A Fitting Place – Another Comfort Zone


In my memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam, leaving my comfort zone meant intentional travel in a small sailboat to unfamiliar locations around the world.  By contrast, the protagonist in my novel, A Fitting Place, is hurled out of her comfort zone when virtually everything she takes for granted in her familiar New York City environment is upended.

The premise of my novel, as with my memoir, is that stepping outside your comfort zone offers myriad opportunities for emotional, intellectual and professional growth.  Over the course of the next several months, as I complete the final draft, my blog will explore a number of the themes that recur throughout the novel.

Among them, not necessarily in order of importance or scheduling, are:

  •  the illusion of control,
  •  betrayal vs. loyalty,
  •  honesty vs. integrity,
  •  success and failure
  •  friendship,
  •  parenting,
  •  the cost of keeping secrets,
  •  mindfulness,
  •  intimacy,
  • communication,
  • gender identity and sexual fluidity,
  •  myth as a cultural narrative,

My intent is to open up a thoughtful discussion in some challenging arenas that, from time to time, generate strong opinions.  I am less interested in defending a particular point of view than in providing a forum where my readers can and will comment based on their own experiences.

As part of this strategy, I will be inviting individuals with personal experience and/or professional expertise in these areas to do guest blogs. If you would be interested in providing a guest piece on one or more of these topics, let me know and I will send you my guidelines.



  1. Can’t wait t read it!

  2. Mary, I have gone on your website to read some of your essays. Do I have to have my own website to join the conversation? Also, I have been going through old cards & letters & have found some letter written to me from your mom. Would you be interested in any copies? I enjoy reading your essays. You are your mother’s child. Sincerely, Norma Davenport

    • Mary Gottschalk says

      Norma … it seems you have joined the conversation … and welcome. I am fascinated by your notion that I am Kathryn’s child … I know I am, but would love to know what you see. And yes, I would love to see the letters. I will contact you by email.

  3. cynthia eisenhauer says

    Mary, I look forward to reading A Fitting Place.

    • Mary Gottschalk says

      And I am loving “Love Always.” My summer has opened up, and you are in my active reading stack!

  4. Mary, you are such an inspiration. Thanks for keeping the wheel turning. So looking forward to this next read of yours.

    • Mary Gottschalk says

      Thanks Vinaya …. I just read your “pondering” on gardens and loved it … I know all too well the frustration of watching the grass growing unabated in amongst roses and heuchera and ferns and feeling quite helpless. But I also loved the metaphor as it related to son and standing back to let him work it out.

      But now, in the condo, I still have ferns and roses, but no grass and no moles. Mirabile!

  5. Mary, I look forward to your upcoming series. And I am remiss in not yet reading your memoir, and now look forward to reading not only it but also your novel. Keep writing!

    • Mary Gottschalk says

      Sherrey … I know you’ve dedicated the summer to your memoir, so I really appreciate your stopping by to offer encouragement. I look forward to your story, as it seems our mothers were similar!

  6. Rhonda Rae says

    I look forward to reading your process through this…thank you for the opportunity to interact. Write On!

  7. Mary, I appreciate hearing about your novel writing process. Scheduling blog topics focused on your novel themes is such a creative and unique way of not only stretching all our minds but also of generating interest in your novel. You’re helping answer my questions–what is life like after a memoir and how does one transition from memoir to fiction. I loved your memoir and have no doubt your novel will be equally engaging and inspiring.

    • Thanks so much Kathy. I’m hoping that one or more of the topics will inspire you to do a guest blog(s) for me. You have talked in your blog about getting past “self-defeating” behaviors, which is something my protagonist Lindsey definitely has to do!

  8. Congratulations, Mary. I look forward to reading your book and the essays.

  9. Love the premise of your book, A Fitting Place, especially since I can relate to all the opportunities that arise when we step out of our comfort zone. Did just that when I went from top executive to low-wage earner. As for your topics, next month psycho-therapist, Marina Peralta, will publish her memoir “Barriers to Love,” which I co-authored, and that deals with the theme of sexual fluidity.

    • Mary Gottschalk says

      Pennie … would like to chat with you via email about the themes of Marina’s book. Would love one or both of you contribute a guest blog on the subject of sexual fluidity?