Hello again from Sarah Graves, writing to you from Eastport, Maine where I do still look like the photo at left, but the background doesn’t. The poor old car is there but the snow is gone, melted by inches of rain that soaked us all through but that at least did not have to be shoveled. And in December, if it comes out of the sky but doesn’t remain in the driveway or on the front walk afterwards, I’m all for it. A photogenic dusting is fine for the holidays but otherwise they can keep it on the ski hills, as far as I’m concerned.
The unexpected event was the collapse of the Eastport breakwater. As you may already know, it happened in the middle of the night, very suddenly. People nearby said the sound of a snowplow scraping on pavement woke them, the sound being tons of earth, steel, and wood falling. The caretaker on the schooner Ada Lore and his dog, asleep on the vessel directly adjacent to the collapse, barely escaped with their lives, and other boats were sunk or damaged as well.
Here’s the scene from above. (Both of these photos are by Jim Lowe – thanks, Jim!) It could have been much worse since just a few hours later dozens of fishermen and their trucks would’ve been on the breakwater. But as it is, they’ll have to find other places for their boats — not an easy task. Having them out on moorings instead of in the boat basin means having to get to them by dinghy, a dangerous trip in winter when things are icy. And there’s no storm protection like the kind they used to get inside the breakwater.
I wasn’t kidding about the rain. Fortunately, I have indoor work to do: the second book in the Lizzie Snow series, set in Aroostook County, Maine and called THE GIRLS SHE LEFT BEHIND, is in progress and I am chugging along on what I hope is the second-to-last rewrite. When I get to this stage I tend to remember without wanting to the theme music from “Murder, She Wrote,” that happy, tra-la-la tune that makes writing sound like such a pleasant occupation. The well-kept hands with their manicured nails moving lightly over the keyboard, the brisk, satisfied straightening of the finished pages…oh, how I despise that music. But I love Angela Lansbury, so there’s that. And even after all this time I do love the process, even when — especially when, actually — there’s no tra-la-la about it.
The first book in the new series, WINTER AT THE DOOR, is due out January 6th, 2015 — i.e., Real Soon, Now — so I suppose I’d better say something about ex-Boston homicide detective Lizzie Snow’s maiden voyage. This one sends her to Bearkill, Maine where her long-missing niece may have been sighted, where her faithless but still devilishly attractive ex-lover Dylan Hudson, now a Maine state murder cop himself, tries luring her back into his arms, and where a series of supposed cop suicides may turn out to be something worse. Before it’s over, Lizzie’s going to find out just how different the mean streets of Boston are from the rural roads around Bearkill — and why taking an unscheduled bathroom break in a northern Maine swamp is a Really Bad Idea, at least until after there’s been at least one hard frost.