A Hideaway Hideout
As I write these words I can look out my window from upstairs and see the little Hideout in progress. Cousin Dave (not by blood but by heart) came up with Cousin Deb (by blood on my Mama's side) to help work on the house on the hill a little bit. Plumbing and shingles and whatnot. Cousin Deb cooked Lentil soup for Mom and is hanging out and taking her out to shop in what I consider slow motion. Me - order that stuff and I'll get back to work. But they are both lookers, slow shoppers. So right now they are back out shopping and Dave is down the hill working on the Hideout. Because -
Sometimes dreams come true. When you least expect them to. All of my life since I could walk I wanted a hideout. By twelve years old I knew I wanted a hideout for the purpose of writing. Or thinking about writing. Or to sit and stare at the leaves changing and wait for the right characters to come walking in.
A few years ago Dave came up and took a couple of old clubhouses the Adorables and my nephew and niece hung out summer after summer in and cooked up schemes. Granted my nephew was sometimes odd man out and the girls ganged up on him to try to keep him out. But it never lasted more than thirty minutes and they were back to being a gang. I miss those days. But back to Dave - so he takes those old abandoned and falling sideways clubhouses and makes a new one for the little wild things and makes it the coolest thing around. The other old clubhouse got rolled down the hill where it waited patiently for destiny to unfold.
Then Dave returned and without discussing it - or asking - or wondering if maybe someone might need a little writerly, thinking, praying hideout - cut steps in the rock and dirt down the hill, moved the remnants of the what use to be - and created what you see here in the picture in progress. The next morning I grabbed my special cup that says I'm mostly love, light and peace - and a little other stuff - and walked down to sit inside of the beginning of what will be many of my days to come - my hideout hideaway. Wild Dog Kevin bolted down the hill smiling and met me. I gave him a couple of bones - which he immediately buried outside right at the corners of the hideout door, came back in, turned around and sat down. When Cousin Deb came down with her coffee (and took this photo) he was trying to communicate - nothing personal but this is OUR spot. Our place. It's sacred ground.
Which all leads me to knowing beyond the borders of this day there are more stories to be told. More thinking to be done. In sunshine and in rain. Hot or cold. And stories come together much like the hideout down the hill outside my window. Word by word. Board by board. (The roof is going up right now. The wind has picked up rustling those colored leaves. The chimes are singing and it's a good day for reading and writing stories.)
So a few things that I'm so happy to share with you.
The Ancient Way: Discoveries on the Path of Celtic Christianity just arrived in stores. The early reviews have filled my cup. The story was featured during the Parnassus Tuesday morning Laydown Diaries which opened with infamous author Ann Patchett holding it up for everyone to see. I looked like a cartoon at the moment I watched that. One with little hearts pouring out of my head and my eyes turning to stars. Followed by fainting.
I'm so glad that early readers have embraced this road trip of a pilgrimage to Scotland in search of thin places and the Island of Iona. I met such great people, stayed with strangers via Couchsurfing (verified, of course) and made friends for life. This morning I was informed of Clair Fullerton's (author of Morning Dove and Little Tea) mind-blowing spot-on review in the New York Journal of Books.
“entertaining, inspirational, and visceral; a moving narrative of typically missed breadcrumbs on the way to meaningful connections. A delightful, wandering story with profound, insightful resonance . . .”
March 29 at 6:00pm I'll be in conversation with the incredible and adorable southern author, Lisa Patton in aParnassus Books Virtual event. I do so hope you can join us for some storytelling fun.
Speaking of fun - just for kicks and giggles I teamed up recently with author, Mandy Haynes (Walking the Wrong Way Home andSharper Than A Serpents Tooth) and created a little podcast about - wait for it - dating. Yes, dating. The first dates, blind dates, worse dates, best dates and funniest dates of your life. We have incredible guests booked into infinity. After only 9 days - we've had downloads in over 15 countries and cities across the States.
Wish You Were Here: Stories of Love and Mayhem - (there''s a Jaws tie-in and the preview show explains all about it) You can find us at wishyouwerehere.fish and send us your own stories to firstname.lastname@example.org (Nothing graphic - we try to keep it PG13) but we have laughed more over this in a few weeks than maybe all year. And we thought if ever we needed SOMETHING to help us laugh a little - now was a great time. You can find the podcast on Spotify, Itunes and all the great podcast places.
CLEARSTORY RADIO airs every Friday at 1:00 Central Time in Nashville on WRFN - 107.1fm and 103.7fm and streaming- This weeks guest for October 23 is author, Michael Ferris Smith (discussing his latest masterpiece, Blackwood which is perfect for this month of tricks) and October 30 author, Clyde Edgerton waxing wonderful about his deep dive into research for his Western novel . Two great southern authors and storytellers back-to-back talking about writing and the power of story. I've been promising to also create a Clearstory Podcast for-ever but it is truly in the works as well as something special to coincide with The Ancient Way about thin places, divine timing, and where we find the light.
Don't forget you can also join theRiver Jordan Reader Posse on Facebook for live chats, readings, and back porch news about this writers life up here on this hill.
The sun is setting over the ridge. I can still the steady sound of the hammer knocking out that roof. Isn't it amazing? This wonderful thing called story, being human and still being here. Rolling around on this big, blue planet spinning out into the darkness around our sun - together.
Wishing you peace, light and love in every corner of your light.
Eternally your fan,
The Ancient Way - wherever great stories are told and sold.