Into the sun
On Friday, I flew from Boston to Kansas City. Then I climbed into a rented car and drove five hours west—into the sunset—toward Hastings, Nebraska.
Destination: my niece’s wedding.
The town of Hastings reminded me why I love and hate small towns. The tight knit community—the sense of family and connection—were so present. But so was silence.
The message I have always received in small, conservative towns is this: Come sit at our table. Share our food and companionship. But if you do, you must pretend to be like us, to believe like us, to share our values.
I realized, as I drove east yesterday morning, this time into the sunrise—that my new novel manuscript explores the small town conflict between closeness and closed-ness. The protagonist Mel Bird does not settle for silence. She insists that people look into, not only her closet, but other closets as well.
New Moon Falls, the fictional town in my fictional world, is a wish come true.
Maybe that’s why I love fiction so much.
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