poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘built landscape

writing a novel – next in the series !

with 12 comments

Having sent my first novel ‘Open to the Skies’ (aka ‘Saving the Landing Church’) out to three publishers, I have begun my next novel in the series.  I intend for the series to focus on the adventures of running a writers’ retreat.  Same characters, same setting, same struggle to be a part of the community.


Title: unknown

Working Title: ‘Crossing at a Walk’

Setting: a writers’ retreat – the renovated Landing Church, the hall and the rectory now used as a Learning Center, a Sleeping Hall and a home and base of operations for Sadie and Tom

Characters: main character Sadie, a writer; her husband Tom, a retired welder; people from the community; writers participating in the first weekend of the writers’ retreat

Plot: Sadie wants the first writers’ retreat to go smoothly, but the history of an old covered bridge keeps getting in the way


My first novel was about an abandoned church.  The subject of this book will be yet another feature of our built landscape, one also having a difficult time … the covered bridge.  In the 1940s there were 340 covered bridges in New Brunswick.  Today there are only 60.


I chuckle all the time about my ‘Saving The …’ series.  Lots of buildings to save out there!  However, I have no intention of sinking into the formulaic (Sadie falls in love with the … and takes steps to save the …).  Instead, each story will take a unique approach to honoring the bit of built landscape it portrays!




As I have said, in New Brunswick, we have 60 remaining covered bridges.  Their numbers are dwindling, the losses due to flooding, fire and vandalism.  For a look at the covered bridges in New Brunswick, see the map and photos at


So how does a covered bridge get in the way of a well planned writers’ retreat?

  • Sadie includes a local tour during the retreat, to introduce the writers to the community and give them new experiences to write about.  The covered bridge is outside the tour loop, but a couple of the writers would love to go there.
  • the covered bridge is part of the community’s history.  Inside the bridge are the carved initials of some of the many people who have lingered there.  The writers want to know ‘who was Phoebe?’ a girl whose name is carved in the bridge and imprinted on the memories of some of the members of the community.
  • after the retreat is over, heavy rains and flooding threaten the bridge to its very foundations.  Can the bridge be saved and will Sadie be willing to take on the cause of another community icon?



Sadie … my main character … a writer and weaver … she wants the first weekend of the writers’ retreat to go smoothly …  I still think she needs an afternoon at the hairdressers


Sadie’s husband Tom … a welder with a fatal case of welder’s lung … a likeable fellow, he refused to die in the first novel … I wonder what will happen to him in ‘Crossing at a Walk’?



Copyright  2015  Jane Tims


%d bloggers like this: