the pictures are straight you have to spend the night on the sofa.) Kim is the first new owner of the house in over sixty years. The last lady to live there was Virginia Rose Fournier, aka Ginger. Ginger's husband Paul Fournier died in 1954 in an explosion on board the aircraft carrier USS Bennington. In her obituary was a poem Paul wrote for her. Bittersweet, she lived this everyday and so should we...
Remember This Be good, but not too good-a little naughty, but not too naughty. Say a prayer if you feel that way, say damn if it gives you consolation. Be kind to the world always, if possible. Yet if you must be unkind, smash right and left, get over it and forget it. Smile, always smile, have a smile ready even though sometimes it hurts. Grab all the happiness you can-wherever and whenever you can. Don’t let even a wee bit slip past you. Live above all things. Live, don’t simply exist. If you are blessed enough to know what real love is-love with all your heart, soul and body. Live your life so that at any hour you will be able to shake hands with yourself and try to accomplish at least one thing worthwhile each day. Then when your nights come you will be able to pull up the covers and say to yourself…”I have done my best.”
All photographs in gallery by Kimberly Primerano, all shot in Ocean Beach, California. (So many to choose from!)