Fall harvest in La Drôme - With Enthusiasm!

"The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the hidden side of things," wrote Louis Pasteur. "They bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language––the word 'enthusiasm'--en theos--a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within, and obeys it." poppyI chose "harvest" as the ending title for “Summer in la Drôme,” because, during my stay there, I lived in the fields of my imagination, where I planted and nurtured what grew into 116,297 words of my new novel MELISSA. I’ve brought the results, my harvest, back to America to sell in the publishers marketplace.

I chose Louis Pasteur's quote on enthusiasm because I would never have finished MELISSA if I hadn't obeyed my “en theos” who supported me through the days when no words budded or worse they died on the vine, and who celebrated with me on the days when words burst forth into colorful and loquacious blooms.

I chose the butterfly and poppy images because the enthusiasm of nature is the source of our own and it's contagious. In a sliver of Brazilian forest only a few miles square, scientists have counted more than 1,500 species of butterfly. And the poppy when coupled with another poppy and given seven years and the right conditions will produce 820 thousand million million million descendants. That’s enthusiasm!!!

News to follow on Melissa's publication date. First I must complete the third draft come Spring. So from now on my blog will be about the writing life. Well, not entirely. I am pulling up my Manhattan roots, deeply grown down under for thirty years. It isn’t easy to get out of New York, it takes a lot of enthusiasm, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time.

If you would like to learn more about enthusiasm I recommend "Exuberance: The Passion for Life" by Kay Redfield Jamison from whom I cite in the above text.

 

"Katherine Mansfield" reviews are arriving!

Ah . . . I can feel those beating wings of happiness against my blushing cheek, whispering, "happy new year." In brief:

The term they use in the television world is ‘edutainment’, a blurring of the lines between an entertaining tale and informative education.

And this is what Joanna Fitzpatrick has done with "In Pursuit. . ." an absorbing account of Katherine Mansfield’s extraordinary life, from the moment she left New Zealand aged 18, through to her early death at 34.

Particularly captivating are the conversations with the Bloomsbury crowd, especially the intimate discussions between Virginia Woolf and Mansfield. For those accustomed to reading Woolf, it can be difficult to imagine that she speaks or thinks in anything other than flow of consciousness.

Whilst the conversation is never that of hair braiding and boy crushes, tender words expressed between the two women over a cup of chamomile tea adds a personal dimension so often missed in the image of this author’s persona.

Disputes between Lawrence and Mansfield, dinners with HG Wells and correspondence across the literary scene sweep out the pedestal from under these authors, illustrating their very human essence, whilst never removing the reverence that their literature deserves.

--Francesca Baker - Read full review at For Books’ Sake

“In Pursuit . . .” is not only a captivating but a thought-provoking read.

A beautifully crafted novel that will move and inspire you. The beauty of this book is that FitzPatrick presents Katherine Mansfield, not like an enigma, but a very real person. Through the book we get to know this talented and brave young woman. Despite everything, her determination to fight her situation is really awe-inspiring. “In Pursuit . . .” is a poignant description of the brief life of a very talented woman.

--Misha, Top Amazon Reviewer

Read full review at Books-Love-Affair

Katherine Mansfield is available in fine bookstores!

"Oh, to be a writer, a real writer given up to it and to it alone!” - Katherine Mansfield

How often these past few months have I moaned over that Katherine Mansfield quote while occupied with publishing my book. And now here comes another deterrent from being a writer again – Marketing 102;"Build it and they will come." But with 21st century book releases it's more about Link-it and they might come.

So I have built my web page and linked it to virtually millions. I have also linked to Wikipedia, Goodreads, and Amazon. And before Katherine's 122 birthday candles blow out tonight I must tweet the book release announcement to Tweeter and face it on Facebook and send out countless emails.

If Katherine's extraordinary life hadn't been so brief, perhaps it would not have haunted me as much as it has, and been a driving force behind my publication efforts.

Even in the summer seasons during the past three years when I was researching and writing "In Pursuit . . ." she didn't leave me alone. I would be reclining in my hammock under an ancient walnut tree in the south of France and her spirit would land in the form of a stunning black and gold butterfly on my shoulder and flutter her wings to say, "What are you doing out here? You promised to write my story and you can't do it lying in a hammock.

And now the book cover has been chosen. The readable font decided upon. And I am just waiting to approve the final proof before it goes to print.

So I must get the word out on "In Pursuit . . . " in the hopes that Katherine will live again if only in our imaginations.