Hooray! Yesterday, I wrote "The End" on my latest novel, BLUE UMBRELLA SKY. I will be doing a final polish and turning in to Dreamspinner Press early next week. Letting go is always bittersweet: 2 parts joy, 1 part despair. I was inspired by my new home and this book is about a man moving to Palm Springs to begin a new life after his husband passes from Alzheimer's. He not only finds abundant blue skies, but a neighbor called Billy Blue, who offers him a second chance at love, if only he'll take it. Here's the first page, as it now stands:
Milt Grabaur stared out the window of his trailer, wondering how much worse it could get. The deluge poured down, gray, almost obscuring his neighbors' homes and the barren desert landscape beyond. The rain hammered on his metal roof, sounding like automatic gunfire. Milt shivered a little, thinking of that old song, "It Never Rains in California."
He leaned closer to the picture window, pressing his hand against the glass and whispering to himself, "but it pours."
That window had given him his daily view for the last six months, ever since he'd packed up a life's worth of belongings and made his way south and west to Palm Springs and the Summer Wind Mobile Home Community. This same picture window, almost every single day, had shown him only endless blue skies and sunshine.
Milt had begun to think the expanses of blue, lit up by golden illumination, would never cease.
At about three o'clock, that blue sky, for the first time, was overcome with gray, a foreboding mass of bruised clouds. Milt wondered, because of his experience in the desert so far, if the clouds would be only that-foreboding. The magical gods of the Coachella Valley would, of course, sweep those frowning and depressing masses of imminent precipitation away with a wave of their enchanted hands.
But the sky continued to darken, seemingly unaware of Milt's fanciful imagining and yearnings. At last, the once-blue dome above him became almost like night in mid-afternoon-and the first heavy drops-fat beads of water, began to fall, first a slow sprinkle, where Milt could count the seconds between drops, then faster and faster, until the raindrops combined into one single, and Milt had to admit, terrifying roar.