Sunday, July 21, 2019

Big News and Big Dogs

Big News and Big Dogs

No one goes to the Shetland Isles by mistake.  People don't stop by on the way to someplace else; it's never the destination for a day trip.  The ferry takes fourteen hours across seas that are often less than placid and the plane flight, though admittedly shorter, is a wibbly-wobbly affair whose ultimate success is wholly dependent on the whims of the winds.  Choose the ferry if you can.  Being a romantic, I always feel one should approach a Scottish isle by the sea.  True to that conviction, I embarked on my second ferry trip to Shetland in late May, chock-full of Bonine and an almost giddy sense of anticipation.

You see, just two days before I sailed away for a week of knitting and hiking, (a divine combination of activities led by the wonderful Shetland Wool Adventures and one that included copious amounts of chocolate and homemade scones), my literary agent had submitted my novel to twelve of top publishers in the country.  Had I been home during this time I would have no doubt checked my email and phone hundreds of times a day, all the while vacillating between hope and despair while I waited.  However, as I was in Shetland, a place that feels - and, is - so very far from everything,  I didn't really thing about it at all.  My days were spent learning from some of the most creative and talented textile artists imaginable and hiking into the some of the island's most glorious scenery.  We enjoyed interesting and entertaining conversations, delicious meals, salubrious weather... I even got to hold a lamb!   I only had internet at night and was usually too sleepy when I fell into bed after another adventurous, inspiring day to even glance at my phone.  I concluded the trip with several sunny days in London and returned home inspired and refreshed, not even dreaming that my life was about to change.

Within a week my novel sold to Random House.
It will be published in early 2021.
And no, I still can't quite believe it.

Writing a novel is an all-consuming affair, as evidenced by my sporadic appearances on this blog over the past year or so.  I found it impossible to do any other kind of writing whilst I was immersed in the book.  Now that it's done, I'm hopeful I can be here a bit more often, though I'll admit, I'm still figuring out what that will look like.  To be perfectly candid, in this space I've always written what was on my heart at any given moment, and these days my heart is often heavy.  Three years ago a rock was lifted up off parts of my country and lots of ugly things have since crawled out, more of them emerging with each passing tweet.  It's impossible not to notice, and difficult to refrain from commenting.  I'm one of those people who believe that history has shown us silence is often equated with complicity.  But I've always tried to make this blog a honest place of hope and light in the midst of darkness, and even though at present there seems to be more darkness than ever, I'll continue to keep that as my focus whilst I'm here even as I sometimes shine a bit of that light on the more repellent parts of our current culture.  There is still love, there is still humor... there are still dogs.

Which brings me to Andrew, the big puppy who is now a year old and ninety-four pounds.  Andrew is happy all the time.  He is not afraid of thunderstorms or fireworks and he has a outsized love of cake.    He lavishly adores everyone he meets.  His favorite activity is riding in the passenger seat of the car and as he sits up as high as I do we provide lots of hilarity for our fellow drivers whenever we're out and about.  He sleeps on my feet every night when I'm knitting and rests his head on my chest when I'm reading in bed, which makes it sometimes challenging to adequately see the pages.  If he could sing, he'd sound like Ray Charles.

And I'm delighted to say that at fourteen and a half, Apple is going strong.  Her hips are sometimes stiff on cold mornings but she still goes for two walks a day and rolls around on her back after she eats to celebrate the feeling of a full tummy.  Like any vain and aging Southern Belle, her fur is still jet black though I can verify she's had no help from a salon.  She's very zen, very calm and gives off an certain air of wisdom which is, I suppose, what we all hope for in our golden years.

That's the view from here for now.  I'll keep you all up to date on the progress of the novel and I sincerely thank you for reading over all these years.  Your kindess and affirmation to me as a writer have been an inspiration always and no doubt gave me some of the confidence I needed to attempt this. 
 Bless you all.

Next up:  Summer Books, While It's Still Summer!


  1. Congratulations! Wonderful news about your book! We'll all be excited to read it. And Apple is fourteen - how is it possible that time has flown like that?

  2. Sincere congratulations! Your world, your personal world, is good. And we can hope for changes in our nation's world in the future. Nothing lasts forever. Your dogs are wonderful!

  3. Lovely to hear from you again Pamela - and huge congratulations on the novel. Love to you and to those dogs.

  4. That is wonderful news! So very pleased for you and will be ready to learn more about it when you can.
    Happy about the dog friends and the love they give and receive - oh so needed these days.

  5. OH That's fabulous news, Pamela! Congratulations. I will order a copy fresh off the press, but I would love a signed one. I'm sure we can work that out. ;-) Please keep us up-to-date on the progression of things, either here or on IG. I really am SO EXCITED for you! And how wonderful to be off in Shetland enjoying yourself thoroughly while not thinking about it.

    And I wouldn't expect anything less of Andrew than a giant love bunny.

    Cheers to you and your new book,

    Carolyn (@hillonthehouse on Instagram)

  6. Congratulations Pamela! I’ve been a follower of your blog for years but have never commented before but this news is too good to stay silent any longer. You have brought beauty to my world with your lovely words time and time again. In the early years I tried without success to leave comments and finally gave up. I want to add that my heart is broken over the state of our country and it seems that the grown-ups all around have left the room. Yes, there is indeed a lot of ugly that has been unleashed. Here’s hoping for civility, character, and integrity returning to our nations capital in 2020. I’m looking forward to your return to this space.

  7. This is spectacular news. Congratulations! My envy (I have just finished a second draft of my first novel and am about to begin the formal querying process) is overcome by my happiness for you. So well-deserved. Can't wait to follow along in your journey and read your book when it appears. Again, congratulations!

    1. I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if I'd used envy correctly vs. jealousy and had to google it this morning lol.

  8. The Shetland Isles...what an adventure! Congratulations on your book, Pamela. Your fluffy doggies are adorable, and Edward is especially handsome! That picture of him standing up and looking out the window looks just like a painting. I would SO love to have a dog buddy, but I already have William & Harry, my two rescue kitties.

  9. I've always thought your writing was fabulous and am so thrilled I will get to read a novel by you in the not too distant future. Time flies so I'm sure 2021 will be here before we know it. Pray our country is in a better place by then.
    I always love your descriptions of your travels, makes me feel like I've seen the places you've seen.

  10. Hello Pamela
    I have been reading your blog for quite a while ,and i want to thank you for all your words of wisdom. It gives me so much hope to know that there are people like you in the country, and that together we can win with love and compassion against hatred and fear.
    I am SO thrilled for you and your book being published by such a good publishing house! I cannot wait to read your book! i am sure it is excellent, you write so well!
    I am also very happy to hear that you'll blog more often. I am checking your instagram every morning after breakfast, it has become a tradition.
    All the best to you, and welcome home!

  11. Congratulations! How wonderful I look forward to reading your novel.
    I have to agree with you - some nasty things have crawled out from under that big rock :(
    I feel such shame that this is the face we show the world. Hoping we are heading towards cleaning house in a BIG way.

  12. oh you're too wonderful! congratulations!!!
    my brother went to Scotland this summer and came home declaring he must go again next year! he loved it and wants to explore more. I'll send him a link to this post.
    and beautiful Andrew and Apple! such darlings they are.
    I'm so glad you wrote this post and shared with us. it helps. and you know exactly what I mean! xoxo

  13. Congratulations on the novel ! Congratulations on getting to Shetland by boat .... and back again ! And wonderful to see Andrew and Apple in such fine form !

  14. Congratulations Pamela. I was so pleased to see you in my inbox. I no longer 'do' Instagram, my husband has retired and life has taken on a new meaning and activities but I do miss some contributors and you are one of them. I look forward to your book please keep us posted. As to your problem with rocks and what might crawl out from under them I think you should continue calling him and his cronies out. I am appalled at the rise of the right and am pleased my father is no longer here to see what is happening. He (and my Mum) gave their prime years to defeating the Nazi's, saw and experienced terrible things. I cannot understand how our collective memories are so terrible, can we never learn!!

  15. Always glad to see a post from you. All looks good in your part of the world. I too wrote a novel this year and am in the querying process. The business part is the absolute worst part for me. I would love to go to Portugal or Argentina - two locales in my novel, but alas, my two little weenie girls are too old for me to leave. We do have our priorities. Can't wait to hear more about your novel.

  16. CONGRATULATIONS! Such SPLENDID news!!! And love your pups....Andrew is so charming, as is so many of us, she is trying to enjoy her senior years, despite those random and unwelcomed aches and pains.

  17. Congratulations, this is such wonderful news about your book. We here at the office can't wait and are really excited to read it. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful rest of your week.
    World of Animals

  18. Congratulations! I look forward to reading your novel!

  19. Wow! Congratulations, Pamela! You have my very best wishes on this incredible venture. I look forward to reading your novel.
    The photos of Andrew and Apple wonderful. Thank you for the update on how they are doing.
    Again, my best wishes to you~

  20. How lovely … I just read I Wore My Fathers Watch... I lost my father in a plane crash just a months shy of my sixth birthday. Nearly sixty years on, I have no idea where his watch may be. My sister may have it or not. Did anyone save it? I will never know. My mother is now gone too. Watch or not, I felt his whisper as I read your words and sigh. Thank you.

  21. Congratulations - can hardly wait to read your novel! And, looking SO MUCH forward to the summer reading list. Pamela, my own words of appreciation fail to truly express how much joy your blog has given me in reading and re-reading your posts(the latter in daily hopes of seeing a new post but still extremely enjoyable and most of all heartwarming and uplifting no matter the topic). It is solely because of this blog that I am planning my own trip to Scotland - and I suspect it will be the first of many. Thank you from a very, very appreciative reader.

  22. The rock analogy is perfect. And I was so glad to see you this morning in my in box! Eagerly looking forward to your book.

  23. Just have to say one more time how excited I am for you Pamela...SO SO EXCITING!!! xx

  24. Congratulations I am so very proud of you .
    Blessings and much love

  25. Many congratulations! Two things to look forward to in 2021!

  26. Congratulations on your book! My grandfather was from Shetland. I've visited a few times and it seems like another world. I've always wanted to take the ferry from Aberdeen but I've only taken wobbly plane. Did you visit Whalsay? Their heritage society had an exhibition of knitting through the ages. I'll be waiting to read your book.

  27. Bailey Bob Southern DogJuly 30, 2019 at 11:23 AM

    I am beyond thrilled for you, and congratulations on your book! I will be waiting in line for my autographed copy in 2021.

  28. I agree with Tammy J. Reading your thoughts does help. Whenever there is a particularly bad or outrageous news day, and you know who I mean, I rush to read your thoughts and perspectives. Sorry if this places a burden on you, but you have a gift for the written word. I'm so grateful you share it.

  29. Congratulations! Writing a novel is an accomplishment in itself, but to be published is on another level! I love reading you blog, so I look forward to your book.

    Thank you for the updates on the dogs. I have always had a soft spot for Miss Apple, so I am glad to read she is "living her best life". I was glad to also read of what a wonderful companion Andrew is. How fortunate you are to have had so many great dogs in your life!

    Again, many congratulations on your book! Susan


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