I worked on the synopsis for my novel yesterday.
Maybe it isn’t like a usual synopsis but, what I said is true.
Yesterday I was walking around thinking for a while and then I was lying near a pool watching people and drifting in and out of a book that I love and can’t really put down.
Anyway, I was mostly thinking about readers, reading and that publishing something that matters, matters — because a lot of people are going to read a book.
The book I wrote asks many questions of the reader about love and what that means.
Do any of us know?
I wanted to show the importance of love and how that works to heal things in that work.
I was also thinking about thresholds in life and all the different ones we have to cross — some joyous and some not along the path we tread. This morning I was listening to a Rumi poem from the web and looking at a picture of myself that might be my favorite picture of myself ever because it has the sun shining blindingly from over my shoulder and I just thought it really symbolizes some aspect of the soul — or my soul that I want to let shine through whatever text I am doing. So, anyway, here is that synopsis and I think I’m going to change my picture on here to my fave one…
What is the language of the heart? That’s something that Teenie Alexander doesn’t know that she possesses yet, because she is just thirteen. In this heartwarming tale of first crushes Teenie is about to meet Devlin Underwood at the driftwood hut he has built on the beach. Both kids have great losses to surmount but their friendship blossoms under the watchful eye of Tut, the magic sea turtle who was entrusted by his grandfather to unite the two of them. Devlin speaks the language of the air, and recently lost his mother. He’s been dropped off in the village by the sea in the care of his kindly grandparents while Teenie’s father has left the village to look for work and she is alone to care for her depressed mother. How does love heal everything? That is the seminal theme of the book.
As Teenie’s crush on Devlin deepens through a series of notes they leave for each other at the hut, old Mr. Honeygarten explains to her what a first crush meant to him, and his beloved Claire. Heart of Clouds is written with the kind of old-fashioned Walt Disney charm that the Baby Boom generation grew up on. The novel contains deep ecopsychological interventions around the plastic gyres in the sea — the “dead zones” that Teenie is worried about and hears constantly on the news — “The Wave.”
In researching the generation of “emo” children in the web, I came across millions of pictures of “emo hearts” that were broken and stitched together — these contrast very darkly with other searches for a “heart made of clouds” which number in the tens of millions — hence my title, especially after seeing the pictures of their hands making hearts.
In a world of children who only “text” Heart of Clouds teaches engagement and how to write actual notes to a person from the very first scene. Devlin and Teenie’s friendship is the crux of the novel as the twinned protagonists face issues all children face, losing their parents, dealing with grief, coping with depression, moving and making new friends.
The interventions ride below the subtext as the novel explores overmedication in the population and models two family systems in a cool and warm tone. The ocean is at the heart of the book as Tut and his legion of friends in the animal kingdom keep watch over the two children on the beach, knowing that they are the last boy and girl on earth who can save the planet from the plastic gyres. Devlin talks about how he handles the loss of his mother with Teenie, and how he coped by using his feelings instead of antidepressants. Teenie saves her mother from an overdose by using the magical language of the heart that her father taught her. By the novel’s end Teenie’s mother learns just how special her little girl is when Devlin’s grandfather explains what a miracle she was to the very sad boy who had come to live with him. Along the way is Brownie, the adorable chocolate labrador puppy who the children share, and Teenie’s handmade apple pies, which form a bond between she and old Mr. Honeygarten. Honeygarten proves a stabilizing force for the young Teenie, and her tea parties and conversations with him are a source of strength when her life is torn asunder over her parent’s destabilization and job loss.
The book’s finish proves that we never forget our first kiss, just as we never forget those we truly love in our lifetimes — Teenie and Devlin both revisit the mythical village many years later to see the “heart of clouds” he etched in stone for her. I dedicated the book to Walter Halsey Davis of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference — after seeing his film “Do You Remember Love.”
Heart of Clouds is written as an answer to that, in the hopes that it will help heal people by showing what the “language of the heart” can do.
That’s all true!
here is that poem of Rumi’s:
The writer who passed away was like Shams that Rumi refers to in the poem above.
Here is that picture that I like of myself, or myself as a writer, dunno. I never like pictures of myself but this one I do.