April 22, 2014

Robert Barclay Guest Post

The Widow’s Walk

By: Robert Barclay

His name was Garrett Richmond and he had always wanted to live by the ocean. So when the opportunity to buy-and renovate-the old home known as Seaside arrived, he leapt at the chance. Never mind that his friends and family thought he was crazy, he knew he could return this lonely mansion, worn by time, wind, and neglect, to its former beauty. But Seaside was more than just a project; it was spot that had called to him his entire life. 

And then one night he saw her…

Her name is Constance Elizabeth Canfield and she tells him Seaside has been her home for over 150 years. But Constance is no ghost; rather, she claims that she has been somehow magically trapped between this life and the next. At first, Garrett can’t believe her crazy story-the woman had to be lying! And yet, there was something about Constance that was from another time...

Soon this mysterious woman, and flesh and blood man share a closeness they cannot deny. But just as their love begins to bloom, Constance’s presence starts mysteriously fading away, soon to be gone forever. Is their love doomed--or is it strong enough to transcend time, and even death itself?

My Writing Quirks and Must Haves

 When it comes to our work habits, we authors can be a strange bunch. Nabokov, for example, wrote his books longhand on 3 x 5 index cards, which he then stuck all over the walls of his home, driving his wife nearly crazy. Hemingway wrote standing up. And William Faulkner, bless his soul, did his best work while literally blind drunk.

Although I have some quirks of my own, I must admit that there are none so extreme as the ones I just mentioned. Even so, I do have a few peculiarities that I thought you might find interesting...

For example, there is only one place in which I can create new work--namely my upstairs office in my home. And once those pages have been printed and are ready to be proofread there is only one place I feel comfortable doing that task, and that is in my recliner downstairs in the living room. Don't ask me why. It just is.

Also, I find it impossible to work if someone else is in the house. It doesn’t matter a whit who they are, or where they are.  Just the simple fact that there is someone else here sort of skews my mental process somehow. To this day I don't know why.

My typing is absolutely atrocious. There have actually been cases in which I would type a paragraph, then go back to reread it, and have many words that were so completely mangled that I literally could not tell what they were supposed to be in the first place.  So these days I use Dragon voice recognition software, and I dictate my books into my iMac. Getting the software trained is a bit of a hassle, but once you and it had become accustomed to each other, I find that the work goes 2 to 3 times as fast, and that is certainly a blessing for me.
In terms of must haves, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and “The Yale Book of “Quotations” always sit at my right hand elbow; each one ready to be cracked open at a moment’s notice. There's always a bowl of dark chocolate sitting on my desk and I sometimes listen to music while I write, preferably on a Bose stereo system.

In closing, I must say that although I do not write my books on 3 x 5 index cards, or write standing up, or write while I'm drunk, I think my quirks and foibles are already enough. Say what you want but they're mine, they work for me, and I'm going to keep them.

Best regards and good reading,  --Robert Barclay 

Author Info
After graduating from Colgate University with a B.A. in Economics and a minor Art History, Robert J. Barclay enjoyed a successful career in business, and served as chairman of his industry-related consulting group. After selling his business and moving from upstate New York to Florida (and with some rather successful prodding by his wife), he was able to finally devote his full attention to something he had always wanted to do: write a book. Rob lives in sunny south Florida. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys weightlifting, Shotokan Karate, and going to the beach to do absolutely nothing. 

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