It’s too ear­ly yet to sound the all-clear, but I hope that I’ve ironed out the glitch­es in the Kin­dle ebook of Sea of Secrets. It’s been unnerv­ing to dis­cov­er that none of the Kin­dle pre­view appli­ca­tions can be trust­ed. From now on, I’ll be buy­ing a copy of my own book every time I change it. I’ve also learned a bit more about prepar­ing ebook files–enough to real­ize that there is a ton more to learn. (Update, 5:00 p.m. Sun­day: Ama­zon is still not mak­ing the ebook avail­able in any form, but I’ve writ­ten to them about it, and hope­ful­ly it’ll be avail­able again soon.)

But writ­ing is the way I’d rather be spend­ing my time, espe­cial­ly this week­end. I’m stay­ing near Hayesville, North Car­oli­na, where my work in progress–the Ash Grove trilogy–is set. Every­where that the hori­zon is in view, I can see moun­tains. There’s some­thing both com­fort­ing and thrilling about them; they seem to promise adven­ture, but they’re also a kind of sta­bi­liz­ing pres­ence, a vis­i­ble bound­ary to what would oth­er­wise be infi­nite dis­tance. I think the trou­bled hero of the tril­o­gy will be new­ly aware of the pres­ence of the moun­tains since he’s return­ing to North Car­oli­na after almost two years of glo­be­trot­ting. Once he may have felt hemmed in by them, but now I think he finds that they keep him from feel­ing unmoored; like the hero­ine, they make him feel safe. Of course, safe­ty is tem­po­rary and frag­ile in the world of the tril­o­gy, but the char­ac­ters get to expe­ri­ence it at least fleet­ing­ly.