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I’ve been a singer and songwriter since 1997. Before that and between times, a graphic artist and book illustrator. As I transitioned out of career performing in 2006, I began writing personal essays, short fiction, and poetry.

Currently, I am finishing a novel, Lowlands (81k words, literary fiction).

Recently, I was a writer for the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. My articles have been published by The Cornell Chronicle, Ezra Magazine, AAP News, and on aap.cornell.edu

I write essays about music and songwriting, my experiences in nature (including human nature), small towns, horses, animals, and the weather. In fiction, I explore my theories about why people and things are the way they are. And other stuff. I live in the country near Ithaca, New York.

Lowlands sweeps the reader into the visible and invisible world of a family in crisis. How far will they go to redeem themselves and each other?

It is late August in the steep gorges and vineyards of Central New York. Robert, Cynthia, and Leah are sober yet troubled, caught between what is real and imagined and the overlapping secrets and motives of trauma and addiction. During a night of drinking, Robert’s and Cynthia’s 18-year-old daughter Maylin hooks up with Phil, one of her father’s AA sponsees, and drowns when Phil’s truck is caught in a flash flood. Unhinged, Cynthia’s hyper-natural visions and a cryptic note send her down a tunnel of mystery and obsession triggered by Maylin’s death. She enlists an old frenemy to help discover the truth about her daughter.

Between what is real and imagined, Cynthia and Robert face choices with far-reaching consequences. In AA, they say you’re only as sick as your secrets. But for these sober alcoholics, some things may be better left unsaid as they find their way back to sanity and each other.

Richly set in New York’s Finger Lakes region, Lowlands is a compassionate look into imperfect people struggling to ask and answer questions about loss, accountability, and forgiveness.

Visit my Medium page for recent work and chapters from the novel-in-progress.

This is my music website. Find downloads and videos on the web, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, etc. Listen on Spotify, Pandora, and soundcloud.

I have a photography and design blog, too: sway2this.com

Unless otherwise noted, all material posted, is the intellectual property of Patti Witten, © all rights reserved.