And now, for something completely different: Breakthrough and Torrey House Press

—Lynette Sheppard

Nobody stateside has seen Denny for at least twenty years. Last I knew he was in the Canary Islands or Sussex or Santorini. He’s seventy-five now and he’s probably still a great advertisement for profligate drinking. I’ve been going through my innumerable caches of writing prompts and found Denny’s pitch for a movie script. Fade in to Rino, a marginal character, never J.Q. honest citizen, but not a hard core criminal. He’s addicted to stealing cars he’s fallen in love with. Now he sees maybe a GTO convertible and steals it. High on the experience, Rino joy-rides. Fun until the cops pick him up. Downtown reality strikes hard…

Imagine Rino sees this gecko right before he hears the cop siren, and write us what happens to him in the next 12 hours.
I don’t have to tell you that these are hard times for writers and quality publishers,  times in which we need to take care of each other. To that end, here is my publisher, Torrey House Press –  not just my publisher, but as you will see, the publisher of many fine writers and many worthy books to keep you company through this potentially dark Winter – especially if you feel trapped indoors and want to remember that there is a greater world outside our justified and externally inflicted fears.
THP not only publishes books faithful to our wild places, the Press also brings new Western voices to you. Too often, as far as Manhattan publishers are concerned, writers west of the Hudson River don’t exist. THP challenges that myopia. I’ll bring you news of new writers and books that can carry you out of whatever 2020 reality you – if you’re like me – are not cherishing.

You might begin with Accidentals, by Susan Gaines; or Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, by Chera Hammons. I’ll write about each of them in future Breakthroughs.

Unblocking 2: You may be mystified by the way you can be joyfully writing, then find yourself without words. Most of us who write have done so since we were children; and too often we began writing to ease fears and hurts and find a way through our angers. In my writing circles, I’ve often heard writers tell us that their childhoods were marked by familial invasions of their writing – moms or dads or siblings who snooped in diaries or private journals. There might have been too little interest or encouragement – or too much.

I believe that as we occupy our lives, so we occupy our writing. Most of us need space to do that. Writing is a private gift – unless or until we choose to share it. Try using these words as a prompt, then write for as long as you need to: My dear kid, I’m here. I hope you will tell me about your words. Did they matter? Did you love them? 








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