Death at Fair Havens is the fun part – the plotting, the writing, the negotiations having two authors always brings – even the edits! We hope you have as much fun reading it as we did writing it.
After spending a month learning how to build this site, Maren and I now must tackle another rung on the fiction author’s ladder – the newsletter. This is far more her domain than mine. She has written a recycle truck’s worth of newsletters in her day. She also subscribes to the newsletter of every author she enjoys. I know this because at least twice a week, she forwards me one that she loves. (Of course, this is balanced out by the fact that she gets most of her books from the library, and I buy the majority of mine on Audible or Kindle so that I can read while making dinner or waiting for the kids to get out of school. She knows what I like, so when I see that newsletter pop up, there’s a 100 percent chance I’m going to click through and drop a new book on my digital TBR pile.)
Of course, newsletters are a useful beast – informative, funny, good for publicity – but I came up on the internet with blogs. If you have a blog, I’ll probably follow it. I probably already follow it. I don’t get tired of blogs the way I do of email, constantly popping up to ruin my Inbox 0. I can read a post on my own time, and it doesn’t ask anything of me in return. There’s not much on the internet these days that can say the same.
Do you want to know the best thing about being on a writing team though? You’re allowed to like different things. You’re allowed to be good at different things. You are even allowed to believe, in your heart of hearts, that your partner should be responsible for writing those newsletters she loves so much!
When I think of Maren writing newsletters, I still see her old office in her sunporch. It was always a little too warm (unless it was freezing) and either way, on the futon would be a dog curled up in an afghan. There was a certain smell to the room when either the radiator or sun warmed it, and there were always dust motes settling as she sat with a legal pad in her lap. She did not prioritize dusting the way she did writing, and I understood that if she spent time cleaning, she wouldn’t have time to finish the thing she had to do (a newsletter, a sermon, a workshop) and still have time for the things she wanted to do (poetry, prayers, and fiction).
Unfortunately, I did not inherit her passion for doing all the things. She is the person to call if the world needs loving. She will teach anywhere, march if it will save one person from a great injustice, sit with you as the world falls down around your shoulders. I, on the other hand, am the person to text (or email if you must, but please, never call) if you need a lasagna or someone to play in the creek with your children or dog. I will also dust for you, and water your plants, and clean stubbornly stained tea mugs. I will even take those bags out of your trunk and drop them at Goodwill for you. (Do not call her for those things. Please see note about dusting above.)
All this is to say, we will have a newsletter. It will most likely not be written by me because I am much better at delegating than Maren is, and also, I don’t want to. Instead, I will do the thing I love best, which is to ramble on about books, the garden, women who make everything more interesting, how strange and wonderful it is to blend writing across generations…the good stuff.
Feel free to come along for the ride.