Brooklyn Bitters is in the hands of my editor, Julia McVey. She’s a talented eagle-eye editor with a creative style. It’s her calling, for sure.
I’m now immersed in my next novel, Old Coattails. Of course, the characters of Brooklyn are still with me. The heroine, Kate, visits her late friend and brother-in-law, Glenn, regularly. Over the years, she has developed an unusual attachment to his cemetery.
I’m looking forward to getting Brooklyn Bitters in print. I had fun with the characters and appreciated help from Regina Farmer, my muse for Kate. She knew her, understood what motivated her, and was an inspiration.
The English ivy, climbing along the fence, covered the latch on the cemetery gate. The plant gave me a rash every time I touched even the smallest leaf. The vine originated from a nineteenth-century church just outside the graveyard. Nobody maintained the grounds so the ivy took over, suffocating everything in its track. At least, it hadn’t reached beyond the third tree; although it was only a matter of time. Why Stacey chose this cemetery to bury Glenn, I wasn’t sure. She claimed there were fewer visitors so she could visit her husband in private. It didn’t make sense; prior to Glenn's interment, there had not been anyone laid to rest here in over one-hundred years.
Twenty women were laid to rest in the cemetery. Their headstones only bore their name, date of birth and death. No epitaphs. A tiny cross was engraved in the stone so I assumed they were members of the abandoned church. Twelve of the women were buried next to a family member of the same general age, likely the husband. The remaining eight women were alone and had lived from ten to eighty two years. Long lives. I imagined that someone may have felt like me, going through the motions of life, reaching for more but hindered by duty. Perhaps a woman had reached the age of forty and realized she’d let the years go by without finding a partner.