Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Fifth Cherry Hill Story?

Truly, I had no clue that my subconscious brain was working on another Cherry Hill story, but this last week during my mother's pacemaker surgery and recovery (she's doing very well), another story popped up. In my last post, A Sentence A Day, I shared the sentences I've written for an exercise at the Forum. Hidden in those sentences was the kernel for a whole new story. ; )

I had thought about and worked on four possible Cherry Hill stories before that:
  • FRIENDLY FIRE--about Laura Grace Chandler meeting Samantha Smith, an abused foster child
  • CONSUMING FIRE--about the prosecution of Samantha's abusers and a growing relationship between Laura Grace and Mack Singer
  • LINE OF FIRE--about Laura Grace's new family and the discovery of Mack's unknown son, a young Marine
  • HEART FIRE--about Samantha's children and the aging of her mother
Well, now I know there's a prequel to FRIENDLY FIRE. The working title is CAMP FIRE and it's about Laura Grace's first husband, Tom Chandler. The following sentences are the genesis of the story:
  • "Well, she’s pretty enough and has the Chandler coloring,” her silver hair didn’t shift as she turned back to me, “but you know she’s not a real Chandler, Laura Grace.”
  • The embossed ivory invitation was from the one address I'd hoped never to see again, and the initials on the flap--HCC--made my stomach clench.
  • Over the years her eyes had faded to ice blue and now they looked on my child with chilling disapproval.
  • Her perfume was the same--a mix of rose and gardenia--but with a subtle addition I could only identify as old lady skin.
  • I had never faced her without Tom at my side, but now that my knight was gone, I was on my own, and I was Samantha's only shield.
All of them describe Laura Grace's first mother-in-law, Hazel Cherry Chandler. I'm working on a scene for FRIENDLY FIRE in which Hazel meets Samantha. That's when I realized I had a story brewing about Hazel and her son Tom.

Here's a taste of what I've discovered:
  • "While the extravagant charity of the Cherry and Chandler families is well known, Thomas, we do not practice it with our marriage vows."
  • "My vows are charity only if you use the Biblical definition of the word—love. But that wasn't what you were referring to, was it, Mother?"
  • The warmth of the flame consuming the pine limbs spread up his arms and the tension wiring his shoulders taut eased, a sharp contrast to the cold tone Mother had used to voice her displeasure of him and his plans.
  • She was still spare and elegant, and so was the room.
FRIENDLY FIRE is still on the front burner and is 85% complete, but it's gratifying to know I'll never run out of something to say about my favorite family in Cherry Hill. ; )


  1. Replies
    1. I know! I was quite shocked when I realized I "knew" his story. ; )

  2. Nope there's no ending to the ongoing saga...of Cherry Hill. I say in my best announcer's voice.

  3. Glad to hear there's more stories to come!


To use Facebook or Twitter sign in, select Name/URL. Add your name and the URL of your homepage for Facebook or Twitter...and comment. Thanks for coming by!