Posted by: Joelle Burnette | August 22, 2013

Reading back in time

healdsburg1Sometimes readings can be so much fun, and I must say, reading for the Healdsburg Literary Guild ended too quickly last Sunday. Here’s a lesson…watch your time.

After reading from Cancer Time Bomb and losing track of time while chatting about writing, I began reading an excerpt from another book I’ve been writing (for too long). The crowd was attentive and appeared immersed in the story, but just when it was getting to a really juicy part, my time was up. Twenty minutes goes by so quickly!

It was nice to hear some genuinely sad ahs from the audience when I had to stop, and I especially enjoyed the reaction to one of my descriptions. I heard that quiet “wow” from the audience that gives you goosebumps and drives you to continue honing your writer’s voice. I must thank my friend Ann Carranza, a writer for the Press Democrat, who offered such a wonderful and personal introduction. The accolades she listed reminded me how I love going after a difficult story (as a reporter), and helped me remember why I should continue to write…even on those days when, aside from door shelves lined with condiments, my refrigerator displays only yellow light glowing through the glass shelves within. The dreadful light accentuates the recesses of the cold box as result of an astounding absence of food. Mustard sandwich anyone? Buy my books! It was nice catching up with Gabe, a colleague from past newspapers. And it was a little sad leaving the town that once captured my daily attention. A small town tucked away in Sonoma County’s wine country, Healdsburg always served as that mystical place in my daily existence. Many changes have transformed the downtown into a thriving tourist attraction for wine enthusiasts, but I’m hopeful it maintains that small-town feeling.

Years ago, when I would drive north every morning to work at the Healdsburg Tribune, I would feel a twinge of excitement as I crossed over the river and drove into town. Many mornings, thick fog would blanket the bridge, protecting the town like it was Brigadoon until a path cleared and drew me through town. And the summer air…there was something magical and soothing about the air on warm summer nights.

There are these quiet parts of town that are so still, it seemed like another world; something out of the fictional Mayberry. If you visit one of those many peaceful areas of Healdsburg during the summer, I invite you to stand still, close your eyes, quiet your mind and breathe deeply. You will feel like a child enjoying a carefree day you hope will never end. Thanks again to the Healdsburg Literary Guild!

Want more information about Cancer Time Bomb and Joelle’s book events? Visit


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