If you’ve ever hung around with writers, you’ve heard the term writer’s block. Usually, it’s said with head in hands, accompanied by a big sigh. Writer’s block is a malady no writer wants to be cursed with. It means things have come to a dead end, a big stop.
A few summers ago, I got the block. A writer friend, Sue Roebuck, also down with a bad case of wb, came up with a solution—a writing challenge. We would each write a short story or novella using the same premise. A few other writers suggested ingredients and pretty soon we had a list of things that needed to be included in the books:
A woman named Gwynn
A house that the character has never seen or been to before
A mysterious neighbor
A deck of cards
To make things more interesting, the story had to be written in a genre or sub-genre outside our ‘comfort zone’.
The challenge was a great cure for writer’s block and resulted in two very different books. Sue wrote a horror story called “Heway Hall” and me? I wrote The Whisper of Time, a short sweet time travel romance about a woman named Gwynn who finds out the farmhouse she bought is not only tucked away in Vermont, but also in the 1970s and that the farm’s caretaker might just be her destiny. I had fun writing the story. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!
When fate offers Gwynn Powell a chance to start over, she jumps at the opportunity. Laid off and living with a husband whose gambling problem has eaten through a good part of their savings, Gwynn buys a farmhouse sight unseen, leaving both her marriage and her old home behind.
But fate has more in mind for Gwynn than just a new home. The farmhouse, tucked away in the Green Mountains of Vermont where even GPS can’t find it, is also a step back in time. And Slate Peck, the farm’s caretaker and part owner, is tied to Gwynn’s destiny in ways she never expected.
**Giveaway: The Whisper of Time was sparked by the idea of buying a house sight unseen. It’s a very impulsive thing to do—and something I don’t think I would ever do in real life. I have, though, bought and done things on impulse. How about you—have you ever done anything impulsive? How did that work out? Tell me about it in the comments! I’ll give away a digital The Whisper of Time to one lucky commenter. Contest ends 1/15 at 11:59PM EST.**
Ute Carbone lives and writes in New Hampshire. When she’s not staring out the window and dreaming up new stories, she’s out walking or skiing in the woods near her house, making yet another cup of coffee, or curled up with a good book.
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