Excerpt: Looking Back

Looking Back: Falling in Love With Florida History is my latest project, and I’ve jumped headfirst into writing something unlike anything I’ve ever written before. I’ve written all genres, most recently Mysteries, but I’ve never written a non-fiction book. Looking Back breaks new ground for me, but since I’ve already been writing a newsletter by the same title for North Palm Beach since I was appointed Village Historian in 2010, at least I’ve had some practice.

I abandoned my original plans and decided to mix history with memoir, showing the past as well as my own experiences with South Florida. And I try to incorporate humor.

Library humor. It can’t be beat.

Me behind the front desk at the library in 2011.

Me behind the front desk at the library in 2011.

“Hi, excuse me, I’m looking for a book.” The older, plump woman approached the circulation desk.

“Do you know the name of the book?” I asked, ready to look it up in the computer.

The woman leaned her head to the side and said, “Hmm, no.”

“Okay, do you know the author?”

She shook her head. “No.”

“Um . . .” I waited for her to say something, to give me some clue as to what she was searching for.

At last, she looked directly at me and said, “I think the title has the word ‘and’ in it.”

My lips parted slightly in astonishment. I must have registered an expression of pure disbelief. We stared at each other for a moment.

“Do you need more information than that?” she asked.

“Uh . . . yeah,” I mumbled. I watched her walk away into the stacks, still shocked the conversation had taken place.

At the library, we were all accustomed to doing detective work for patrons who weren’t certain what they were looking for. There is, of course, a limit to our knowledge.  

I’m so excited about this new project. I’m knee-deep in research, and my head is overflowing with ideas, but I’m on the right track! It’s going well. I’ll keep you posted, readers.


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