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Gina/Diane

I wanted to write a story centered on a abortion for two reasons. First, abortion has been a topic of great controversy throughout my lifetime and second, I knew a woman whose life was significantly altered by an abortion at an early age.

"Diane," the chief protagonist of my novella, is far from a depiction of that woman. Rather, she is a composite of three women I have known or encountered and, in large part, a figment of my imagination.

When I first started writing this story, I described it as being about "abortion," but one rather incensed woman who was taking a look at it said: "it is NOT about abortion." She was right. It is about the life of one woman whose experience cannot and should not be generalized, nor should it be taken as indicative of the rights or wrongs of the procedure in question.

I had spent five weeks on Carolina Beach, out of season, before writing this story and over the course of that time, was impressed by how beaches and their communities often seem to collect human flotsam and jetsam along with the other varieties. It seemed a good location in which to situate a woman like Diane and in which to place the wandering, unattached, out-of-his-element Hartley -- a man who seems to be as much challenged by Diane's frisky little dog as he is by her.

Novels are supposed to be fundamentally about empathy and this one raises the question of whether and how a younger man can come to terms with a very different older woman in a fashion that will be mutually rewarding.

A three-chapter Novella

Gina/Diane