Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Little Break To Write a Novel

This may be the first time I've had a five-day span without a blog post since I started posting in October of 2008. It's not a matter of being neglectful and it is certainly not a matter of not having anything to say.

For the past eight days or so, I've been writing that novel I have been talking about for 18 months and if word output is any indication, the book is ready to be born. I have written 28,000 words in that time, writing a scene here, a chapter there, as time made itself available around my day job.

It is, from my perspective, a good story. My high school in a tiny town in the far western mountains of North Carolina had one of the nation's best square dance teams for many years (the school no longer exists, but the consolidated high school in Avery County is still a square dance powerhouse; the photo above is the 1960 team). It won two national championships, eight state titles and retired the Mountain Youth Jamboree's Old Smokey trophy, a big deal in this sport. (Here is a piece I did on the real team for Blue Ridge Country magazine in January.)

Square dance is a cultural and heritage issue in North Carolina and my book is based around an outside threat to this heritage. It is set during what would have been my senior year in high school and is an entertaining yarn, I think.

So, for a while longer, blog posts will not likely be as frequent as they have been. For some of you, I suspect, that's good news.


  1. Dan: As a paying member of Valley Writers Chapter of Virginia Writers, which is also a member of Blue Ridge Arts Council, am I entitled to attend the lit agents' seminar on 17 & 19 Aug without forking over $10 per non-mbr?

  2. I don't know the answer to that. VWCVa joined the council as an organization, but my thought is that for the $30 membership fee the Council would not allow every individual member to be a full member for that single $30. If you can't afford the $10, let me know and I'll see that it is paid for you. The Arts Council is a non-profit and needs every penny it can get.