Answers to some of the questions about Cassia’s father’s reasons for intensely pursuing Tibetan Buddhism, first encountered in my Freakin’ Free Spirits novels, can be found in Yoga Bootcamp, my story about eight young American yogis living on a former farm in the mountains. While each student is at a different stage of discovery, their widely divergent motivations still lead to common struggles and victories. Nothing is easy, but the lessons are priceless.
Do you practice meditation? How about yoga exercises, chanting, or Zen? Any other spiritual exercises you care to discuss?
He’s been the loyal, stay-at-home son and brother for all those years, cooking in the family restaurant. I could see Cassia’s uncle Barney in my novel What’s Left plagued by a dark intensity I imagine building up over the years.
Tell us about somebody you’ve seen erupt and run off in strange directions. How did things end?
the verdict, about time, no more dry and warm she who had been urging me to attend to be together again instead gave me the brush off with no explanation (and still none) but another led into the time and place of a heavy collision, no, things weren’t collecting dust on a shelf or even a one-night stand, these rejections add up without candlelight, fancy linen, or the wine and here it’s gone forecasting brutal winter and not much in the way of mountaineering
In my novel What’s Left, Cassia’s aunt Nita continues her ongoing role of knowing just about everyone and what they’re up too. It’s a vital social role that a few rare individuals seem naturally inclined to fill, as my novels Daffodil Uprising and Hometown News demonstrate.
Tell us about somebody you know who serves as the “switchboard operator” in your circles.
though I did see a moose along the Kancamagus and the next day, at sea, three humpbacks, including a mother and calf we followed more than an hour as the wind blew their misty exhalations across us a week before a perfect ocean sailing and that was about it, except for my annual Labor Day trek up the rails along the Merrimack and a brisk swim before the pool closed yet any view says there’s something out there you’re not getting
In my novel, What’s Left, Cassia becomes a rising executive with half of the country as her territory. The experience of growing up in the family restaurant gives her a head start over her colleagues, but she’s also much more vulnerable in a highly competitive, often hostile, financial world, than she’d ever been back home.
What are the biggest threats in being a woman in management? How would you avoid them?
fittingly ends spooky summer mostly continuous deluge (four Yuppieback novels and a collection of essays) a Labor Day weekend reading binge as its best of thee often . hoping for all perfection, write sometime, OK? I never could keep up with developments / Everlastingly
Let me repeat, What’s Left is my final novel, even though it’s appeared before several earlier ones — or their later revisions. That doesn’t mean I might not rework some more of my earlier books, but I have no intention (at this point, ahem) of undertaking such an ambitious project.
Still, if it’s ever successful, there can be a demand for a sequel. There are many possibilities that point to further development.
One plot twist I considered was this:
A handful of the Erinyes’ grandchildren rebel by returning to attend college across the street from Carmichael’s. Perhaps it’s inevitable that they apply for jobs in the restaurant.
Can they work? We’ll let them decide about becoming cousins.
This could have opened considerations about rebalancing the ownership, for one thing. Or more dimensions to our understanding of what it means to be a family. Or even their own reasons that parallel those of Cassia’s father in moving way back in the early ’70s.
It’s a big book, admittedly. But it could be a lot bigger.
Where would you take the story of What’s Left from what’s already there? What would you like to have answered?