Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story

Four years ago I was editing, proofreading, making changes, reading, making more changes, having my Fred run it through InDesign, the font was selected, formatting line by line, chapter by chapter, and then a PDF came into being. Which of course meant more reading, more fussing over formatting, more proofreading, more changes... somewhere in the midst of all this, I dug out old photos I took of the Fox Sister's house in Hydesville before they tore it down, and used them for the book cover... then finally, a file was created and the first paperback came in the mail a few days later. Of course there was more to do to it...other odd formatting problems, a couple of misspelled words...a word that wasn't misspelled, but was just the wrong word...and then eventually a block of ISBN #'s were purchased, and one more file created, another proof came, it was examined page by page, and then, it was done. I never looked back, never regretted that I didn't try one more time to go the traditional route...

Four years after its publication, I still love this little book of mine, and have found the reactions of readers very interesting—no surprises—it’s one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ sort of books, I guess. It still amazes me that I wrote it, and I'm always grateful when someone tells me they loved it and what their favorite part was, or what made them cry...

It just makes me cry that I was able to write it...it took years to write it...I carried much of it within me since I was quite young, before I knew what to do with any of it...they were stories I made up, told to my friends, and then got into trouble over them because...well because they weren't true. I was called a liar for making such things up. (Imagine that.)

Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story is a literary fiction novel, it is not the usual ghost story with a haunted house—oh, yes, Tanglewood is very haunted—but it’s a ghost story as much about life as it is about death. It’s a coming of age story and a story about coming to terms with the past. Dusty Waters, as a little girl with a gift of seeing ghosts, is haunted by the spirits drifting in the hallways of her ancestral home, and haunted by the past encompassing a family history, a nation’s history, and a generation’s history, as well as her personal story. Dusty Waters, as a woman, standing well over six feet tall, wild curly blond hair with big feet and a big nose, is a folksinger in the tradition of folksingers of the Boomer generation with a growling voice like Janis Joplin, but her guitar is tuned with the Punk edge of the Gen-X kids who show up at her concerts looking to hear songs about the truth of “what was” and presently that “it goes like this.” She pulls no punches as she belts out her songs, but in her own personal life, she’s barely scratching the surface of being honest with herself. She’s scared to go home to face the ghosts that haunt her there, and scared to live without them. Coming home at last, she has steeled herself to sit down with her friend, Katharine, to tell her story for the official biography of the folksinger—but there are parts of that story she will never tell a soul—except maybe one, but she lost him along the way and needs to go find him.

Me at my first book signing on May 2, 2009 at Fat Cats in Johnson City, NY

Look at that smile—and those poor old tortie glasses bit the dust long ago, I loved them until they fell apart and were beyond repair—oh, they got me through many hair-pulling edits of that little ghost story I’m holding in my hands—I just loved writing this book and have enjoyed meeting people to talk about it and although I'm so small time being an indie on my own, I can't complain, she sells one book at a time.

Four years later...here is a lifetime I can hold in my hands and share.

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