It has taken me most of my life to find my creativity and use it in my work, so it is really alarming to hear about funding for art programs being scaled back or cut in both public and private education sectors. Those cutbacks affect, not only artists, but those who teach it and support it. For a long time I could not even see my writing as anything more than a hobby and one not as deserving of my time and attention. I applaud those who pursue their art in the face of such discouragement. Think about it. What would this world be like without art? My mind goes blank trying to envision no museums, no paintings, no sculptors. I also wonder, who is going to inspire the next generation? It took me fifty years to see creative pursuits as equally important as money making ventures. Being a fiction writer, and not a media artist, I decided that I wanted to write about them and walk in their shoes a little while.
The Art of Love series is me creating my stories around a much respected and larger creative process. As well as helping them find a woman who understands them, I also hope to show how these men shape their lives in such a way to make room for the art. I hope you enjoy reading about these artists as much I am enjoying writing their stories. I also hope you are inspired to keep making your own art.
Carved In Stone (Book One) is the story of 53 year old William Everett Larson who is both a retired middle school principal and a stone sculptor of nudes modeled after great works such as Michelangelo's David. Because of Will's work in the school system, he uses the artistic nom de plume of Everett Williams to keep his artistic work semi-hidden from his day job. Will is a complicated man. He is sensitive and passionate, but stubborn and arrogant when he thinks he's right. As a middle school principal, he is used to being--well--obeyed. As a teacher herself, so is Jesse (Jessica) Coleman. Because his ex-wife (a retired math teacher) did not like his art, Will decides to not tell Jesse anything other than he is an artist since he wants to be liked for the right reasons this time around. That's not so bad a deception, right? Besides, Jesse's not being completely straight with Will either. She's holding back a few things herself, like the fact she's still in love with her husband who died thirty years ago. Of course you know, they will eventually have to share all their secrets whether they like it or not. Oh, did I mention Will's ex wants him back and tries to seduce him? More than once?
Let me tell you two of my favorite things about Will Larson. The first is that he rides a big, black Harley touring bike and loves to take my heroine for a ride (cough, cough). The second thing I really like is that he lets his sons talk him into shaving his partially bald head and getting an earring to update his old guy look to something better. Now I love bikes, but it's the second thing I relate to most. I almost fainted from fear when I got my ears pierced when I was twenty-one. When my middle daughter was sixteen, she talked me into getting a second set of holes above the first ones because she assured me NO ONE has just one set anymore. While I didn't pass out the second time around, I did walk away on rubbery legs wondering how I let my multi-pierced, purple-haired daughter talk me into more holes in my head. I concluded it had to be parental love because I normally have no trouble saying no to self-mutilation under most circumstances. Trust me.
Here is a short blurb about the storyline of the first book which I am hoping to release in late May.
Even though his sons had teased him about not dating, and his ex-wife thought he was still hung on her, 53 yr old Will Larson was glad he had waited until he’d found 47 yr old high school art teacher Jessica Coleman. Jesse had ruthlessly used her art to recover from a brutal sexual assault when she was younger. As far as Will could tell, the only part of her that remained damaged years later was her heart. Jesse assures Will she is incapable of lasting love, but Will refuses to believe it, even though baggage from her past makes her see dating as merely recreational and men as interchangeable. When Jesse promises him temporary fidelity, Will settles for it until he can find a way to convince her she is still capable of love.
Excerpt on Facebook (Friend me if you can't get access)