“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.” -William Faulkner
The seeds of my novel WATER LILY started two-and-a-half years ago, as I juggled visas and packing slips through the whirlwind of my family’s Trans-Atlantic move to Prague from Ohio. My life was chaotic pre- and post-move, but being able to work on one thing, a story, during a time of intense transition was a necessity. And so began WATER LILY.
Then Prague entered my life and my well of inspiration filled to almost bursting at the seams. Beautiful Prague has had a generous hand in Water Lily‘s development.
For the past many years, I’ve written on novels, all of which have been pushed into a writing drawer. But Water Lily is the story that has held on and kept with me. I love the characters and the story. With each rewrite of Water Lily, the story stakes became higher and the characters more complex. And last week, after years of drafts and intense recent work with my wonderful writing partner, I finished the final draft of Water Lily!
The writing journey and the path to publication is a long one, but it’s one I’m very excited about. Following, the pitch for Water Lily:
“When twenty-eight year old fashion model Rachel Revere receives a letter from Prague, it shatters everything she has been told about her parents and their death twenty-three years ago. Her father’s heirloom viola has surfaced in the Prazsky royal music archives in Czech Republic, the letter says, and raises the question that her father may be still alive. With former boyfriend David Weston, Rachel sets off on a quest to find the truth of her past, placing her career, her engagement, and her family ties in jeopardy. In travels to Prague and coastal Japan, Rachel discovers her father’s viola, marked with ivory-inlayed water lilies, to be a priceless Stradivarius, whose true identity had long been hidden from Nazi and Soviet confiscation. And with the viola, she finds the final link leading to the truth about her past.
Inspired by the true story of the Lobkowicz family in the Czech Republic, WATER LILY intertwines the past and its mysteries with Rachel’s present search into long-held secrets, exploring the theme that despite the ways others sabotage the past, the human spirit will rise to discover it anew, again.
WATER LILY, 80,500 words, is contemporary up-market fiction … ”
After The End, I celebrated with my guys, of course, but then it was on to the next (grueling) phase first-time novelists must go through: the search for a literary agent. I am deep in that process now. The process of completing a novel, getting an agent and then a publisher is a long journey …but it’s worth it. Story is vital.
One of my favorite teachers of writing and story, the famed Robert McKee, author of STORY, says this: “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.”
Last night, I was reminded of how important stories are to life and living.
My oldest son (7th grade) had the opportunity along with his class at school to become student curators with the Lobkowicz Collections. About two hundred parents sat surrounded by the exquisite trompe l’oeil paintings of the Lobkowicz Palace Imperial Hall. And, before the dozen presentations on the 16th century artifacts (swords, armor, jeweled purses, coins, etc–all wow! items), the lead teacher talked about the reason for the project. The main question, he said, was: what stories do these objects tell and how do those stories relate to our lives today?
Yes. Life is full of inspiration and stories. The meaningful part of life happens when we can tie those stories together, and they can live and create life again. This is the reason why I write.
Huge thanks to my many writer friends for their feedback and encouragement along the way, and especially my super writing partner.
Thanks to all of you for prayers and crossed fingers, toes, etc., for the next step in the journey!