Michael Babcock, the pilot who, months earlier, flew the original test flights which tormented elderly Esther Brandt in her run-down family mansion, returns to apologize and inquire about her well-being. He tells her he has been forced into retirement and now flies old warplanes for air museums and air shows. He is back in Maine to fly for the Eagle's Head Air Museum on the coast. Shortly after he leaves, the town learns that Babcock and his aircraft, one of only ten airworthy classic Spitfire fighters left in America, have gone missing.
Soon after, Esther is visited by a frightened woman from Damariscotta who says her deceased father predicted the antique warplane's disappearance and told her if it happened to seek help at the Brandt Mansion in Leitrim. She has inherited a barn with a disassembled, moth-balled Spitfire and is terrified she will be charged in the missing aircraft's disappearance.
It’s a small victory and a long way to remains to go, but I’m happy to share that I passed the 20,000-word milestone on my next novel, Artifical Horizon. A prequel/sequel to my first novel “High Ground,” the new book includes the core characters from the first, but will also involve some new characters from a remote island ten miles off the coast of Maine. I have some general thoughts about where the novel might go, but the first draft is always a voyage of discovery where you place your characters in a situation, let them go to see where they will run. Hopefully, somewhere interesting. I can assure you this: there will be NO contemporary American politics involved. You’re welcome.
If you read it, you probably know the main theme of my first novel was forgiveness. In this book, the theme will be how differences can so readily divide us, but crisis can so quickly unite us. Hey, I spent 30 years in the Red Cross and this was my takeaway. So, sue me.
As you may know, I’m doing this crazy writing marathon as a part of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month held in November each year as a motivation to help writers crank out the first 50,000 words of their next novel. That works out to around 1,700 words a day on average. Word to the wise: it’s harder than it looks. Ow! Ow! Ow!