September 07, 2009

The Kind of September



The other day, I handed in my manuscript for The Virgin Cure. There's still much to be done in the year before publication, but now the work becomes a collaborative effort with other voices and talents entering into the process. It's an exciting time, full of possibility.

So, it's seven days into September and this one's been lovely and good so far. And that's important - because I've had at least a couple of Septembers that have left me wrecked. One in the late 90's that ended in a personal upheaval of the heart and of course September of 2001 when I was, like the rest of the world, left fearful and lost.



Last year at this time I was in New York City, hoping to figure out what was missing from the story I was trying to tell in The Virgin Cure. I logged many hours at the library of the New York Historical Society (one of my favourite places on the planet!) I walked through the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my budding artist of a son, both of us awestruck over the J.M.W. Turner exhibit. I spent a beautiful evening with the NYC Buddhist community and people of all faiths setting lanterns afloat at the water's edge.



Then, I walked the streets and sidewalks that had once been travelled by my great great grandmother in her work as a medical student and physician in the late 1800's. As I went, I did my best to conjure up the memory of the women and children she served. I stood on Second Avenue, staring at the place where the Blackwell sister's infirmary once was. I went to Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street, to see where Peter Stuyvesant's great pear tree had lived for over 200 years. In those steps, on those streets that day I found my answer. I found the voice I'd been waiting for, the voice of my story, the voice of a little girl who wanted to become New York.

6 comments:

mapelba said...

Here is much happiness at your finishing your next novel. Hurray! Now may the next year bring you the peace you need to face those edits! Have fun with it.

aliceinparis said...

Here's to a wonderful September and finding voices to tell our stories:)

Paved Paradise said...

September is a special month... the weather's often at its clearest, and there's the element of possibility, of new challenges and changes. Now, of course, there is the shock and sadness of Sept. 11

Cheryl Arkison said...

I love this post with its reference to finding a voice to your story. That phrase is just so striking for me as a writer. Thank-you.

Oma said...

You post so seldom ... but each one is precious when it arrives. Thank you ... and I am so glad that you have finished the ms for the new novel so that we can all read what has absorbed you. And thank you for sharing the things that move you, the things that inspire your writing ... such as finding the voice. I am just now discovering that art can lead the way to writing and to the voice ...

meli-mello said...

Your next novel sounds fascinating. I'm really looking forward to diving into it.

I have to say, September has always been my favourite month: the weather, the leaves, the anticipation of things to come. Even without going to school everyday I feel like I am always waiting for September. I'm glad you are having a good one.