Kenton Autumn 2005 068A view from my childhood, Castle Hill

No, this isn’t a tale about me getting my comeuppance. It is instead a philosophical consideration of how life sometimes happens in patterns.

I grew up in a valley in the Panhandle of Oklahoma near a little town, Kenton. According to local historians, Kenton was once the county seat for Cimarron County until those rapskallions from Boise City stole the county records and set up shop forty-five miles away. Before that dastardly deed, the tiny town was formerly known as Florence but that was long before I lived there. I find it interesting that I now live in a valley again, the Wet Mountain Valley in Colorado and I’m not that far from another town named Florence. As they say, “What goes around . . .”

This fall I am planning to mount the first in a four book  series set in the valley where I grew up. Writers have no raw material for their creations other than words and the odd mix of experience, memories and research that somehow magically turn into stories. While this series, working title “The Mandy Chronicles,” is not autobiographical, I’m still able to draw on the land of my past for the setting. And I have to admit, one of the characters, Earlene, strongly resembles a lovely woman from my childhood.

In the first book in the series, My Year of Living Dangerously, MANDY RYAN is reinventing her life by taking a sabbatical from her position as wife, mother and government documents librarian. Her children are grown. Her husband, ROGER, is lusting after another woman. She hires her friend, JULIA, to be her divorce lawyer, changes the locks on her house and goes in search of the real Mandy Ryan.Year cover #6

Mandy has a contract to deliver a book length manuscript on living the primitive life for a year in a yurt when she has never written a book, never gone camping, and never lived more than six blocks from a Starbucks.

For optimistic Mandy, not a problem. For EDGAR, Mandy’s New York editor, who wants her book to be about skinning rabbits and shooting deer, preferably with a bow and arrow, more negotiation is required.

Good fun. Light reading. I hope this fall you’ll get acquainted with my heroine, Amanda Ryan. Just so you know, she prefers to be called Mandy.

And watch for the other volumes in the series on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other e-book vendors.

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