An Anfractuous Novel

Plots and paths can be anfractuous. They twist and turn but do not break (the English word comes ultimately from the Latin verb frangere, meaning “to break.”) Fracture, fraction, fragment, and frail all stem from Frangere.  But one of the steps between frangere and anfractuous is the Latin anfractus, meaning “coil, bend.” The prefix an- here means “around.”

At first, anfractuous was used to describe our ears and the auditory canal’s curves. In modern times, we speak of an anfractuous thought process or an anfractuous shoreline. With summer yarrow in full bloom, we might quip, “Oh those anfractuous blossoms that defy description!”

The novel I’m writing could be called anfractuous. Most plots wind around until they reach their conclusion, and I don’t often know the end when I begin. But this time–let’s just say I thought this story was finished about a month ago. And then. . . . well, I discovered a few more twists to make before we could write THE END.

Enjoy some photos from the ghost town called Loyal Valley, the setting for this story. Above is Hickory Creek, ear Stone Mountain, a gargantuan granite escarpment near the town. Our rancher guide told tales of climbing up there in his youth–his angel was definitely on duty!

John Muesebach, a German immigrant in the 1840’s, named Loyal Valley Cold Springs at first, but changed the name during the Civil War to prove the community’s patriotism to the Union. I wish I could be a travel-time mouse and view the gardens this industrious American planted–everything from peaches to olive trees. He definitely had a gift for growing.

I fell in love with the name LOYAL VALLEY right from the start and began to discover how much this little spot in Texas Hill Country certainly has to teach us.

Here, Lynn Dean and I pose with John’s statue as he makes peace with the warring Comanches of the area. In this highly significant act, he opened up a whole new world for thousands of fellow-immigrants waiting in the wings.

Much more to come about LAND THAT I LOVE.

2 thoughts on “An Anfractuous Novel

  1. Isn’t it amazing how our plots will often twist and turn unexpectedly as we write. Did order In Times Like These, and it is next on my reading list once I finish the current book I’m into.
    Blessings, Gail!

  2. New words! And altiloquent ones at that! 🙂 Enjoyed your post as always ma’am. And I’m learning that the greatest stories have a way of telling us when we’re done. God’s blessings.

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