In a field of stones there are big ones and little ones...and here I am, the little stone wedged in between the big ones...I am an independent author, independently published. Field Stone Press got its name from those beautiful old bones of the earth, their composition an amalgam of the ages, we find them strewn about our Upstate New York acre, they are collected, piled, lined up, weathered by the elements, and revered as precious.
Life is too precious.
Looking out my window, I'm finally seeing the sunshine after a week of rain and scattered peeks of sun. It's so beautiful. Although I do complain about it, I do believe there is something special about the weather in Upstate New York that generates great writers. So many have hailed from here, or just passed through underneath the prevalent gray sky. I wonder. The profusion of overcast days certainly can make one gritty around the edges; some places have trouble with the Dog Days of summer bringing out the worst in folks, but in Upstate New York, the sun comes out and that spectacular blue sky that can make the most surly character giddy. I think the lull of gray skies keeps writers inside writing since there is no temptation to go outside and play — ah, but writers will write no matter the weather. At least I can feel that I’m in good company when I sit at my computer patiently contemplating one paragraph at a time during those precious hours I maintain in my studio. Often I’m bemoaning the fact that it’s already eleven o’clock at night and I have to get up and go to work the next day. So, I walk my dog before bed to decompress, looking for the stars, hoping to see a sign of a clear sky—sometimes it is this upward glance that provides a resolution for that one elusive character quirk or just the right name. I’ve pulled many ideas out of the sky; I live on a rather large hill seven miles outside of Syracuse, so there’s nothing but sky out here.
There are many times that suffusion of gray comes down as fog, and my world takes on a different quality—isolated; it is a rich atmosphere for a writer’s garden of thoughts. How many plot knots have I worked the kinks out of while my hands have been immersed in the soil of my garden on a fine sunny day, having the soft, sweet tail of a cat brush my arm as it passes through, its paws relishing in the freshly tilled dirt. Happily, there have not been many kinks for me to work out, it’s more likely that new stories are found amongst the weeds, stones, and cat leavings. Sometimes I forgo the garden to just sun myself in my favorite chair on the front porch while hummingbirds buzz at the bee balm; my dog resting his head on my barefoot, as the latest red pen sits poised, ready to stab at a manuscript lying in my lap. You see I have a good life on my hill, so pastoral — this is how I want you to picture me — this is how you will know me.
This journey that I've started, becoming a writer, is the result of years of hard work and pure joy. It is perhaps the bravest thing I've ever done writing my books, and then putting the first one, Dusty Waters, into the hands of readers. (I thank those who have already purchased and read my little ghost story, your support is most appreciated!)
With a sky like that behind my barn...why not aim high? I believe I've rambled enough for one day...and that's the news from the windswept hilltop in Upstate New York...
Causes Laura Ryan Supports
NPR, PBS, ASPCA, Food Bank, PEN American