Wednesday, September 4, 2013

sequel to "The Songcatcher and Me"

When a friend of mine was in hospital, I gave her a copy of my new novel, The Songcatcher and Me (Ottawa, Baico, 2013, $20 ISBN 978-1-927482-36-3) She shared it with her fellow patients, and told me that everyone  liked it, including the folk song lyrics.  This and other positive reaction inspired me to continue the story of Sheila, her grandmother, her boyfriend, and the songcatcher, Alice, so during the hot days this past summer I took refuge in the basement and started work on a sequel to The Songcatcher and Me. In this sequel, Sheila will be older, seventeen going on eighteen, and in her final year of high school, facing decisions and the fears of a fledgling about to take wing. I have a general idea of the plot but I've only just begun.

The sequel will not involve as much about folk song collecting as did The Songcatcher and Me, but the plot requires one lyric in the style of an old-time sentimental ballad, so I have written the following poem for use in the sequel:

A mother on her sickbed lay;
She knew her day was nearly done.
A ship was due to sail away
and carry off her only son.

"I wish for you a warmer clime,
a haven from the stormy blast,
and roses in the winter time
and may your first love be your last.

"I pray that you will live and thrive
and any sorrow soon will mend,
abundant honey from each hive,
a pot of gold at rainbow's end."

"Oh, Mother, dear, we both well know
there's no such thing as rainbow gold,
or roses in the winter snow
or hearts still whole when we are old.

"But you have taught me to rejoice
and do my best, enjoy each day,
and memories of your loving voice
will stay with me and guide my way."

(c) Ruth Latta, 2013

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