Last Times

- by Charlotte Hubbard

With our major moving date just two weeks away, and while organizing for the upcoming remodel on our new home, my goal right now is to not miss doing something important on either home front. Meanwhile, I’ve begun writing the first book in my new NAL Amish series, Home at Cedar Creek, and I’m trying to stay in my characters’ heads for at least a few hours a day, working.

Talk about a mental disconnect! While I change utilities and addresses online and talk with my contractor and carpet supplier on my new iPhone, my characters remain in the little countryside town where they’ve lived for generations, and speak face-to-face. Most of them still live in the homes where they were born, or just down the road, and on any given day they’ll only travel as far as a horse can take them.

I envy them!

And I look forward to getting settled in our temporary apartment, if only so I can concentrate better on this story, working in my portable table-top office. About two months will see us through a major transformation of our new home, and we hope to move into it in May. My deadline for this book is June 1st.


I remind myself that it’s all GOOD! Neal is SO glad he took his new job, and I now have five books contracted with a couple of editors I really enjoy working with. Tight deadlines, yes, but I got what I wished for, didn’t I?! And our home will be awesome when it’s all redone inside!

Right now, however, it’s the “last times” that are wearing on me . . . last time to sing with my friends in choir, last time to get a haircut from the gal who’s done it more than 20 years . . . last lunch with a girlfriend who shares my birthday . . . last meeting with my RWA chapter in St. Louis and last signings at loyal indie bookstores. Last time to walk Ramona around this block we’ve circled a gazillion times, where the neighbors all rave about how sweet/beautiful/well-behaved she is and then say, “Oh—hi, Charlotte!”

So while I envy my Amish characters their simpler lifestyle—and while I’m not terribly device-driven—it’s email and the iPhone that’ll keep me connected to my friends while I cultivate new ones. Once I get over this “hump” between the old, known ways and the new life adventure, I know I’ll be fine . . . or just too damn busy to miss whatever/whomever I left behind!

Happy to report I’ve signed up for the NINC conference in October, as that remains a constant in my writing life and keeps me connected in more ways than I can count!

Next month when I blog here, maybe I’ll write with a Minnesota accent! Stay tuned!


  1. Hi Charlotte!

    So glad you’ll be at at least one more meeting before you leave MO(RWA). Don’t know how you’re handling all the chaos in your life, skipping between techie movement and horse and buggy days. But you’ve always been a remarkably together lady.

    Try to stay warm in MN and visit us when it’s spring in MO.

  2. Well, Shirl, actually I’ve already had my “last time” at a MoRWA meeting, coz that day of the February meeting I’m scheduled for the Habitat ReStore truck to come after my washer/dryer, our old fridge in the garage, and the braided rug in the dining room! Two days later, the packers show up to start boxing us! The spin cycle is speeding up! But I’m staying on the MoRWA loop to keep in touch–some of you have been my writing friends since my very first book sold! I can’t just drop friends who’ve welcomed/encouraged me as both Charlotte and Melissa (and now, Naomi!)…you all KNOW too much! ;)

  3. At least your Amish characters stay home. I have a couple of French characters who refuse to return to their abode.

    If I feel like watching a football game or do a little reading, my other characters have the decency to call it a day. Not so those Frenchies! Aside from walking at two or three feet above ground level, they tend to be so self centered, and rarely show any consideration to others.

    Try to nod off for awhile and recoup a few wasted brain cells, there they are, gabbing away. Tortuous? Very, but you learn to live with it.

    Oh, well, c’est la vie.