Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reflections After Reading Leaving Unknown

Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs is truly a delight to read.  Leaving Unknown is the story Maeve Connelly and her trip across the southern United States to find herself in the world.  After being fired from her job and some prompting from her parents, Maeve sets out to start a new life in California.  Along the way she meets some new friends, discovers herself, and confronts the demons she's really running from.

Although probably "chick lit," I did relate to Maeve's wandering and feeling of life out of control.  Although I am a gay man and feel I can relate very well with women, reading women's literature helps me write to that audience better and balance my writing for that genre.  If anything, I want my writing to appeal to everyone.

I can also identify with her spending some time in a town much smaller than where she grew up.  I grew up in a small town in Nebraska.  After living in Denver, Colorado for thirteen years, I moved to Northwest Arkansas with my partner, Thomas.  After six months there, we settled in Joplin, Missouri.  Both places were big changes after living in the Denver area for so long.

Some of my favorite trips and vacations have been to smaller cities and towns.  One of my favorite business trips ever was to the Ferndale, California area when I was a corporate trainer for U.S. Bank.  I stayed in my first bed and breakfast and was treated like a king (ok, princess!).  In my current neck of the woods, Branson, Missouri and Eureka Springs, Arkansas are great places to get away from it all.

Even when I'm reading fiction, I always look for passages that speak to me about success or chasing one's dreams.  Kerry Reichs writes a good one in Leaving Unknown:

"So what causes success?  Carefully designed hard work and reaching beyond your abilities.  Continually focusing on your weakest elements and trying to improve them.  Those who persevere are high achievers.  The key lies in knowing what you deeply want."

That speaks to my writing career in every way that I've wrote about here on the blog.  This talks about vision, goal setting, and following routines.  Check out Leaving Unknown, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Here's a picture from one of my many trips to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?  Your comments are welcome below.


  1. I'm a small town lover as well! Some of my fondest vacation memories are of small town visits and the people encountered in them. Also a lover of old houses; anything historic.

  2. Thanks for the comment, DiAnne. We love historic home tours, too!