Novel Title: Changing Spaces
Genre: Women's Fiction (Regional: New Mexico)
Author: Nancy King
Pub. Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Publisher: Plain View Press
Paperback Pages: 420
(Nancy King, Ph.D. is also the author of Morning Light, The Stones Speak, Dancing with Wonder, Woman Walking)
This novel will do for New Mexico
what Moby Dick did for whales!
We are thrilled that Nancy King's newest book will have its Santa Fe launch February 7, 2014 at Collected Works bookstore in Santa Fe at 6:00pm. Nancy will give a talk on the healing power of New Mexico on wounded newcomers who feel they have lost the life they've always known.
If you are in the area, please join us!
What if you woke up in your usual life, and
by the end of the day, everything had changed?
That's the question Nancy King poses in her newest book, Changing Spaces, as she introduces us to Laura Feldman who suddenly loses the "life" she has lived for the past forty years. When her husband suddenly wants a divorce, shaken-to-her-core Laura embarks on a bumpy ride that takes her away from her black & white Midwestern life to the bold colors of New Mexico.
In this new landscape where anything might happen—and does—Laura finds inspiration, strength, and transformation in the friendship of Santa Fe women who help her walk the winding road to self-discovery and the home of her heart.
Advance Praise for Changing Spaces:
“Location. Location. Location. Nancy King gets it right when she explores how a woman radically changes her life by changing her location. A plant can't thrive in any old soil; it has to be the right terrain. Changing Spaces is a reminder that one can leave the past behind, find new soil, and thrive in a different, and better, present and future.”
—JUDITH FEIN, Author of Life Is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel and The Spoon from Minkowitz: A Bittersweet Deep Roots Journey
“Heartbreak turns to intrigue. A season of grief leads
to a wig, a closet, a script, cookie recipes, new
friendships, and a wide-open future.”
—JEANNE MURRAY WALKER, Author of Geography of Memory
Summary of Story's Opening Scenes:
Laura woke up one morning happily married. By evening, her husband had told her he wanted a divorce. After a week of emotional rollercoastering, she fled to a grant- development conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Unwilling to return home to a place that no longer felt like home, she went to the airport and reserved a seat on the first shuttle leaving, which happened to be going to Santa Fe.
Feeling the bitterness of heartache and anger and self-pity take hold, Laura opened her eyes and glanced at the passenger sitting next to her. Despite the dim light Laura could see she wasn’t young, although how old she was, Laura couldn’t tell. The woman was large and sat comfortably across two seats, her long purple skirt flowing over her feet. Her turquoise blouse was rimmed with purple thread that didn’t quite match the purple skirt. She had rings on every finger and large earrings dangling from her ears; a silver and turquoise necklace covered most of the front of her blouse. A stole, which looked handmade, was draped comfortably around her body. Her head was against the window, her mouth open, her eyes closed. Laura wondered what it took to dress like that. Did she dress like this all the time? Where had she come from? Who was she?
“So, do you like what you see?” asked the woman, her eyes still closed.
Embarrassed, Laura didn’t know what to say. How could the woman tell she was looking at her if her eyes were closed? Laura turned away, as if this might block the woman’s vision, but the woman’s scent, patchouli and some kind of spice and lemon, was comforting, and she felt like nestling closer. She moved toward the far end of the seat but was so uncomfortable she had to move back.
“Moving away won’t solve anything.”
“I beg your pardon?” Laura responded, not sure she’d heard her correctly.
“You can beg my pardon all you like. It’s about you, not me.”
Laura wondered if the woman was crazy. Maybe going to Santa Fe wasn’t such a good idea, although the other people boarding the shuttle had looked normal enough.
The woman laughed a deep throaty laugh. “Bet you’ve never been in this part of the country before.”
“No, I haven’t.”
“So what’d you come for?”
“I don’t know.” Laura wished she weren’t in the back of the van.
“That’s all right. Lots of people come thinking they know what they want but they don’t and then get themselves into all kinds of trouble.” She chuckled, as if remembering something amusing, then turned to look at Laura. “How long you planning to stay?” She sighed, “Doesn’t matter. Plans don’t mean shit in Santa Fe. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”
Since Laura had no idea what the woman was talking about she said politely, “I’m sure you do.”
“What makes you so sure?”
Startled, Laura mumbled, “You sound sure.”
“You always go by what you hear?” When Laura did not respond the woman laughed again.
“What’s so funny?” asked Laura, more than a little discomforted.
“It’s much too easy to discombobulate you. Fight back, for godssake.”
“Don’t have any fight left in me.”
“What are you doing tomorrow at three?”
“Seems my dance card is empty.”
“Not any longer, Babe. My name’s Bountiful Sunshine. What’s yours?”
Laura decided the woman had made up her name, so she could, too. “Melody Fine,” she said. Where had that name come from? She hated to sing and she wasn’t fine.
“Pleased to meet you, Melody.” The woman’s voice was low and rumbly, soothing to Laura’s jangled nerves.
“What brings you to Santa Fe?” asked Laura, wishing her name were Melody.
“Been here all my life. Why?”
“What else are you wondering?”
“Who I’ll be now that I’m no longer Mrs. Zachery Feldman. How I’m going to live. “Oh, what Santa Fe is like.”
“Depends. It’s different for everyone. Always has been. Not an easy place to live.”
“So why do you stay?”
Bountiful laughed, “’Cause I’m difficult. Suits me perfectly.” She looked more carefully at Laura, who wondered what she was seeing.
Laura could imagine what she looked like: A tight, tense, frightened woman holding herself together. One tap and she’d fall apart. Disappear. The melody would definitely not be fine.
When the van reached the corner of Sandoval and Water Streets, her stop, Laura hesitated, suddenly exhausted.
“No sense postponing the inevitable,” said Bountiful, just behind her.
Laura wanted to throttle her.
“Easy does it, so go easy,” laughed Bountiful.
Laura could not think of a quip biting enough.
The van pulled away. A red truck pulled up. The driver, a fiftyish woman with a waist-length salt and pepper braid hopped out. She was wearing a long denim dress and a leather vest.
“Bounti! Long time no see.”
“Yeah, I know. You come to meet Melody?”
The woman frowned. “I think her name is Laura.”
Bounti grinned at Laura approvingly. “Hey, ya got the Santa Fe idea. No need to be who you were. Be who you want to be.”
About Nancy King, Ph.D.
Changing Spaces grew out of a conversation
Nancy King had with a woman who said:
“That was before I lost my life.”
Nancy King's novel The Stones Speak has been Boptioned for a film, and won first place in the New Mexico Presswomen’s Communications Contest. A prolific playwright and essayist, King has also written seven nonfiction books—most recently Dancing With Wonder: Self-Discovery Through Stories—an exploration of her writing and drama workshops in the US and abroad.
She feels fortunate to be privy to the stories people share.
Nancy King lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she weaves, writes, and finds inspiration hiking in the mountains. She is a contributing writer for the online journal Your Life Is A Trip at www.yourlifeisatrip.com/home/author/nancyking.
Please visit Nancy King’s website at http://www.nancykingstories.com for more information on her books and workshops. You may also contact her through her publicist at memoircity at gmail.