My debut novel is still in the editing phase but I’m getting closer to publication, closer than I ever have before. Yay!
The setting of my book, Long Time Coming, is a real place near my hometown. However, I’ve changed the name to avoid any problems with the townspeople. This is a work of fiction, after all, and I didn’t want to be accused of misrepresenting the town or the lake there.
The real Village of Skaneateles which sits at the north end of Skaneateles Lake is one of my favorite spots to visit. It sits just outside my hometown of Syracuse, NY and is one of the Finger Lakes of New York State that stretch from western to eastern NY.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Finger Lakes area was home to one of the country’s most powerful Indian nations, the Iroquois. They fought off European colonization for two centuries after the first attempt at settlements.
During the American Revolutionary war, the Iroquois suffered their own revolutionary war, weakening their political power, when some of the tribes sided with the Americans and some sided with the British.
After the Revolutionary War, the Indians were assigned reservations and the Finger Lakes area was open for purchase and settlement. The lake area is rich with history that impacted our country.
- Many Underground Railroad sites and the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, NY near the northern end of Owasco Lake
- At the northern end of Seneca Lake, Seneca Falls is the birthplace of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Also located there is the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Wesleyan Chapel where she held the first convention on women’s rights in 1848.
- Waterloo is the birthplace of Memorial Day.
- Palmyra is the birthplace of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
- Toward the southern end of this area, Elmira was home to Mark Twain in his later life.
- Corning is home to Corning Glass Works and the Corning Museum of Glass.
- To the southwest area, Hornell was a major railroad center.
- According to Wikipedia, Conesus remains the home of the oldest producer of pure grape sacramental wine in the Western hemisphere.
Today, there are over one hundred wineries in around these Finger Lakes, New York’s largest grape growing location.
I mentioned in a recent post how to make chocolate at home and how that figures large in my debut novel. Well, wine is almost equally prominent, particularly wine and chocolate pairing. My research on NY State wineries was done long before the writing of my book. I’ve toured many of the wineries in the Finger Lakes area and tasted most of the wines produced there. I love that kind of research!
My favorite: Gewurztraminer (“guh-Verts-trah-Meen-er”), a slightly sweet white wine with an aroma of passion fruit and roses purchased from Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinefera.
My main character in my novel, Long Time Coming, Margo Stevens lives on a hill on the west side of the lake. There she sits on her patio in the evenings sipping her drinking chocolate and wondering where life will take her.
She rides her bike down into the village almost daily to visit with shopkeepers who have become her friends over the 2 years she’s lived there. The chocolate shop is her favorite stop where she chooses from an array of lusciously decadent handmade sweets. Hannah, the owner, packs the treats in a handled bag that Margo hangs on her handlebars, snatching a chocolate every few moments as she rides.
Next, she might visit her friend, Aggie, at the historical association where they discuss new donations from the elder residents of the village. Aggie has seen historic posters, postcards, old letters, paintings from long gone local artists, machinery parts from grist mills and hand tools. Margo is intrigued by the history and imagines the simple life early settlers enjoyed.
On her ride back to her West Lake Rd. home, she stops frequently to admire the lavender fields, farmland and lake views. She’ll pick wild daisies, honeysuckle and Queen Anne Lace growing at the side of the road for her dinner table she shares with her husband, Jack.
If you enjoyed today’s post with a glimpse into my story, to be published this summer, please do subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive notice of my blog posts just four times a month.
Click on the icons in the sidebar to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or YouTube.
If you’d like to see more pictures on my novel’s Pinterest board, please click HERE.
Do you have a favorite place full with history that calms you, excites you, or intrigues you?