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Write from Here

I write from here in southern New Mexico (neither new nor Mexico, as they say around here) about characters in a made up town on the west coast of the United States. I’m calling the location southern Oregon.

 

write from here

Oregon Coast by Jane L Ray

How do I write from here about the goings-on in a lighthouse and its estate while hunkered down in a creosote forest and hammered by a desert wind storm?

  • Imagination.
  • Memory.
  • Photos of lighthouses, especially those from friends. Thank you, Jane, Randy, Dalene and Susan.
  • Research – like visiting lighthouses whenever possible, in person and online.

 

What else can I do to ignite those little brain cells?

  • Read. Thanks to:
    write from here

    Lighthouse Spiral Staircase by Randy Jiner

    • Cozy authors Agatha Frost, Lynn Florkiewicz, Frances Evesham, J. A. Whiting.
    • Literary fiction author L. J. Ross and her DCI Ryan books.
    • Local library (Thomas Branigan Memorial Library).
  • Listen/view waves roll, crash, and spray in ocean-themed nature videos. Special thanks to YouTubers and video sharers:
  • Webcams! I’ve been to these places and more from the comfort of my office: Ireland, Thailand, the Hamptons, Hawaii, Virginia Beach, Shelter Cove, Italy, Miami Beach, New Zealand, and my most frequented, Florence, Oregon. I recommend EarthCam, a great online tool and app, and publicly accessible internet webcams. The best ones include sound. (Warning: you may be tempted to travel to places completely unrelated to your research. Still, the Paris webcam at the Eiffel Tower is amaze-balls as my niece, Cassie, likes to say.)
  • Meditate.

You can use these ideas to write from here (wherever your here is). If you have tips of your own you’d like to share, please add them to the comments. Thank you!


Fiction writer and author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], is an atypical tale set in our everyday reality alongside an unknown world of extraordinary others. This becoming-who-you-are adventure breathes fresh air and light into the often dark and apocalyptic world of YA fiction, without giving up the angst or the weird. While Andersen Light is primarily set the fictional town of Mystic Creek, Oregon, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Close Connections

What close connections pull fictional characters Georgie Jones and Luther Andersen together, aside from the little matter of a prophecy?

Grandma and Grandpa Jones

Luther is a lighthouse keeper, professor, and Georgie’s eventual mentor. He’s also a long-time family friend. A man of indeterminate age, Luther knew Grandma Jones’s aunt Betty before Grandma was even born. Back then Betty dated Thomas Nelson, best friend of Luther’s brother, Charles.

[Nelson Close Connections Trivia: Thomas and Betty married after the war. Thomas taught Georgie’s dad to play guitar, which launched Will Jones’s musical career. Thomas and Betty had Carl, who works alongside Luther and Maria Elena (Josefina’s mom) at the Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel estate. CJ, a.k.a. Carl Junior, plays rhythm guitar in Will Jones’s band.]

Close Connections

Georgie and Luther – The Connections

Josefina Garcia

Josefina is the first kid to befriend Georgie in Mystic Creek. Now she’s Georgie’s BFF. How’s that for close connections? But wait for it. Josefina’s mom, Maria Elena, works with Luther at Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, as did generations of her family.

[Luther and Maria Elena History: Luther and Maria Elena are friends from way back. Luther had already been back to the lighthouse for some time after college when Maria Elena returned to Mystic Creek. She’d been to college, married, had two children, and was a newly grieving widow. Luther’s mother, ever insightful, employed Maria Elena at Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel. Luther and Maria Elena have worked together since. Is there more to their relationship?]

Josefina introduced Georgie to Shawn Green the very first day on the bus. Shawn has been Josefina’s best friend since grade school. Now the three are BFFs.

[The Green Connection:  You’ll find even interesting connections between the Greens, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel and the Joneses in the book.]

I look forward to hearing how you connect with the characters in my upcoming novel. Until then, please subscribe for more on my characters and “lessons learning,” and check in on social media!


Fiction writer and author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], is an atypical coming of age tale set in our everyday reality alongside an unknown world of extraordinary others. This becoming-who-you-are adventure breathes fresh air and light into the often dark and apocalyptic world of YA fiction, without giving up the angst or the weird. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the North’ish West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Search Is On

Search Is On!

The Search Is On!

The search is on for the right agent and publisher to bring young Georgie Jones, her mentor Luther Andersen, and their friends and family to the world!

Search Is On!

On behalf of Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel (as in lighthouse), I am shining my light through query letters and submissions to connect with that person and team whose own search is on for us.

I’ve learned that authors are encouraged to find the “right fit” in a prospective agent and publisher. The “right fit” applies primarily to the type of book.

Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is a YA contemporary fiction novel. The characters live in our everyday world where weird family stuff happens, people brush their teeth anyway, and kids go to school the next morning. Georgie’s confidence is eroded by the weird family stuff, but works to regain her mojo and comes into her own power as the story unfolds.

Yet, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is also a YA fantasy in which another reality within this one is revealed to a shocked Georgie. It is secret world where people do things, well, let’s just say, more and differently.

If your search is on for a self-help book, keep looking. Even so, Luther’s wisdom kindly guides Georgie and the others through life’s travails, and may very well apply to yours too. Metaphysicians will identify with natural laws, training sessions, and analyze Georgie’s dreams. You’ll look forward to every insight shared by Luther, particularly his private reflections.

Romance readers, cool your hot tub jets. Any romance you find will be of the budding variety. (Stay tuned for Book 2. 😉 )

Readers whose own search is on for stories beyond the dark, apocalyptic worlds they’ve grown weary of will breathe fresh air in the pages of Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel. Don’t get me wrong, Georgie’s no powder puff. You’ll roll with unique action and adventure, and find yourselves rooting for Georgie and her friends in Mystic Creek—especially during a daring rescue mission!

How exciting it will be to find the agent, a real human, a person who will shepherd Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, Luther, Georgie and all the rest into published being. Here’s to a fruitful search. The search is on!


New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA and delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring becoming-who-you-are adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Real Life Luthers

Real Life Luthers

The Missouri Luther

A man called Luther was a friend and helpmate of my grandparents in a little town in southwest Missouri. I met him while visiting them as a very young child. I’m not sure how I actually remember Luther, but he made a big impression on me. He was kind and talked to me like a friend. Luther took time out of his adult day to show me around the greenhouse he kept for my grandmother.

Later, when I was older, but still a child, he was gone. I was living on the property then but my siblings were elsewhere. I spent a lot of time alone. I was convinced then and now I saw and felt Luther there.

This gentle man whose full name I never knew made such an impression that I have never forgotten him. I believe he has heard and felt my gratitude over the years.

Rev. Carl E. Andersen, Burro Guru

The Real Luthers

Luther Andersen, a primary character in my novel, is an amalgamation of every good mentor I’ve ever had, both women and men. Some have passed while most are still alive. Luther’s looks and last name come from the late Reverend Carl E. Andersen, who also went briefly as The Burro Guru. Carl was a WW II veteran Army officer and a real mystic. Like so very many others, I loved him dearly. I didn’t know him when he was young, though I did see a few photos. He was a tall, slender, gentle Dane with beautiful blue eyes, a thick head of hair, and amazing insight he’d honed over his long, adventurous life.

I have been graced to cross paths with many wise souls―family members, teachers, ministers, friends. These Luthers shared their wisdom with me in ways that stuck. Their gentle kindness and intelligent humor opened my mind, heart, ears, and eyes. Some literally saved my you-know-what (butt)! I am so crazy grateful that I’d love to post the long list of their names here, but I choose to respect their privacy. Still, thank you.  (You know who you are.)

_____

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA and delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring becoming-who-you-are adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Pizza Power

Pizza Power

Have you contemplated the power of pizza?

I’m not talking about the robust declarations of definitive bests:

  • Crust―thick, thin, deep dish, white, sourdough, whole grain….
  • Shape―round, square, avant garde….
  • Sauces―tomato sauce, pesto, oil….
  • Cheeses and toppings―don’t get me started!
  • Who’s got the best―Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Naples, Sidney, Mumbai….?
  • Fingers or fork?
  • Folded or flat?

I am referring to underlying dimensions of pizza’s power.

Pizza draws people together.

Announcing, “Pizza’s here!” is like ringing a really loud bell. Folks from everywhere come running.

Have your ever noticed how company meetings are well attended when there’s pizza? Back in the day in the U.S. Air Force, I learned help with moving was guaranteed with a pizza party. Even for the picky eaters, there’s always a chance there’ll be a slice.

Pizza doesn’t discriminate.

As a people, we pizza eaters happily and hungrily cross every divide in society to get that slice. We share our favorites with others. We brag which is truly the best and where to get it. Some may share my spousal-unit’s favorite of traditional pepperoni and cheese pizza, go for the veggies, or stand among the adventurous. There are gluten-free’ers and ones who have to watch our cheeses. One thing’s for sure, we all love our pizza.

Pizza encourages individual choice.

In my novel, pizza makes many appearances. When it comes to pizza night at Anderson Lighthouse, pizza is all about choice. Maria Elena transforms the kitchen worktable and teaches the art of pizza building. She first provides a foundation of crust. Characters move around the worktable choosing sauces, the pre- and post-bake toppings, and condiments. (Red pepper flakes, anyone?)

Maria Elena’s pizza-building station comes from a personal life lesson. Many years ago, my friend Sarah taught me that choice matters. “Choose your slice,” she said. Sarah expected me to look at the whole pizza and pick the one I wanted. Up until then I was a default slice eater. She taught me I had choice in life in that one single exercise. Now that’s pizza power!

There’s healing power in pizza.

In later chapters, a daring mission is happily and successfully completed. Pizza creates a spontaneous celebration. Rescuers elicit shy smiles from the rescued as they come together over pizza pie.

In real life, pizza was delivered as I wrote last week’s blog post. The arrival of pizza boxes signified the near end to several difficult days. Their slices represented normalcy. Real or imagined (is there a difference?), they provided emotional solace. The pizzas were lukewarm and Super Spouse’s choice of red sauce tasted better than my pesto. It didn’t matter. Pizza has that kind of power.

Taking a cue from my character Georgie, I wish you pizza.

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New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA and delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring becoming-who-you-are adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Carriage House – Both Workshop and Garage

Back in the day, people rode in carriages instead of automobiles and parked them in carriage houses. The original carriage house on the novel’s fictional Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel estate was quite large. Luther Andersen eventually converted it into both a garage and a workshop.

The Carriage House at Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel

The characters Luther Andersen and his coworker, Carl Nelson, use the carriage house workshop for estate maintenance as well as for their engineering projects. Luther and Carl are keen on environmental solutions and the workshop doubles as their research lab. Solar and wind projects can be seen all around Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel. Hybrid carts used to get around the estate are one example of solar technology. Luther’s 1941 Packard station wagon, “Woody”, parked in the garage portion of the carriage house, is another.

Georgie, Josefina or both, park their bicycles in the carriage house when they arrive at Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel after classes at the Mystic Creek High School.

The Green Carriage House

You’ll find another carriage house workshop mentioned in the novel, the one at Shawn Green’s house. Shawn’s dad and brother, Derrick and Earl, developed the first portion of their “black box” design for the government in this workshop.

 

Thank you for joining me into another peek into the world of my upcoming novel. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA and delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring becoming-who-you-are adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Maria Elena

Like everything and everyone else in the story, we see Maria Elena through the eyes of Luther or Georgie.

From Georgie’s perspective, Maria Elena is Josefina’s mom and a most excellent cook. She is keeper of the greenhouse and plant life at Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, and works with Luther and their other coworker, Carl Nelson.

Later, Georgie learns that Maria Elena is a teacher and lover of plants, including their spirits. Her interest in the natural world is inherited, passed down through the generations, including from her great-grandmother, Florencia. One of Maria Elena’s favorite gardens is in Findhorn, Scotland.

What else is Maria Elena to Luther? Georgie speculates there is more, while Josefina sticks to her story that Luther and her mom have always been best friends. Georgie resolves to keep an eye on things, just in case.

Meanwhile, through Luther we see Maria Elena as a long time friend, helpmate, and teacher in her own right. We also come to understand his deep respect for her abilities, including wisdom, intelligence and intuition, and her beauty.

 

Author’s note: Check out Maria Elena’s namesake, the song Maria Elena (Spanish words and music by Lorenzo Barcelata, English lyrics by Bob Russell) and its beautiful instrumental version by Los Indios Tabajaras.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rQheOglFos

Lyrics in both English and Spanish can be found at http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/m/mariaelena.shtml

 

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA and delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring becoming-who-you-are adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Georgie, Josefina and Shaw

Georgie, Josefina & Shawn – BFFs

 Georgie Josefina and ShawGeorgie Jones meets her new BFFs Josefina and Shawn on the school bus. It is her first day as a freshman at Mystic Creek High School. Josefina somehow knows who Georgie is, and offers to show her around school. The two girls and Shawn end up having all their classes together. Georgie quickly learns Josefina is as smart as she is pretty. Shawn, also smart, is a geek who’s always on his cell phone.

Josefina says her mom, Maria Elena, works with Luther, the lighthouse keeper at Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel. Georgie has never been to the lighthouse, but remembers him as a friend of Grandpa and Grandma Jones.

She had been nervous, but Georgie’s two new friends smooth out the day. Two thumbs up.

Learn what happens between Georgie Josefina and Shawn by following new fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, who has written a story for the young adult in all of us.

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA. She delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring, becoming-who-you-are fantasy of intrigue and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

 

Fictional Andersen Light, Part One

Fictional Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, Part One

Not the Real Fictional AL

Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is the fictitious lighthouse near the fictional town of Mystic Creek. It’s been in the Andersen family since its inception—before the Light House Establishment or its successor, the Lighthouse Service. Andersen lightkeeping goes way back to the old country, the Northern Lighthouse Board and Robert Stevenson companies, if the Andersens were real people.

Generations of our Andersens have renovated Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel to make it what it is today, an extra-wide and tall lighthouse, with each level a pleasantly functional space.

Light shines through the Fresnel lens many miles into the distance at night while natural light floods into substantial vertical hurricane windows in daytime. A nighttime view of Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel reveals the tower’s rotating light reaching out into the world and Luther’s reading lamps from his rooms on level two or his office/library/classroom located on level four, the gallery.

Balconies surround the upper levels, including, of course, the gallery which also has a half-moon shaped kitchenette built around one side of the spiral staircase.

A new remodeling begins on the second and third levels toward the end of Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, the novel.

Learn more about the estate and grounds of Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel in Part Two of this blog.

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, brightens the sometimes dark world of YA to deliver the angst and the weird in this inspiring adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Andersen Light (Working Title) Manuscript Update

Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel (Working Title) Manuscript Update

This post includes a link to my first video (https://youtu.be/4SuJVtowg4g) with the latest update on the Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel manuscript. In the video you’ll see me ready for a New Mexico morning of errands, including the U.S. Post Office.

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, brightens the sometimes dark world of YA to deliver the angst and the weird in this inspiring adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.