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The Road Taken

If you've read Window Friends, you noticed the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is included. It hadn't occurred to me until recently how appropriate that poem was in the creation of my book.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

There must be countless times in each of our lives when the choice of one road or another has had a dramatic effect, one that made all the difference.

In May of 2018, we landed in Edinburgh Airport after the long flight from Seattle. It was my husband's first trip to Scotland, and I hadn't been since the late 1960's. One of the wonders about centuries old European cities is they don't change much. Edinburgh was just as charming and engaging as I remembered. We booked accommodations through an online service and were a bit surprised when the cab dropped us off in front of an early 19th century, sandstone, 2-story townhouse slightly outside the city center. Sarah, the owner, met us at the front door and ushered us through a beautiful garden toward their backyard where there was the most enchanting Victorian cottage imaginable-looking just like what we saw online.

Once settled in, we found directions to Tesco, the closest mini-market, and set out on what was to be an almost daily routine of purchasing groceries and other goodies. For whatever reason we chose to take Duncan street (and isn't that name prophetic?) to Mayfield Road to Tesco. As fate would have it, Duncan Street is comprised of a set of four 3-story connected townhouses with dormer windows. It was on that walk when I looked up at one of the third-story windows that Window Friends was conceived. If we had not taken that road I seriously doubt I would have ever written a book. I spent the next three and a half years with a photo of the house with the dormer windows pinned up in my office for inspiration, and began to weave the story of the lonely, young American girl and the Scottish boy in the window who connect through writing letters. The photo became so important that I created the cover of the book around it. We have made several subsequent trips to Edinburgh, staying in 'our' cottage and walking down Duncan Street to Tesco. Every time we pass the dormer windows I look up, and honestly expect to see Peter looking down with a smile and wave.


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