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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Into Action

Photo by Kevin Tomasello c. April, 2010
The photograph on the right was taken at Cornell Plantations by my husband several years ago when spring had actually started to bloom in April. I just can't face another picture of snow, especially when it's eternally white or slate-colored outside my window. It is officially spring now, Mother Nature. Get on schedule, lady! I know March is pushing it in this part of the country, but we're all quite tired of winter; so, if you wouldn't mind, please may we have some green? That would be nice.

All this gray gloom makes for dark story lines. It was the dead of winter when I wrote the opening line of my just-released novel WHERE THE HEART LANDS beginning with Lucy's proclamation:

"I wasn't sure why I thought I should get a cat, just that a kitten might outlive me."

Dark, but hopeful, too, right? I'll let you decide when you read the book. No spoilers here, folks. Don't be surprised if the next novel starts out a little moody due to the influence of this long, cold winter. My friend, Mari, keeps torturing me with photos of the splashing, sparkling waves and warm radiant beaches of southern California, where she lives. She always seemed like such a nice person, but this definitely shows her evil side. We get a little cranky here in the northeast by March, beware.

Spring is indeed on the way, however, and this means we in the colder climates are dreaming of new work: pouring over seed catalogs as we plan our flower and vegetable gardens; getting the meat written into the new novel (and, perhaps, adding some cheer to the darker elements); cleaning out the dust and grunge from the closed-up house; burning (storing away) the yards of winter clothing; celebrating the wedding of two young people deepening their lives together (my son and my almost daughter-in-law); and the feeding and handling of my newly hatched book. It's time to throw off the heavy afghan and spring into action! Damn the snow and cold! That faint, hesitant light will soon burn away all the shiver and paint the color back into the landscape. I may not be good at patience, but I can wait if I feel like I'm taking some sort of action. Call it a working meditation, if you will. Busy hands, quiet mind, perhaps.

Let me know how you're doing! My next book event is a reading and signing at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, NY on Saturday, April 4th at 2:00 pm. I would love to chat with you!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Next Leg of the Journey

RiverRead Books in Binghamton, NY March 14, 2015/photo  K. Tomasello

March 14, 2015 Book Launch/photo K. Tomasello

Author Laura J. Bear at Book Release Event March 14, 2015/photo K. Tomasello
Successful launch for WHERE THE HEART LANDS at RiverRead Books in Binghamton, NY
Where the Heart Lands Cake with matching book! March 14, 2015/photo K. Tomasello

Thank you to everyone who came out to listen, buy books, and show support. I had such a great time meeting and talking with everyone. Thank you to Connie at RiverRead for your glowing introduction and for providing such a wonderful place to launch my novel. Thank you to Donna Kordula from Cakes for Every Occasion for the beautiful and delicious cake that looked just like my book cover!

Thank you to my family and friends who traveled from near and far (Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ithaca, to name a few places). I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.
I could not have done any of this without the love and support of my spouse Kevin Tomasello. He took all these pictures, kept everything together, hauled books, and so many more things. My talented son remembered to take video and his lovely bride-to-be helped me navigate the quagmire of social media conundrums I have been struggling with for a while.

So, this is a love letter to all of you: readers, writers, fellow life-troupers: believe in yourselves! Follow your dreams; take in the world around you; listen; pay attention; care deeply; and most important, keep going, because the next corner you turn may be the best one yet!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Train Ride

by Laura Bear 2013
"It was a long trip from Swamp Lick, Louisiana to Far Away, but that's where Horatio promised to take her. The wind blew past the wide openings in the box cars then curled back in to touch her. The cold leaked through Rebeccah's thin jacket, making her shiver. Why aren't there actual boxes in the boxcars? She wondered, wishing she could curl up in one and stay warm. Horatio tried to put his arm around her when he saw her teeth chattering, but she pulled away. Flashes of Uncle Frank blinded Rebeccah's need for warmth."
from WHERE THE HEART LANDS by Laura J. Bear through Unsolicited Press

In Rebeccah's case, running away may be her only chance for survival. We are almost never told to run away. We are encouraged to stay the course--to fight! But, what if your life is in danger? Or your soul? What if you're a young girl with nothing to lose?

"Engine sounds purred behind her as she whirled her head around. Blinded by headlights, she ducked behind the neighbor's front hedge as the car drove past. Her heart pounding in her chest, Rebeccah waited until the vehicle was out of sight before leaving her hiding place."  from WHERE THE HEART LANDS. Sometimes the unknown is less daunting than the familiar. "Her coat thumped against her thighs, heavy with the coins sewn into it." from WHERE THE HEART LANDS.

A taste of the book to come. March 14th, 3:00 pm RiverRead Books in Binghamton, New York.