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I have mixed memories from my years as a school counselor in the Oregon Cascades. The characters I am writing into the novel Epiphany are made up from actual people I encountered there in the ’90s. I am introducing them in this blog called Portals, because these characters opened doors to new understandings. Your comments can enrich, inspire and make this—my third book—your book too.
The story goes that Lori, the protagonist in Epiphany (loosely based on myself) is hired by a school system in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Many families have moved away to find work, and new people have come to make their homes in the back hollows and haunts of the once thriving gold-mining and logging communities—transients, killers, junkies, pushers, abusers and neglected children among them. Lori uses the full force of her personality, along with games, art, music, drama, stories, movies, and her best counseling skills in her new job. She tries to encourage children to be successful and healthy as they deal with good and bad times. But as she uncovers horrible secrets, she comes face to face with “the dark side” in a life and death challenge beyond any she could have imagined. Here is a poem I wrote about the evil hidden behind the words, “Don’t tell.”
Though dreams burn through and turn
Still children smile and
Let it pass
They fear the devil, but even more,
And the open door!
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