Saturday, March 01, 2008

An excerpt from SPINNING WILL, a novel

"A Place Without Shadows"

By P.M. Woods

Note: A book signing will be held today, March 1st, from 3-5 p.m. for “Spinning Will," a new novel by writer P.M. Woods. All are invited to Red Maple Books, Ghent, N.Y. to meet Woods, and to hear her read from her highly praised book. Here is one comment: "Spinning Will is a wonderfully seductive book, a tale whose hypnotic language migrates between the rocky California coast and the slow, steady flow of the Hudson River, between the sorrow and exuberance of leaving one life for another.” -- Joyce Hinnefeld

By P.M. Woods

Living in L.A. I missed the winter, living in upstate New York I miss the beach.

Growing up in Massachusetts I missed everything I imagined another place to be.

Over dinner one night Lainie says, “Wouldn’t it be great to live in a place that was all the aspects of the good places you have ever been?”

“And none of the bad?” I add.

“Do you think such a place would even exist?” she continues.

“Maybe,” I say.

“Invent the perfect place,” Lainie invites me. “Invent a place with the perfect climate, the perfect landscape. A place that combines everything you need with everything you desire.”

“I already have everything I need,” I tell her.

“You do?” she asks doubtfully.

“I already have everything I want,” I say.

“Really?” Lainie says, sensing I’m not being completely truthful.

But this is what I like about Lainie. She never pushes the issue.

As we talk I remember this.

I am walking along the beach. It is dusk. The waves are barely visible, but I can hear them coming in and going out. Will is almost a shadow beside me, almost a shadow moving next to me, a shadow moving almost out of my reach, just a bit beyond my touch. But no matter how dark it becomes, no matter how far I move away from him,

I continue to feel him next to me.

I don’t tell Lainie this, but I do say, “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t think I have everything I want right now.”

“Who does?” Lainie says to keep me company knowing that I actually mean something more than this.

“Maybe I would invent a place with no shadows,” I say.

“No shadows,” she echoes without asking me why.

P.M. "Peggy" Woods, Ph.D., teaches writing for the Writing Program and the Commonwealth College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as in workshops for Star Root Press. Dr. Woods earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire; a master’s from California State University, Northridge; and a doctorate from the University at Albany, SUNY. She lives in Western Massachusetts. Spinning Will, her first novel, is published by Swank Books of Boston.

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