Mixmaster? Just look at ‘Nearly Canaan’

What, me as a Mixmaster?

Just look at the topics percolating in my novel Nearly Canaan.

Take just ten, shaken or stirred or mixed in a bowl:

  • Promise. The word has many meanings, including ability, talent, potential, opportunity, guarantee, understanding, agreement, contract, oath, pledge, vow. It can also have quite different meanings for each person. In this novel, especially, it’s a promised land, a dream, and sometimes even a broken promise.
  • Place. This story is rooted in the surrounding landscapes, beginning with a small-town on the prairie and moving on to the Ozarks before landing in the desert interior of the Pacific Northwest, where Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range and Seattle beyond also play into the action.
  • Intimacy. The story goes behind closed doors, for sure.
  • Friendships. In this story, these usually arise among the couples and their shifting inner dynamics. Often, these friendships prove essential for daily survival.
  • Family. Jaya becomes quite fond of her in-laws and their support despite their initial differences.
  • Spirituality. It’s not just faith and meditation but a meaningful faith community, too.
  • Career. Jaya isn’t the only young adult trying to navigate a demanding career in this story. The long hours and endless struggles of being a rising executive even in nonprofit organizations take a toll. As for their spouses? Finding their own niche is not always easy.
  • The seasons. Dwelling in an apple orchard, Jaya and her husband observe the rhythms of the year close up.
  • Wilderness. Part of the allure of the Pacific Northwest is its access to forests and mountains, but open desert is wilderness, too.
  • Lasting impact. For many in their circle, Jaya is seen as the Wise Woman who fosters a better life. How far does her impact extend?

Be among the first to read the novel!

The beaters were a pain to clean, though. Licking frosting from them was another matter.

3 thoughts on “Mixmaster? Just look at ‘Nearly Canaan’

    • Seriously, for 55 years, starting in my senior year when I was editor-in-chief of our high school newspaper. The fiction, poetry, and essays came later, usually in my free time away from my journalism career.
      Your question is multifaceted, one that will be fun to raise for discussion within writing circles. One answer is the challenge of finding sufficient time to write and revise (especially). A work can always be better. Another big challenge involves the effort of connecting with readers, which includes landing publishers and conducting the essential self-promotion, which we all dread, if you listen to the discussion in our writing circles.
      By the way, how would you answer the question?

  1. Yes, I imagine balancing both time to write and promote is a challenge. Thanks for sharing. As for me, I’m not qualified to answer. One can write, as one can do sums. To self-identify as a ‘writer’, that is something else again. I defer to you.

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