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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Introducing Barbara Bockman

Hi Sue,

This MuseItUpYoung blog tour is fantastic in many ways, not the least of which is getting to know other writer from distant places. It would be so cool to visit you in New Zealand and have you come to visit us here in the US. I belong to a critique group, GradingPens, that Lea set up after the first or second Muse Online Conference. Besides several of us who have always lived in America, we have a member who moved here from India and another who lives in Australia. These friendships are just another reason to be happy to be part of the Muse Community. Thanks for inviting me to your blog today.

And I’m happy that Lea accepted my novel, Wounds, for publication. (Do you think an editor would take the “that” out of my previous sentence?) The great editing at MuseItUp Publishing is another reason I’m happy to be a Muse Author. My editors were Nancy Bell and Valerie Halley. We went back and forth many times until we worked all the bugs out. I’m happy to say that neither had any misgivings about plot or characterization.

And I’m also pleased for my association with cover illustrator, Kaytalin Platt. I don’t know how much searching she did, but she came up with a wonderful combination of the three main elements of my book, the wounded tree, the boy who tried to cut the tree down, and the chain saw. There is a point in the story where Craig, the MC, feels that he knows and understands the tree. I love the way Kaytalin merged boy and tree on the cover.

I presented an account of the plot last Thursday, the first day of the blog tour, on Rebecca Ryals Russell’s blog. Here is the URL: 

Wounds is about a boy who is carrying a load of guilt and acts out at school by vandalizing things, such as writing on a teacher’s car with a magic marker. (I’ll tell you where I came up with that idea. It came from an episode of Car Talk on Public Radio. A lady called in to ask for advice on how to remove such a stain). Isn’t it great that we writers get ideas everywhere we turn? Craig’s worst act of vandalism is trying to cut down a giant oak tree.

Here is an excerpt from Wounds. Mr. Ark, the owner of the wounded tree, engages an expert tree man, Logan Raxter, to come and work on the tree. Craig will be the woodsman’s assistant. Nelson is Mr. Ark’s son.
* * * *

After school the next day, Craig and Nelson joined Raxter and Mr. Torrey Bartram, the owner of a hardware store, in erecting a shelter around the tree. Each of the four sides was framed to be twenty feet long by ten feet high. Plastic windows across the top allowed light to stream in for the scions, and a door permitted entrance. The boys helped the men nail yards and yards of clear plastic sheeting to the top of the frame and bring it together in a bunch around the trunk and lower limbs of the tree. Craig was happy to have something strenuous to do. He nailed planks in place with the force of a John Henry.
To Craig, the tree continued to look normal. Sure, it was dropping some leaves, that was to be expected in late autumn. There were still lots of green leaves on the live oak. Maybe the tree was conserving her strength to forge through the winter. Did she feel connected to the people who were working so hard to save her? Did she remember being at the center of a large community? Did she miss the squirrels scampering in her canopy? The birds raising nests-full of young? Would she be disappointed in the spring if there were no dragonflies or love bugs sheltering in her shade? Would she be sad if she had no shade to give? At least the woodpeckers are not driven off by the noise and activity, thought Craig; they’re still digging for insects standing upright against the trunk in that funny way they have.
* * * *
Sue, thanks again for this opportunity for me to talk about Wounds. My blog URL is
Barbara's website
And my twitter name is babs22582
Wounds, an ebook and Kindle, will be available beginning September 16 at: MuseItUp MuseItUp Publishing:  Wounds


Charlie said...

Hi Barbara B,

Great excerpt for Wounds. I think I might have to have some kleenex handy when I read this. Thanks for sharing and thanks for hosting, Sue.
C.K. Volnek

Marva Dasef said...

I think that I will never see a poem lovely as a tree.

Name that poet for extra credit (you don't really get anything, just credit).

Wounds does sound interesting and maybe tissue required as Charlie points out.

Laura Ann Dunks said...

Wounds is fantastic! Good luck with it!


BarbaraB said...

Sue, I hope you enjoyed the blog hop as much as I did; it was a great experience.