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Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire’

Stubborn as Summer by Justine Graykin

j_graykin_photo “I’m standing on my deck looking out over the leaf-strewn grass, through the woods towards the wetlands. It is a warm October day, drawing close to Halloween, a time, as we say in New England, when the frost is on the pumpkin.

Except there has been no frost.

It is as if summer is holding its breath, refusing to give way to fall.

I am more than half a century old. This seems to me quite remarkable. I remember a world before computers, before the Internet. My grandmother knew an inconceivable world without telephones, cars, or electricity. I was amazed to think about it when she described that world. Now my children look at me the same way.

This year I finished climbing all the mountains in New Hampshire that are four thousand feet or higher, including the Presidentials, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Monroe, windswept rocky piles where the weather can change quickly, the conditions turn deadly, and lives are lost every year. I hiked those mountains and camped out in them alone.

On the trail, the 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings, excused themselves to pass me, striding along, leaving me behind. But I kept plodding along, and I reached the summit eventually through sheer stubbornness.

This year saw the publication of one of my novels, at last, after years of effort, writing and rewriting, submitting and compiling the long list of rejections. At last I had success with Archimedes Nesselrode, a whimsical romantic fantasy rather different from my others. But then again, they are all different from one another. I am asked what kind of fiction I write, and I am at a loss to say. It rambles in all sorts of directions, save one: It is never dark. There is enough suffering in reality. I’ll only allow suffering in my fiction if I can put an end to it.

ANcoverLarrythumb So, publishers seeking dark and dystopian, gritty and urban, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching Oprah books, have passed me by, until now. And readers, exhausted from reading all that emotional mayhem, embrace the gentle humor of Archimedes Nesselrode with delight. Because we all need a bit of fun, a touch of the whimsical, now and again.

At conventions and author events, all those 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings have their stack of books, their publishing history. But here I am with Archimedes, and I’ll get there through sheer stubbornness.

In many traditions, Halloween marks the turning of the year. It wears the face of the Crone as it watches summer wither and fade, taking on the appearance of Death as it pulls over its head the cold blanket of winter. But this year, summer digs in its heels, refusing to yield. And here I am, more than half a century old, climbing mountains and persisting in this damn fool ambition to be a writer, suddenly with success. Plodding on. Stubborn as summer.”

Justine Graykin is a writer and free-lance philosopher sustained by her deep, abiding faith in Science, Humanity and the belief that humor is the best anti-gravity device. Author of Archimedes Nesselrode, a book written for adults who are weary of adult books, she is producer of the BroadPod podcast. She lives, writes and putters around her home in rural New Hampshire, occasionally disappearing into the White Mountains with a backpack. You can find her on her website at www.JustineGraykin.com

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour.

Thanks to Justine Graykin for her guest post. Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words between now and All Hallow’s Eve: speculative authors L.C. Hu, Trisha Wooldridge, Elizabeth Black, and Gail Z. Martin.

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