SKANEATELES – From an early age, local attorney Linus Ward Walton Sr.’s life was influenced by Lake Skaneateles.
“I was born in Skaneateles Falls, but when I was seven my family moved to Mandana on the west side of the lake,” Walton said. “There were 11 children in our family, plus parents David and Aurelle. The house was a farmhouse dating from around 1820, situated on Revolutionary War land that originally stretched an incomprehensible distance along the shore towards the village. Growing up in Mandana was a fairly lean time for us in monetary terms but richly immersed in family, fun and the presence of the lake. Between school, church and our part-time jobs, it was a time of rowboats, small sailboats, fishing, lazing on the shore, even reading by older siblings and strenuous walk through beautiful ravines and upper fields. Overall, however, I don’t think we took the lake for granted. We weren’t quite aware that the lake was special.
It’s a mix of memories, personal stories, fictional scenarios, and contemporary thoughts that all came together and inspired Walton to write and publish his first book, “Mandana Dreams.”
When describing the work, Walton describes the book as a work of fiction.
He said it was a collection of loosely related stories, a short novel, and a five-page poem.
“It’s the product of an unassuming hobby of writing that I’ve had for decades as I continue my day job as a small-town lawyer,” he said. “I hope that these simple vignettes and tales, pleasant to write, will find a common agreement.”
Although he hadn’t published any other work before, other than a few articles in the college’s literary magazine, Walton said writing was a constant hobby in his life.
“Writing has been a hobby since I finished high school, then more so in college, then continued sporadically until the 90s, when around 1994 I started writing more regularly, until today. today,” Walton said. “But in fact, it was more about being persistent than devoting a huge amount of time, 15 or 20 minutes torn here and there from writing. But I continued, week after week, without moving away from writing. We all have so much time, so just a little, devoted with persistence whenever possible, adds up.
In college, Walton majored in English at LeMoyne. He said it was an influential time for his writing.
“Like millions of other people during those decades, I admired F. Scott Fitzgerald and the English poets, Keats, etc., and the novelists, Thomas Hardy, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, American novelists, and of course he there’s Tolstoy and Pushkin, and a lot of others that I forget,” Walton said. “Then later more diverse authors from a modern and other point of view. regular, apart from my daily work.
After LeMoyne, Walton pursued law school in Brooklyn, but as Walton likes to say, the lake has a way of keeping people coming back.
“My wife and I moved in 1982 to a town 50 miles east of Skaneateles,” Walton said. “In 1999, we came back with our five children. But this time it was on the eastern shore, near Ten Mile Point, diagonally from Mandana. As those who grow up near a body of water know, the lake has a way of bringing you back.
As Walton said, with his profession as a lawyer and his obligation to his family, he was always keen to find time to write and over the years he amassed an archive of documents that would become part of his first delivered.
“These are pieces all written at least nine years ago and up to 22 years ago, and I’ve reviewed and revised them,” Walton said. “Then I put them away and started writing other things. But watching them earlier this year I discovered that I didn’t hate them, I liked something about each one, I noticed they had a common theme in some way – Mandana – and so I revised them further, and decided why not put them together in a book?”
In a description on Amazon, the book is described as about an engineering student, returning from a semester in Germany to his family’s house in a lakeside area in New York, to find his mother seriously ill.
Without hesitation, he put his ambitious program on hold. Soon his days are filled with selfless attention, companionship and seemingly mundane talk, the simple gift of time, even moments of inexplicable joy.
As the reader witnesses the daily healing of each, the question is obvious: who reaps the greatest rewards for service? And then, following the shocking ending to this initially unassuming story, who feels the greatest impact of this legacy?
The six stories and poem that also accompanies this short story recount the pupil’s parents and four siblings as they move to the beautiful lake country of the father’s youth, adjust to his high-end competitiveness , but seek to maintain a balance in the face of ambition for university and a career.
“Inevitably, the writing draws its images from the lake, the backdrop, always there,” Walton said. “To that extent it may seem non-fictional, for there are roads, settlements, and places with familiar names. Against the lake, we experience our ups and downs, and face occasional stresses and losses. Fortunately, no tragic incidents detailed in “Mandana Dreams”, the fictional part, never actually happened to our family, but we all know of the rare instances where they unfortunately did. We live, after all, in a small town with in common this marvelous natural jewel.
Walton said that while preparing the book, he was fortunate to have good experience working with Amazon to help with the design and formatting.
He said that, in his experience and opinion, this opens up a world of opportunities for authors to put their work in the hands of readers.
He also said that as he put the pieces together as he found a common thread in each, they are not necessarily directly interconnected.
“These are, it must be said, actually unrelated stories in the sense that the characters do not necessarily keep the same name, and yes, here the character may not survive or is a victim of fate, but in the next one is alive and well,” Walton said. “They weren’t written to be contained in an ongoing narrative, but I felt they were thematically related nonetheless, especially in terms of mood. I grew up in Mandana and these stories recreated an atmosphere, and the experience of living, or wanting to return to live, near the lake.
Walton said those who have read the work have been rave about it and he hopes to hear more from other readers in the future.
“We’re all extremely busy and it’s hard to find time to read, I know that,” he said. “Comments are therefore valuable and naturally limited. Plus, it’s a very busy time of year. In the few feedback so far, people like shorter, simpler and more direct stories; the novel takes a bit of time but is probably worth it. Also, the writing is extremely subjective and personal. I’m sure there are people I don’t hear anything about that the book doesn’t please them, and their silence is good manners. I understand perfectly. Still, I love feedback, positive or negative. This helps writers immensely.
The book cover artwork is taken from a work created by Walton’s brother, Bart, to whom Walton dedicated the book.
“I got positive feedback from people about the cover, a painting of my late brother Bart Walton looking out the window of the Mandana family home,” Walton said. “Bart, a fellow traveler in the fields above the lake, to whom the book is dedicated.”
With years of writing accumulated, Walton said he had more material, but hadn’t started thinking about his next book yet.
“I have plenty of other materials lying around,” he said. “Remember, the most recent of these stories was from 2012 or 2013, and I’ve continued to write ever since. But I haven’t focused on what I’m going to do with them yet. full time and writing is just a hobby, much appreciated, but a hobby.
“Mandana Dreams” can be found on Amazon and is available in print as well as on Kindle.