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Book column: East Rowan alumni writes of a different mid-life crisis

Gary Carter, who grew up in Granite Quarry and is a graduate of East Rowan High, has a new novel out, “Eliot’s Tale,” published by Back Nine Books.
Carter, who was the editor of the school newspaper, writes about Eliot, whose midlife crisis involves “things done and left undone.” Skipping the sweet young thing and the motorcycle purchase, he sets off on a road trip.
Instead of worrying about his future, he ponders his past. He keeps handy a quote from the poet for whom he is named: “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.”
Leaving a disgruntled wife at home, he visits family, long-lost friends and strangers who tell him things he wants or needs to know. That ranges from funny to deadly serious.
Carter, now of Charlotte, is a writer and consultant who provides communications and marketing services. He is a former award-winning journalist who writes for magazines and on the Web, and has published short fiction and poetry.
A copy of “Eliot’s Tale” can be ordered directly from Back Nine Books at www.booklocker. com/books/4250.html or it can be downloaded as an Ebook. The book also is available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and can be ordered though local independent booksellers.
The book’s first chapter can be read at http://www.booklocker.com/books/4250.html. An excerpt from “Eliot’s Tale,” “The Ghost of Dale,” was published in June by the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and can be read at http://www.deadmule. com/fiction/2009/06/gary-carter-the-ghost-of-dale/.
Workshop for writers
The Weathers Creek Writers’ Series continues in October with a workshop by award-winning mystery writer Cathy Pickens. The Farm at Weathers Creek is just outside Mooresville. The session will be on “Polishing and Promoting Your Prose” on Saturday, Oct. 10.
These one-day workshops offer a chance to recharge your creative batteries.
The Farm at Weathers Creek is a peaceful spot with scenic views from almost every window of the log home on the property. Owned by the Campbell family, the house was built from logs salvaged from their mother’s home place in Mount Ulla.
Pickens, a lawyer and the Wireman Professor of Business at Queens University of Charlotte, is the author of the “Southern Fried” mystery series as well as Charleston Mysteries, a guidebook/walking tour of 24 haunted spots in the coastal city. Her session at Weathers Creek will focus on what happens as you finish a book or a story:
– What do you do when you think it’s finished?
– How do you make sure it’s the best it can be?
– How do you find a publishing outlet?
– And, once it’s published, will you “tour”?
– How do you make sure readers find your book?
The final workshop in this series will be on Nov. 14 with former newspaper and magazine editor Ann Wicker. Wicker will talk about nonfiction, including memoirs, and how to get those family stories preserved, in her session, “A Hard Day’s Write.”
Another series of four workshops for January-April 2010 will be announced soon.
Sessions are $75 each, which includes lunch. Deadline for “Polishing and Promoting Your Prose” is Oct. 2. A $30 deposit is required to hold a spot in the workshop, as registration for each is limited to 15 people. Discounts are offered for registration for two or more sessions, and gift certificates are available. All sessions start promptly at 10 a.m. and end at approximately 3 p.m. For a registration form, directions and other information, go to our Web site, www.weatherscreek.net/.

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