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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Saltness of Time is Now Live

The Saltness of Time, an 11,000-word novella, is now live on Smashwords. I wrote parts of it when I was in my 20s; I returned to it in my 40s after I had finished the novel, Crazy About You. I wrote that in the first person point of view using a technique of the narrator looking back to tell his story. I thought that technique gave me the needed distance element The Saltness of Time had lacked. I had been trying to tell the story in the simple present tense and was unhappy with the result. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness had always been a favorite of mine. I liked how Marlow told his story on the ship outside the Thames as he and other passengers waited for the tide to change. So I created my Marlow (simply by aging one of the characters) and then indentured my audience. Those captive listeners, it turned out, became much more active in the tale than were Marlow’s. One of them gave to me the best ending sentence that I have ever written.

The Saltness of Time, by the way, is a phrase that comes from Shakespeare ("Some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time," Henry IV, part II). I was thinking more of the salt beds of the dried up inland sea below the rich soil of Kansas prairie. And, of course, the salt beds, too, that are within each of us.

The cover design for this novella presented several challenges, but Erin Billingsley, whose family also hails from my high school town of Larned, and she from nearby LaCrosse (where my grandfather once practiced as a physician), suggested a Kansas snow scene, and I quickly concurred. Her choice of an understated typestyle works well. She describes herself as a "Jane of all trades" and examples of her work can be found at:


  1. Your books look amazing!!

    Merry Christmas <3

  2. Thanks! Would love to know what you think of it.

  3. It is added to my TBR pile :0) will lwt you know when I finish