Promise and fulfilment

I've been re-reading a classic novel that I knew as a girl.
Gene Stratton Porter wrote "A Girl of the Limberlost" about Indiana's great wooded swamps, thick with moths and mysteries. It appealed to me because I, too, was a solitary child wandering the woods, exploring the patch of second-growth woods below our house, chasing butterflies in the hayfields.
The book (I remember it with pale green covers, the color of a luna moth) seems antique now, the sentiments labored and the transitions often choppy, yet the old allure is there, like the music of the Limberlost. The poor country girl facing the challenges of a city school, her hunger for knowledge, the dangerous beauties of wild places - those remain fresh.
Each chapter is titled with a promise of what lies ahead, "Wherein Elnora has more financial troubles, and Mrs. Comstock again hears the song of the Limberlost." These titles are an enticement, but also a pledge - you will experience this, you will learn this.
I'm working right now on a novel about a teenage girl living at the edge of great mysteries and facing dangers - and as I work, I outline chapters yet to be written on large file cards. Chapter 10, now recently completed, was shorthanded as "WV chapter - back story. The trip back to WV. Maggie's discomfort w/sex roles boys vs. girls. The challenge to her."
The chapter cards help me stay on track and pull the various threads of the story together. They are both a come-hither to the writing, and a vow to see it through.

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