Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Books, birthdays and butterflies

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Enter by Feb. 6 to win.

As my novel, The Munich Girl, reaches more readers, I’m continually moved and surprised by the level of response that the book is bringing.

It’s a privilege to receive readers’ impressions about themes that weave through the story.

Gayle Hoover notes,  “It’s the women in this story who have the real strength, even in instances when they easily could have been seen as only victims.”

At the heart of it all, the story’s goal is to encourage discussion at levels that will take another look at many things, including our very own selves.

Albert Marquet - Jardin du Luxembourg, 1898. Oil on canvas, 15 x 17 3_4 in. (38 x 45 cm). @ Sotheby's Images, London_n

Albert Marquet, Jardin du Luxembourg, 1898. Oil on canvas, Sotheby’s Images, London

Those who’ve made the way through the novel know that many objects and events in it invite the way toward looking at things anew. One image in particular that does this is a butterfly.

February is the month when the two friends in this story each have a birthday, each born in a Leap Year like this one.

To celebrate, I’m having a drawing at the beginning and end of the month. On February 6, which was also Eva Braun’s birthday, I’ll draw the name of two winners for a signed copy of the book and a silver butterfly bracelet designed by artist Diane Kirkup.

To enter, send an email to info@phyllisring.com with “Butterfly” in the subject line. Those who include any thoughts about the book or a photo of themselves with it will receive 3 entries.12369218_10208140857064106_2523709969075442989_n

And my deepest thanks to each and every one who is connecting with The Munich Girl.

It is readers, and only readers, who give a book its truest life.

 

Find more about The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War here:

http://www.amazon.com/Munich-Girl-Novel-Legacies-Outlast/dp/0996546987/


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The writing path of The Munich Girl

I am honored to be an interview guest this week at New Hampshire writer Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews Blog.

944080_1103095966369547_7004980646450369999_nWhat inspired you to write this book?

German families were among my very first friends and Germany made a deep impression on my heart when my family lived there in the 1960s. I wanted to understand more about Germany’s experience during the war.

Shortly after I decided this, I received a copy of British/German writer Angela Lambert’s biography of Eva Braun. Then a combination of still somewhat baffling circumstances led to my owning the portrait of Eva that features in the story. You never know where a decision will lead. At the time, I was simply looking to learn and understand, not necessarily write a book. I certainly never imagined that the pathway of my discoveries about Germany would follow the life of Hitler’s companion.

What exciting story are you working on next?

IMG_6046My next book is likely to be a memoir-style reflection about where this novel has led me. Nothing about it is what I would ever have imagined or predicted on my writing path, and there are experiences I’ve had in the course of this book’s coming together that I’m probably never going to be able to understand, let alone explain.

One of the most personally stunning …

Read the rest at: http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/2016/01/interview-with-historical-fiction_29.html CU6VjsYWIAEv_Sc

 

Find more about The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War at:

http://www.amazon.com/Munich-Girl-Novel-Legacies-Outlast/dp/0996546987/

 


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The beginnings in the endings

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Up the hill to the castle we went to celebrate the “birth.”

What we call the beginning is often the end.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.

 ~ T.S. Eliot

A little over a month after the publication of the novel that has absorbed my focus for the past eight years, I find that the days feel like an incongruous blend of the unreal, yet also fully realized.

Back in September, I was swamped in galley files of the book to proof, corrections to track, publishing details to tend – to remember at all. Thank heaven for my publishing “doula” Marina Kirsch. Those fast-moving weeks of September and October felt the way seasonal work in retail stores often does – compressed, nonstop, persevering action reminiscent of those performers who keep a dozen plates spinning on skinny sticks.

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Hotel Schwan in Wertheim fills the two white buildings to the left, with the tower between, and a gate into town at the bottom. The little light halfway up is “my” window.

Then, early one morning in November, as I sat in a tower that holds a gateway into the walled old town where I lived in Germany as a child, the book suddenly “published” before my eyes. The only experience that has ever felt remotely similar was the sudden-seeming delivery and arrival of each of our children after long hours of labor.

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A few of the local swans.

When the book “birthed,” I was sitting beside a tiny window that has likely been in that stone wall for many hundreds of years. The table beside it was the first place I found an internet connection that morning.

Hotel Schwan, where we were staying, is the first place my family came to back in January of 1960, the first home I knew in Germany. In a world where nothing stays the same, it’s an immense comfort to revisit the Schwan and still feel so at home. I can easily overlook a little spotty internet access.

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I’m a fool for “signs” of all kinds. When I spotted the names of my book’s two main characters on my first day in Germany, it was a fun surprise.

Now, decades after that first stay, in the week of my 60th birthday, the book, much like a child, “chose” to be born into publication. It was as wonder-filled as it was shocking.

And as the novel and I have gone forward together into the world in the weeks since, I’m reminded of just what births really are: the beginning in the ending. For a mother, the end of a pregnancy is a landmark event, much as a destination feels like the end of a journey.

And then, like that gateway over which I was sitting beside that historic little window in the tower, it reveals itself as a whole new beginning. I’m still soaking in the enormous spiritual metaphors (for me, at least) in the physical setting of where I actually received this publishing experience.

When I began writing what became The Munich Girl, one very wise voice advised me to reach for a style in the unfolding of its story that would be “holographic, would know the end in the beginning, and use the words to prove it.”. Whether or not that goal was reached will remain to be seen, but as one cycle of life closes and another opens, I know that the vision of that accompanied me to the very last page.

Sometimes, rather like mothers and infants, endings and beginnings seem to have a conjoined world of their very own. 12342460_10208150312625888_7743673090992892225_n

 “And suddenly you know … It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”  ~ Meister Eckhart

Find more about The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War here;

http://www.amazon.com/Munich-Girl-Novel-Legacies-Outlast/dp/0996546987/


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The Book’s the Thing is my kind hostess

munichgirl_card_backErika at The Book’s the Thing Blog has kindly included a Guest Post from me this week:

Coming Full-circle with The Munich Girl

I had the opportunity to spend time in Germany just as my novel, The Munich Girl, came full-circle to publication this year. DCRothen69673_10151484470081802_1069344063_n

In the previous weeks, as I’d reviewed the book’s galleys, the story’s scenes drew me back into settings I will carry with me always. Some of them have been a part of my inner geography from earliest childhood.

Others are actual locations in which the story takes place.

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Photo courtesy Penny Sansevieri / Author Marketing Experts – http://www.amarketingexpert.com/penny-sansevieri/

And many of these, from cobblestone alleys to Alpine vistas, tiny villages to city squares filled with symphonies of church bells, are ones in which I did the actual writing.

Much like the book’s protagonist, Anna, I repeatedly experience the many kinds of homecomings, spiritual and material, that life brings to us. Much like her, I often find myself in a kind of unbelieving daze as I sit in the same café I’ve known since childhood. Two years, ago, and maybe also five, I sat there capturing down pieces of a story that has always felt more like finding my way toward a puzzle’s finished image than any kind of strategic plotting.

If the remedy for feeling out-of-sync in life is to reside in the moment, then we are all here today as I type this: my child self, sitting alongside my parents; that story-struck one who aspired to go the distance with wherever the writing process led with this novel’s story (and wondering, at times, whether I truly would); and my self today, blessed to have reached a point of completion.

Read the rest at: http://booksthething.com/2015/12/10/guest-post-giveaway-phyllis-edgerly-ring-author-of-the-munich-girl/comment-page-1/#comment-1660