Chatter Creek Cottage: White Winter World

IMG_20171217_134430494I realize that the settings of all my books are about the sizzling south, the hot sun, the bountiful flowers of purple and red and yellow petals reminding me that the colors brought to the earth in summer is what makes me grateful for life. The sun always makes me feel good and energized. I don’t think anything really bad happens in the summer and if it does, well, a beautiful blue day is a certain mood lifter. But look at the white ice and the stillness of winter. It’s beyond beautiful, it’s magical and mystical in a way that summer cannot be. It’s stark, the way a cold setting hints at emptiness and the circles of rain around a cloud whisper sorrow.

I really must write a book about turning my collar against the wind and watching my footsteps cover over with snow. It might be a loveless story symbolically revealing the disturbance of distance or the transition of change that hovers in a future fraught with nightmares and macabre occurrences. Winter whispers to me whereas spring sings. It’s time to be still and listen to the whisper. As I stare at this photograph. I feel the silence of things to come. I can’t see the future but I can feel it. It’s time to be still and listen to my inner voice, that language that barely gets attention, the truth that bubbles at the surface of avoidance. Sometimes being alone on a white, cold day is a secret just waiting to be heard. I must write a book with a setting of snowy grounds and barren trees. I must make my heroine pensive and strong. I should set it back in time for trees live forever. There is no laughing in the fields, no lovemaking in the hay. There is only my heroine in a white cold world dreaming of warmth. The cold frigid winter day holds her captive in a mystical moment of self-assessment. The story will not end badly for the frozen white winter will thaw. The dreams captured in that ashen still day will shatter like sun spots over the ground, and the secrets of silence will free her, and the music she heard from the confines of ice will be found in new life once again.

chatter Creek Cottage: First Snow

IMG_20171210_110243798Dreaming of old churches in small towns on white days when the sky is the color of ash was a fantasy of mine, city child that I was. I thought life was better on streets like Main Street and Beechwood and Pucky Hollow than the sudden attack of sirens and horns on avenues filled with strangers and tension and sooty puddles of dirty snow. I thought how wonderful to walk where quiet back roads traveled up to heaven with a stillness as soft as music. I dreamed of feeling fulfilled by color and the flutter of birds, the somersault of fish. I wanted my own Walden Pond and I have found it. I have found my summers, my autumns and my fireside white winters among the graciousness of small town Hortonville. When I was a child sophistication captured me. Now I am almost old and something beyond glorious has released me. When I was a child I dreamed and I dreamed and I dreamed, and when I awoke I was here.

Chatter Creek Cottage: Coming on Christmas

IMG_20171125_165823812So it’s coming on Christmas once again at Chatter Creek Cottage. The long dark year is coming to a close and I breathe a sign of relief that I am looking forward to getting back on track. So I sold twenty seven books last month, that is not nearly enough to quit my day job but it is a step in the right direction. I predict more change in the unsettling world of Jane Cook but many good things in the world of Vera Jane Cook. I am adding a third personality to my complicated soul and putting all my fantasy and paranormal and psychological thrillers under the pen name Olivia Hardy Ray. The Hardy Ray is a family name on my mother’s side and Olivia is just nice. Does it suit me, don’t know but it is nice. I think Olivia deserves that side of me that likes to talk about God and consciousness. So bring on that personality. I am in the process of completing two sequels to Annabel Horton, Lost With of Salem and also in the process of writing a novel called Pindar Corners about our disturbing future. I just finished Origin by Dan Brown and loved it, it made me feel like more of a spiritual person than less of one which is how one might assume to feel after reading the book. I realized while reading it that when you take God or spirit or consciousness out of the equation it’s depressing. I choose to feel that I am not empty and that I did not spring from emptiness nor will I return to it. By the way, if you love art you’ll find the book so compelling. I am very old school when it comes to art and have never learned to love modern lines and geometric boxes and soup cans but Oh I do love the old masters, landscapes. Brown’s book makes you like modern art even less, I think, but that could just be me. Though I’m a huge fan of Edward Hopper, Munch, Georgia O’Keeffe and a slew of others.

So, though I predict changes in the word of Jane Cook I think Vera Jane Cook will get her series out and and her women’s fiction titles that she’s been writing for years. I predict she’ll sell lot of books this year and pay a lot of patient friends back for their generosity. I will survive my very difficult and strange day job and escape into the world of my past and my imagination and flourish there, recoup there.

Back to Christmas. It’s beautiful at Chatter Creek and I can’t wait to return next weekend and sit in front of the fire with my little dog on my lap and beautiful Marianna fussing in the kitchen. I believe in  Christmas trees, the symbol behind them. I actually believe we are all connected. There’s a spirit between good friends, there’s a spirit between like minded strangers and to recognize that space between what we know materially and what we know spiritually  is the magic in the symbol of my pretty lit tree. Christmas, for me signifies that between humanity there is no separation.  So this Christmas I will not concentrate on the lack, the lack in politics,and in government, the lack in human decency, nor the lack in communication. I will not complain about Donald Trump nor will I let his wretched tweets depress me. I will just be with my pretty lit tree, my creative future, my sweet family and friends and i will find God, as I always do, within me.


Chatter Creek Cottage: No Where Near a Southern Stream

How did I get so southern? Where the hell did the southern fiction come from? holiday-catalog-2017-cover-medI never read southern fiction growing up, leaning more toward gritty novels and crime. I don’t just write southern fiction though. My next novel due out in 2018 is about five very east coast young actors who meet in the 1970s and reunite many, many years latter to share secrets better left to history but you know actors, they have to have the drama. The book is definitely about five drama queens but all of them very East coast. (Faith Among Friends) Then I’ve got a novel about a very feisty spirit from Salem, Massachusetts (Annabel Horton Lost Witch of Salem, and a guy who thinks he’s been abducted by aliens in the Catskill Mountains. (Pharaoh’s Star) I’m writing another Catskill mountain story about robots or should I say holograms that take over the innocent minds of children and turn the little innocents into cold and brutal killers, nothing southern about it. (Pindar Corners) Yet another Catskill Mountain novel, Marybeth, Hollister & Jane doesn’t have a drop of southern blood. Even my most biographical novel, The Fourniers, which include a series of three novels beginning at early twentieth century: When Hannah Played Ragtime, Glamor Girl and The Way Back is soooooo New York and coming out in 2018 as well. Oh, biographical novels. Of course! Yes, my grandfather on my mother’s side was a bastard from hell and came from a southern South Carolina family. That’s where I get it. Somewhere in my subconscious mind or past life I am southern. Everyone should write novels; it brings up the strangest deep-seated utterly bizarre moments in the spiritual journey of life and death that remind us of how ignorant we are about where we’ve been.

Chatter Creek Cottage: Wake up Sleepy Head

This is a picture of the rear of Chatter Creek Cottage, all golden and red and looking like autumn. Autumn has finally arrived with a full curtain call of color, a splendid smile, having arisen from its slumber. For a while there I thought autumn was in hiding, too depressed about Donald Trump to spread its glorious arms and show off its magnificence. Of course our history is what it is in the making but autumn has said to hell with it. A big bag of wind cannot blow me away, cannot hide my beautiful soul behind intimidation and certainly cannot still my compassion with its incompetent rhetoric, its cruel policies and its weakness for ignorance.

Enough of that, autumn is here and because I have a longing for beauty I am awestruck. Happens every glorious fall. My year was an absolute mess but then autumn blasts forth in my world and I am overcome, stilled and accepting. I guess I should say – renewed. The long, horrendous year is ending with a bang and all the little frightening experiences no longer look as threatening. Like our Donald Trump, the roar was and is superficial.


Chatter Creek is back for fans of my writing and friends of my heart. It grows and transitions and stands firm.