Darby will snowshoe.
The realization hit me like a well-thrown punch as I scanned my real estate website, long overdue for an update. There was the photo of fleece-clad Becky and Cindy, my active winter buddies, trudging through four-foot high snow, with my (somewhat) humorous caption: You can always snowshoe to a property!
Yes, I thought, Darby will be on snowshoes, struggling through the darkening Maine woods, pursued by a murderer she cannot hope to outlast. My heart beat faster, a sure sign that my imagination has cooked up something I find truly scary. I snowshoe -- alot -- and it's hard to go fast. Especially when someone evil is chasing you...
Thump, thump. That's my daughter and I in the photo above, on top of Camden's Ragged Mountain with Penobscot Bay in the background. She "shoes" up and snowboards down, but yours truly gave up snowboarding when she decided she didn't have a spare wrist to break.
It proved to be a wise decision. Armed with my good wrists, I'm hard at work on the fourth in the Darby Farr series, and I have to say it is humming right along. Not to jinx myself, but the pages are piling up, and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm fitting in some good, solid writing time, in between selling houses (yes, some people really are buying homes again!) hiking the Camden Hills, cheering for my daughter's Varsity Soccer team (GO WINDJAMMERS!) and volunteering for my favorite cause, Habitat for Humanity. That's my mom, daughter and me at a build in the spring. That house now has sheathing on the roof and is ready for framing. My various balls in the air are a juggle, but one I really love. Needless to say, I fall asleep in about two minutes every single night.
Back to the fourth book, tentatively called Contract for Murder. It takes place once more on the rocky island of Hurricane Harbor, as did the first in the series, A House to Die For. Unlike that book, this is set in what we Mainers like to call the "dead" of winter. Don't worry -- any details that I can't recall from previous blizzards, ice storms, and the like will come back to me when I start revisions in January. In the meantime, I'm having a ball picturing all that white stuff and the havoc it can cause.
People ask me again and again how I find the time to write. I used to say that no one finds the time -- one makes the time. Kind of a pompous answer, don't ya think? Now I reply with a simple truth: it's fun. Especially when those pages are piling up.