Sunday, July 26, 2020

Grant’s Crossing

I’m happy to say that my first novel, Grant’s Crossing, is really coming together. At over 18,000 words so far, I think it’s safe to say that my story and her characters are developing quite nicely. 

This past week, I’ve had a couple of rough days at my day job because I’ve awakened early in the morning with a great idea in my head that I just had to write down. I started writing and then, all of a sudden, a few hours had gone by and it was time to get ready for work! Who needs sleep, anyway, right? 

While writing more chapters and developing my characters, I’m also still working on how to describe the book itself. Like the story, that’s a work in progress, too! 

Here’s what I have so far. Bear in mind, I may change this 50 more times between now and publication, but I think this is a great start. 

I’ll start with the short version.

Grant’s Crossing

A woman in need of answers

A man living on the edge

A town in need of hope

And the longer version...

A journalist who relentlessly pursues the truth still can’t answer the one question that matters to her the most. 

An EMT who dedicates his life to helping others yet still lives his own life on the edge.  

A small town hit hard by addiction still needs that one catalyst that can bring them hope. 

So what do you think? 

Happy Reading! 

        - Heather

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Book Update

I thought I'd share an update on the novel that I'm writing. As you know from my first post, Mom challenged me to write a book last month and I accepted her challenge. 

NS Train as seen in New Albany, IN. It's a blog! Gotta have pictures!

Well it's really started taking shape since then in that it's about 85% or so outlined / mapped out.

So here are the numbers. 
  • 85% outlined
  • 7 chapters written (First drafts)
  • Main plot mapped out
  • Sub plot mapped out
  • About 12,000 words
  • 50 pages 
  • Character names - Not yet divulging them, but I have them!
So far. 

Needless to say, I'm excited and I have to say that I'm having a ton of fun writing out dialog! 

Any questions? By all means - please leave them in the comments below so I can answer them. Thanks for reading this and now I've gotta to get back to writing! 

Happy reading and writing everyone! 

        - Heather

Sunday, July 12, 2020


I wrote this while serving in the Peace Corps and after having moved around a lot as a kid growing up - and since then as an adult. 

Where is my home? What is my home? 
I look for it now, but can’t find it. 
Home is not a place, 
Nor something I see.
Home is a feeling.
It is abstract. Intangible.

Home is where my family is.
It is where my friends are.
It is where we all feel comfortable.
It is where I can see myself, 
Where I feel accepted. 

Home is here. 
Home is where I am.
Home is a state of mind.
Home is a state of being.

Welcome home. 

What is home to you? 

Thanks for reading! 

        - Heather

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Panagyurishte - Панагюрище

After my first year in the Peace Corps, I helped train the new group of volunteers in a small town called Panagyurishte (Roughly pronounced Pan-uh-G’YER-eesh-tay) which is a gorgeous town in central Bulgaria. These are a few thoughts I put down at the time.

My first impressions - Summer, 2001

In a country where people still cut the grass with a scythe, still milk their own cows, wash their laundry by hand, and tend their own animals, one can’t balk at tradition - one can only appreciate the resilience of the people and the depths of culture to which their lives are engrained. The simple clarity that is found while sitting on the steps leading up to the Apriltsi monument overlooking the town below is something to be treasured. A single moment in time. Surrounded am I by nature sounds and beauty. 

Before me lies the sleepy town of Panagyurishte. I can pick out the tree-lined canal in the center. Down the hill a bit on the other side of the canal are two churches. Beyond the houses of the city are the foothills of the Stara Planina (Balkan Mountains) brightened by a blurred orange, late evening setting sun. Finally around me, all around me, are the sounds of the crickets, the birds, an occasional goat, and a dog or two.

From time to time, a pair of friends will pass me by walking up the stairs next to where I site. I don’t want to return to my hotel. Not yet. I think I’ll breathе all this in.

Once more.

Written shortly thereafter: 

In retrospect - these were my first impressions of the town that, the following week, welcomed in 53 Americans from all walks of life. These Americans of different ages, gender, races, and religions, plan to spend their next two years serving in the Peace Corps Bulgaria. I, myself, am in the middle of that service having already served as an English teacher in the beautiful town of Smolyan, located in the Rhodope mountains in southern Bulgaria. 

For the last two weeks, I’ve been acting as a resource volunteer, helping the training staff teach the trainees everything from language to how to teach to what to expect once they get to their sites. The energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity of these people are refreshing and invigorating. I feel recharged and ready to face my second year with the same readiness as my first. I’ve enjoyed these two weeks working at PST (Pre-service training) and have made a lot of friends. I hope that some of these will become great friends over the course of this next year - something I’m looking forward to.

Today, I head back to Smolyan, where the farm animals are as welcome on the streets and sidewalks as the people are. Life is slower. Simpler. More relaxing, yet uneventful in a way. I welcome the opportunity, however, to enjoy it. Likewise, I’m sure the new volunteers will enjoy it as well. And I’m sure that after a year, they’ll have learned to appreciate it as I have. 

Peace Corps Volunteers were all pulled from their sites and recalled back due to the the COVID-19 pandemic as of March 15, 2020. All volunteer activities were suspended until further notice. This is the first time since its inception that there are no currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers in the world. 

Please take some time to learn more about this beautiful town in Bulgaria by clicking here

Thanks for reading! 

        - Heather

Harold Addison Scribner - Radioman, Third Class, US Naval Reserve

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