Up Beaver Creek

Earthquake, tsunami, a crazy landlord with a garden full of glass flowers, a tree falling through her roof, karaoke and colonoscopies—what has the singer currently known as P.D. gotten herself into? It’s bad enough that her husband left her a widow at 42, but when she heads west to remake her life, she can’t imagine what’s about to happen.

In my novel Up Beaver Creek, P.D. is running away from the sorrows she left behind in Missoula, Montana. As she tries to reconcile who she was with who she is now, she lands in a small town on the Oregon coast. She meets the crazy artist Donovan J. Green, Janey the curly-haired soprano, her taxi-driving brother Jonas, kayak-loving Ranger Dave, the lesbians PD calls the “Rainbow Ladies” and other locals who become her new family. Along the way, we get a lot of music and Oregon coast reality, including sideways rain and tsunami wreckage from Japan washing up on the beach. Then the earthquake hits.

Up Beaver Creek, aimed at the women’s fiction market, is complete at 96,300 words. A sample from the completed manuscript follows.

I spent many years in the newspaper business before earning my MFA in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles and focusing my attention on fiction, poetry and essays. I have published six books, three of them, Stories Grandma Never Told, Freelancing for Newspapers and The Iberian Americans, with traditional publishers. My previous novel, Azorean Dreams, and memoirs Shoes Full of Sand and Childless by Marriage are available in print and as Kindle e-books from my own Blue Hydrangea Productions. My work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals and web publications, and I maintain three active blogs related to my previous books.

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Chapter 1

It’s hot in the hospital waiting room, and I hate employment forms.

Married, single, divorced or widowed? What business is it of theirs?

Sex? Not lately.

Does anybody really care about my previous jobs or where I went to high school? Do I tell them that I went to three different community colleges but didn’t graduate from any of them because my first husband was allergic to work and I had to keep dropping out to pay the bills—until he became allergic to me? Do I explain that I spent the past two years taking care of Tom and had to quit my job at the hospital in Missoula because I didn’t have time to work? That I had only taken that job because we were running out of money and I had no intention of making a career out of it?

References? They can’t call any of my references unless I give my real name, and I don’t want to do that.

I don’t want this job anyway. I just ordered business cards that say I’m a singer and piano player. Shiny white-on-black cards with my new name, P.D. Soares—SWARZ, not SORE-ez–across a keyboard. The girl at the print shop was all impressed, wanted to know where she could hear me perform.

I look up from the application, gazing at the patients in the waiting room reading old issues of People magazine. Haven’t I spent enough time in hospitals?

Yes. I tear up the application and toss it into the blue recycle bin by the desk. I consider giving the lady in charge some excuse, but she’s on the phone, staring at her computer, so I just walk out the door.

Let them wonder. They’ll never see me again.

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Want to read more? Contact me at sufalick@gmail.com.

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4 Comments on “Up Beaver Creek”

  1. […] the fork with South Beaver Creek, I turned right. Many of the scenes in my not-yet-published novel Being PD take place in this area, and I found myself reliving some of those scenes as I drove through miles […]

  2. Katherine says:

    Your website reads like my life a wonderful crazy quilt. I just finished “stories Grandma Never Told”. I reads like the lives of Native American women, myself included. I hope we meet one day. Thank you for the memories, smiles and tears.


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