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POSTCARDS FROM CASCADE: WHAT’S LEFT OUT

 So much goes into a book, yet never finds its way into the book.  As Hemingway said, “If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.”

From Dez’s diary, a ‘darling’ I had to cut from the final version of Cascade:

    Each day I get no farther than scratched-out sketches that accumulate in the trash—balled-up sheets of valuable paper that trigger so many waves of self-doubt.

    How can I be any good if I can’t even capture my own father? If my mind’s eye is already losing the precision of his features—the sharp length of his nose, the weak blue of his eyes, how then, to grasp the intangibles? The heavy grace of his stage presence? The disquieting boom of his voice? The chills he could deliver to an audience?

    Sometimes I am afraid that inspiration has shrugged at me and will never return. And words—inky marks!—look paltry. They’re no better than paint. Even the date, so meager: January 24, 1934. Today. Now. Even as I complete the w, now becomes then.

    Time is so slippery, it doesn’t even bother to laugh at the human desire to grasp it—it simply does nothing but pass.

4 Responses to POSTCARDS FROM CASCADE: WHAT’S LEFT OUT

  • Elaine Leshnower says:

    Am so loving Cascades. Am 3/4 through and don’t want it to end.
    Maryanne, I am a friend of your Aunt Cathy and the mother of three yorkies.

    • Maryanne says:

      Thank you so much, Elaine! I’m thrilled you are loving it, and it’s so nice to hear from readers. 3 yorkies! love it.

  • Maryanne,

    I just finished reading Cascade. Thank you for a lovely, powerful, stunning read. Truly, it’s one of the best books I’ve read recently.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing the story behind my acquisition of your book. I belong to a local writer’s group. Two members attended the author program at Atlantica in Cohasset several weeks back, and later discussed how much they enjoyed meeting the author of Cascade. I scribbled the title on the inside cover of my notebook, planning to read it due to their feedback, and because the history of the Quabbin has always niggled at me.

    It wasn’t until I read the most recent edition of St. Michael’s Magazine though, that I learned the Maryanne O”Hara my writing friends met at Atlantica…used to be Maryanne Bavaro, a fellow member of the class of 1980 at St. Mike’s. As soon as I finished the back page of the St. Mike’s magazine, I hightailed it to Buttonwood Books to buy Cascade. Maryanne, I read all through last Sunday, then at the breakfast table Monday, and later long into that night. When I finished, I stared at the book, a little bereft that it was over. I wanted to read more. So I did. Over the course of this week, I read all the short stories you posted here. Each pulled me in with the same intensity as your novel. I am in awe of your talent.

    Please except my best wishes and sincere congratulations on your success.

    Liza Carens Salerno

    • Maryanne says:

      Liza, so nice to hear from you! I am overwhelmed by your note, which completely made my day. Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s wonderful to hear from people who’ve connected with the book. Thanks, too, for reading the stories. Short stories don’t get enough of an audience so I posted my favorites! You are lucky to live near Buttonwood–what a great job they do there. Betsy was one of the first readers of Cascade when it was in galley form, and they have been very supportive. I hope you are so well! Tomorrow, I actually have my annual Christmas lunch in Sturbridge with 4 of my old roommates from SM! xo

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