The emergency notice came loud and clear on my cell phone, Flash Flood WARNING. I didn’t have too far to go from the building where I had been at a meeting. My car was innocently waiting for me under the torrents of rain, so I held my so-called raincoat tight, pulled the hood over my head, mocking myself for leaving my umbrella behind, and raced to the safety of my sweet little Honda Insight. And got soaked.
This wasn’t the day to be driving that small driving machine that still gets fifty-six miles to the gallon, more than my son’s motorcycle. Once in the car, I raced up the hill out of that parking lot that was sure to flood in another five minutes. Traffic was heavy on the avenue, all heading to Connecticut’s truck highway, the infamous Turnpike, I95, the least likely to have a flash flood. It was around 4:30 pm, traffic is usually mega heavy, heaven only knows why the vehicles were not horizontally stacked.
Traffic was moving steadily, but slowly. I got into the middle lane, the safest that would be the last to cover over with water. But it was moving too slow for me, so I maneuvered to the left lane that was practically empty of cars and water. I kept up my speed watching for any sections that were filling with that stuff falling from the thick black clouds.
I only had to go five exits, about thirteen miles. Moved back to the middle, noting the water beginning to fill in my current position, and hung there till I got close to the next slowpoke. I moved back to the left lane that now had one of those tour buses illegally in front of me, but thrilled to have it carve the way. Almost at my exit, I moved over and out of the now backed up traffic. It was easy to leave the highway and onto the road home, praying that I wouldn’t drown on any of the streets.
I ran into one significant puddle, but my little car behaved like the Little Engine that Could. It took me straight home with nary an incident. I got the mail and pulled into the garage.
WAIT! I’m not done. On my way up the stairs from the garage, I could see that Tom was outside doing something. I stopped, went back down the steps and turned into the basement, the floor was filled with about an inch of water.
“Oh no.” I traveled all that way, no problem, and found the flash flood inside my basement. Soaking wet through my raincoat, my jeans wet too, I forgot about my condition, put on my snow boots that I keep in the ready and headed to help fix the situation.
Yup, water was filling our basement, the drain outside the back door was clogged. Asked Tom where our wet vac was, got a couple of pails to bail out that water like I was in a sinking boat, while Tom was building a dam to try to stop the water from running into the drain and wishing I had sandbags. I started vacuuming out the water, my priority, and Tom was building a dam, his priority. We survived, both of us soaking wet, but in spite of all this, my Geraniums were blooming in their pot on the deck, a little bit of pink sparkling reminding me that mother nature is amazing.
And how was your rainy day?
Gail Ingis Claus
is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin
will be released in spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky
can be purchased on amazon
A work of art
How do you do this writing thing?
I kind of fell into writing fiction by accident. You see, I’m an artist (a painter) and for many, many years I was an interior designer and taught design and architecture as well. I was always an avid reader. But a writer? No way! Until I was inspired by painter Albert Bierstadt and I wanted to tell a story inspired by his life.
I know, I said to myself, I’ll write a book. After all, I had written a chapter for a history book and been wooed by a publisher. I wrote up school catalogs, wrote course curriculum, wrote up interior design and architectural history lectures, proposals for jobs, poetry and love letters. Surely writing a book would be a piece of cake. Sure, right.
I sat down, pen in hand, put pen down—booted up my trusty Mac, surely that would inspire me . . . but that didn’t help. This is not going to work. What do I write first, the end? What words do I use? How do I find my characters? Where does all this come from? It shouldn’t be any different than giving a lecture. OK, I though smugly, I’ll approach it like a lecture. I could talk for hours about interior design, lighting, space planning, history, architectural anything. Still nothing. I remember the emptiness, the confusion, the lack of words. I didn’t think I had this gift to tell a story, never mind, writing one.
Tommy the train to NYC
Then I met Brenda on a train ride into New York. We were both on our way to a Michael Hauge workshop. Hauge is a screenwriter who teaches writing courses. Brenda and I became friends after that class. I learned a great deal from Hauge but also from Brenda who helped me get my thoughts together and helped me formulate my story. But Brenda was busy with her growing family and her full time job as an attorney, so I had to continue my search for help. During a CTRWA Fiction Fest, in 2009, “Inspiration for Writers” offered free editing service for the auction. I bought enough tickets to win it. Yay, That’s how I found Charl, who is an editor for them.
Creativity is a right brain activity. Have you explored your creativity? Do you remember being creative as a kid? I sure do. Comic books were the rage when I was growing up. (They still are). I would sit at my desk and draw what I saw in the comic books. Wonder Woman was my hero. As I got older, I drew all kinds of things. I played the piano, I took dance lessons, voice lessons, sang in school shows, sang in school choir, took my mother’s dresses apart and remade them. Took my radio apart and my clock apart and put them back together, well, with Daddy’s happy help, it was my curiosity that pushed me to explore. The list goes on, and I wrote little poems and notes to friends and family. I realized that I had always had that passion for storytelling inside me all along. I had just been using different mediums to tell my stories.
I didn’t just want to think of a story, I wanted to write that book, and in spite of myself, i did. I took enough workshops and writing courses to earn a PhD in “workshop-taking”. And with the help of Charl I was able to complete my very first book, Indigo Sky. I am a member of the Connecticut Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, where writers gather and help each other. Being a member of the CTRWA, I was exposed to many different publishing companies, big and small and with Jamie S’s help where to submit. I landed a publishing contract with Soul Mate Publishing. With the help of my editor, Tammie, at Soul Mate, who worked very hard with me, I completed the re-writes and the book was published in 2015.
My book can be found in three formats, paperback, eBook and Audiobook. I even have a book trailer! Two things have changed in my life since that fateful day I decided to start writing: 1. I became a published author. 2. I have made so many wonderful friends along the way. I wish you all the same creative journey.
Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the fall of 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.