Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Amazon Trail, How to Write a Book
by Lee Lynch
2021-04-10

This article shared 1741 times since Sat Apr 10, 2021
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


I'm not giving away any secrets here. Not saying it's simple or that anyone can do it if they send $25.00 to Post Office Box 1,2,3. Nope, it's a personal journey and every story has a story. Here's mine, about the writing of my newly released novel, Accidental Desperados.

This goes back to about 2007. I was living on the Oregon Coast, grateful to be renting a cottage on the property of the Pianist and the Handydyke. I was, and am, part of their lesbian family. I thought about that a lot, how gay people grow families of choice whose members nurture one another in minimal to large ways. I thought, wouldn't it be cool, maybe even important, to write a multi-volume, intergenerational, lesbian family saga.

Earlier in my life I couldn't get enough of this type of fiction: Mazo de la Roche's Jalna series set in Canada, The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, Isaac Bashevis Singer's The Family Moskat, but could I take on such an epic task? My books wouldn't appear on The New York Times Best Seller list, but they'd be bursting with lesbians.

I said it wasn't simple. Life itself butted in, as well as other books I needed to write. I heard from a reader; we began months of frequent correspondence. She lived in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I, never having been there, had referred to that city in a book, calling it a something like a tacky little town. My correspondent pretty much challenged me to visit and see Tarpon Springs for myself.

I accepted the challenge and by the time I left, my pen pal had become my sweetheart. We next got together at a conference, then in Oregon. We burned up the skies with our passion to be together. She had a good job in Florida. My job was portable. She flew to Oregon and we drove cross-country my, now our, dog and a number of cats. Two years, I told everyone in Oregon. We'd move back to the west coast in two years.

The recession hit and two turned to five. By that time, we were living inland, ten minutes from my sweetheart's job, in an unincorporated area called Dover. Unexpectedly, we had five years to explore rural central Florida, urban Tampa, storied areas like Ybor City, and to wander as far south as Naples and as far east as Miami. I could buy my sweetheart a fresh-off-the-fields strawberry milkshake at a roadside stand any time of year, or boiled peanuts from a farm stand, or real Key Lime Pie. My favorite places were what I call "old Florida" in Accidental Desperados.

I was born with the genes of a New England family, though, and the subtropical sun, the humidity, the omnipresent air-conditioning, were more than this pale white Northern body and respiratory system could take. We made the move back to Oregon. Where I proceeded to wax nostalgic for the nooks and crannies of old, old Florida settlements and the exotic habitat where, a two-minute walk from our house, we hung out with Sand Hill Cranes and Roseate Spoonbills.

I'd missed the Pacific Northwest so badly I hardly gave a thought to what I left behind, but I did want to make use of those years, that chunk of rich and unanticipated material. What if I incorporated my longing to write a lesbian family saga with the years in Florida?

What if lesbian general fiction writers followed our characters well beyond first romance into old age and fifty-year anniversaries? That's not as rare as the dominant society, which never gives up on driving us into insecure shadows, has led us to think. Main characters would anchor the books while a lifetime of friendships became deep and permanent. What if readers, with such stories in mind, and who were so inclined, recognized such a future for themselves?

I'd been heading in this direction, with my Morton River Valley Trilogy, which collected characters from others stories and novels I'd written. Ann McMan was on this path also, but back then I didn't know her Jericho novels. By the way, her newest, Covenant, is as polished and engaging as any book you're likely to read.

So here I was, back in my promised land, filling hundreds of index cards with memories of Florida, and beginning to imagine the characters who would live in a hot speck-on-a-road community, on a particular dirt sandy street I passed on my daily run to the post office for my remote job. The house, their family seat, migrated in from another non-town.

The title of the quartet and first book, Rainbow Gap, had been hanging around in my head because of the plethora of rainbows we saw in Florida. I'd wanted to do a four-book series ever since devouring Paul Scott's Raj Quartet. Olivia Manning's Balkan and Levant Trilogies were another inspiration. The advent of marriage equality, though it wouldn't appear in the first books, had more than a little to do with my thought process.

Accidental Desperados, though also a standalone novel, is the second book in the Rainbow Gap quartet. In it, I get to introduce the "next" generation and follow their paths to the original group of gay people who are not much more than ten years older. That sounded about right for a lesbian generation which is by circumstance and opportunity accelerated from a biological generation.

And that's how I wrote a book, then another, and am about four chapters into the third. In summary: to write a book, you need to live whatever your crazy life dishes up.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2021

April 2021


This article shared 1741 times since Sat Apr 10, 2021
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Jodie Foster to star in fourth season of 'True Detective'
2022-05-26
The Silence of the Lambs star Jodie Foster is to lead the fourth iteration of HBO's True Detective franchise, True Detective: Night Country, Deadline reported. Foster, who will also executive-produce, will play Detective Liz Danvers in ...


Gay News

THEATER Lesbian-cruise drama 'Seven Days at Sea' running thru June 5
2022-05-25
Light and Sound Productions is running the world premiere of Seven Days at Sea, written by Martha Hansen and directed by Margaret Knapp, through Sunday, June 5, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. The performance ...


Gay News

VIEWS Another 'Handmaid's Tale,' or sex and the supreme Catholics
2022-05-24
Amy Vivian Coney Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett is only the fifth woman ever to serve on the Court. She is also the sixth Catholic ...


Gay News

Gayla Turner talks new book uncovering her grandmother's secret queer identity
2022-05-23
In Gayla Turner's debut book, Don't You Dare: Uncovering Lost Love (BookBaby, May 24), she reveals her Grandmother Ruby's (1896-1977) century-old secret queer identity that she hid from the wider world. This revelation became c ...


Gay News

'LGBTQ Rights on the Line: The Role of Communicators Advocating for Equality' event preview
2022-05-22
-- From a press release - Celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Pride Month is more important this year than ever (and it should be celebrated all year, not just during one month). The expected Supreme Court ruling that will undermine the right to ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and others to exit 'SNL'
2022-05-20
In a major shake-up on the long-running hit Saturday Night Live (or SNL), several of the main stars are leaving—including out cast member Kate McKinnon, Deadline reported. McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson (who's ...


Gay News

For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia HRC highlights grants
2022-05-17
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is commemorating International Day Against ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Chocolate festival, lesbian sci-fi film, 'Smahtguy'
2022-05-16
—The Long Grove Chocolate Festival: The beloved Chocolate Festival will return to the historic streets and parkways of downtown Long Grove for the first time in three years, May 20-22. Chocolate lovers can experience so much—including ...


Gay News

Los Angeles LGBT Center mourns passing of legendary LGBT activist, leader Urvashi Vaid
2022-05-15
-- From a press release - LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2022—"The world has lost a giant in the movement for LGBTQ freedom, justice and equality. After a valiant battle with cancer, Urvashi Vaid died today," said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Urvashi Vaid dies, The National LGBTQ Task Force releases statement
2022-05-14
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC……Legendary attorney, LGBTQ activist, and author Urvashi Vaid, known for her extensive career an advocate for LGBTQ rights, women's rights, anti-war efforts, immigration justice and many other social causes ...


Gay News

Griner's detention in Russia extended by a month
2022-05-13
The lawyer for Brittney Griner said May 13 that the WNBA star's pretrial detention in Russia has been extended by one month, ESPN reported. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press he believed the relatively short extension ...


Gay News

HRC calls for passage of the Women's Health Protection Act
2022-05-11
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined a growing number of organizations calling for the ...


Gay News

All WNBA courts to honor Brittney Griner
2022-05-06
The WNBA announced plans to acknowledge the importance of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner to the league, according to a press release. During the 2022 season that tips off Friday, May 6, Griner's initials and jersey ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry
2022-05-06
It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ woman appointed as White House press secretary; GLAAD comments
2022-05-05
On May 5, President Biden announced Karine Jean-Pierre has been promoted to be assistant to the president and White House press secretary, according to a White House media release. Jean-Pierre will step into the press secretary ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.