Jennifer's Journal


Monday, March 01, 2010

March Newsletter


How to start this? I don't really know, since the dominant happening for the month just past was a family tragedy. It certainly impacted my work, however, so should perhaps be shared. On February 10, my son-in-law, Gerard Faucheux, died in an auto accident. He was returning to Lutcher, LA, westbound on Interstate 10, after taking his father to a doctor's appointment in New Orleans. The vehicle he was driving was rammed from behind, propelling it into the eastbound traffic lanes. He, his father and his mother were all killed instantly when struck by oncoming traffic.

Gerard had been a part of our family from age 17, when he began coming home with our daughter Kathy from LSMSA, Louisiana's school for accelerated high school students. He was highly intelligent, a talented musician and a truly good person who was more like a son than a son-in-law. He leaves behind four children, ages 21, 16, 15 and 12, as well as Kathy. The woman who rear-ended the vehicle has been charged with three counts of negligent homicide, two counts of hit-and-run (since she hit a second car then left the scene) and one count of reckless driving. She could go to prison for 15 years or more.

Some writers are able to write through events of this kind as a form of therapy, while others can't work at all. You probably won't be surprised to hear that I'm behind schedule for the rough draft of the book in progress. I finally got back into the story this past week, however, and have just over 60,000 words at present. The goal is 85-90,000 in rough draft with somewhere near 100,000 by the time the manuscript is polished. The deadline for the final draft is June 1.

About the only other thing I've done this past month is to complete an interview questionnaire sent by a writer with Writer's Digest magazine. The answers will be included in a "roundtable discussion" published in the 2011 edition of Novel and Short Story Writer's Market. A number of other interviews and blog essays have been posted on the web in honor of the February publication of TRIUMPH IN ARMS, the last book of my Masters at Arms series. I won't repeat the addresses here since I gave most of them last month, but they should show up on Google.

An odd note: Louisiana is called "The Pelican State," with the white pelican being our state bird, but our lake some 250 miles from the coast has always been too far north for them. Yet we've seen several this year, probably as a result of migration flows altered by the unusual El Nino weather pattern. Over 100 of these huge birds landed in the cove where our house sits this morning in company with a flock of black cormorants, an unforgettable sighting.

Meanwhile, this "winter that never ends" continues wet and cold for us, along with the occasional amazing snow shower. The narcissus and daffodils are blooming, regardless; the maple trees show red blossoms in the woods, and the weeping willows have a haze of green among their branches. Spring and joy will surely come again, one day.

Warmest wishes,


Blogger librarypat said...

No words can express how truly sorry I am for your loss. It is impossible to even fathom this happening to someone you love. I certainly hope your publishers give you an extension on your deadline. The writing may be good therapy, but it shouldn't have to be done under duress.
My thoughts will be with your family, most especially your daughter and her children. Their world has just been torn apart.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I understand. I too lost someone dear to me few years ago. My father was in a car accident while driving home from the market He was instantly killed. It's never easy, especially to loose someone this way, but we get through it. My heart goes out to you and your family.

A side note: I am a big fan and I just finished reading Gallant Match. Can not wait to read the last book, Guarded Heart, very soon.


1:02 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Blake said...

Many thanks for the kind expressions of sympathy and encouragement. They are much appreciated at this time.

8:40 AM  

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