Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Red Piano Too


HOME from BEAUFORT

My week at Beaufort was productive and something of a relief. The Tilmon/Rio story’s conclusion has been stuck at the bottom of my files for a long time. I was afraid I had lost interest. After a couple of days of reading and sorting notes, the story came alive. Beaufort is about the only place where I can work at my desk for ten straight hours without going crazy. I think it’s because I set my desk where I can look out the window to the marsh and the incoming and outgoing tide.
Here’s the view from the window.

                                                      Flood Tide

I took off an afternoon to drive to St. Helena Island. There are maps showing the antebellum village of St. Hellenaville located in the area of Pine Island. Today St. Helenville Road is the main road that departs Sea Island Parkway for that area. If you drive there today, you’ll find the Dulamo development, but no signs of a village or a past.

I stopped by Red Piano Too, one of my favorite shops, to say hello to Mary Mack, who is knowledgeable about Gullah art. I should have known better. It’s an accomplishment for me to get out of the shop without buying something. This time, I didn’t have my guard up. I came away with a wonderful painting by Allen Fireall. It’s hanging on the wall of my office. She’s “Vegetable Woman” and she keeps me company.

                                       Vegetable Woman by Allen Fireall

If I keep my nose to the grindstone, I should have this fourth novel finished by the end of the year. That’s what I’m working toward.

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