Social-distancing doesn’t come easy for me but in the face of the unseen enemy racing across our country it is a necessity I try hard to express my feelings through words every chance I get. For me each day comes with a myriad of different emotions and finding something to be grateful for has helped. Listening to the real human stories in this crisis are the reminder for me of what’s really important. Courage in the face of fear, kindness in the midst of pain, weeping with those who weep; stories that help me maneuver through my world’s changing landscape.
New heroes have risen; doctors, nurses, and grocery store workers; the police, firefighters, and those who pick up the trash. I am grateful for each of them and the jobs they continue to do daily. Staying home seems like such a small thing to do to make their jobs easier.
I find joy in the little things like groceries being delivered and placed outside my door. Taking the trash cans out once a week is nice, especially if I see another person walk by to say hello to. Are there things that I miss? Of course! I miss times with my sons and their families. Grandkids’ hugs are gone for now, but hopefully will return again some time soon. But Zoom is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and social media too.
I hope that after living during these times that things will not return to the old normal for me. I can see now that normal wasn’t working for so many people in our country. I don’t just want to go back to the way things were and be content. If I do I will have squandered the opportunity to rise and do better; to improve as a human living in a world in dire need of compassion. For now I will try to find the beauty in life whenever it shows up and do my best to pass it on. Having a home and staying there is in itself a blessing.
January 20th, saw the release of my eighth book. I’ll start by saying, the feeling of seeing my name on the cover never gets old. I’ve always dreamed about writing a book, but eight wasn’t even in my wheelhouse. One seemed like an amazing task to me. Especially, as busy as life can get and as fast as time seems to fly by, it’s easy for life to crowd out our dreams.
I started writing later in my life, after raising my three boys, and working beside my husband in the churches that he pastored. Our life had settled into a comfortable routine until circumstances brought several major changes into our lives. The need and desire to reinvent myself grew, and the dream to write a book began to surface again. I’m here to reassure you it’s never too late and an ‘old dog’ can really learn new tricks.
I began an online writing class through the University of Connecticut called Breaking into Print. The coarse took me through the elements of fiction and non-fiction. I thought for sure I would write a non-fiction self-help book of some sort. What I found was that I loved writing fiction. This gal who never watched or read a mystery found herself in a genre where she had never dared to go before. It fit with my personality and who I’ve always been as far back as I can remember. A friend, not long ago, introduced me to her book club as the lady who went from teaching Sunday School to murdering people on paper, which still makes me laugh. I guess she was right on some level.
I was told my stories had legs and the teacher recommended that I try the Novel writing class. So I did. Mary Rosenblum, my teacher, was there for me through the process of writing The Harvest Club. A story idea handed to me by the custodian on a new job when she told me. “You know we have a church ghost here.” My imagination went to work and the element of the paranormal seeped into my mystery. I was off and writing, with Mary Rosenblum instructing me about head hopping, and grammar all the way. My editor will understand what a task that was. My only excuse is, punctuation has changed a bit since I was in school. As for head-hopping I’m trying hard not too.
Mary had a way of encouraging me while slapping me upside my head. She could criticize my writing and have me laughing at the same time. Now that’s a real gift. Encouraged by her, when the book was finished, to query it. She gave me the name of a few publishers. The Wild Rose Press was among them. I will forever be grateful to her. I love my publisher and have had a great experience working with The Wild Rose Press. Mary was killed a few years ago in a plane crash and I still miss her.
I love my latest book Key To The Past. It was a fun one to write and a blast from the past for me. I hope you, my readers will enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
Bullets fly and sparks ignite—as the past and the present collide. A missing girl’s ghost, an antique key, and an unsolved murder take her on an improbable journey.
With the holidays upon us and a another year coming to a close I’m reminded once again of how quickly time is speeding by. 2019, had its high moments, but it also came with loss, reminding me once again how fleeting time can be. In thinking about my family members and friends that died this year, I realize just how powerful and impactful a single life well-lived can be. They touched areas in my life that I’m still discovering. Missing them is like a constant limp and hole where they used to be.
Every day I’m alive is not a given but a gift. Another chance to get it right. A simple smile or a kind word can brighten a day. Joy can be found wrapped in the ordinary, like relationships, creation, or the peace of the familiar. Laughter is refreshing and tears a necessary release. There are profound moments, down moments, and some silly ones. Some days are filled with awe and an almost magic like quality when life and special events cross paths.
May your holidays be filled with sweet memory making moments and love. To love and be loved is the most precious gift of all. Those who strive to make the world a better place through kind deeds do make a difference. L’Chaim! To Life!
I love Thanksgiving. It gives me time to pause and think about my life. From my great grandparents, to my parents, my husband, and sons and their families I have been blessed to know love in my life. It is a cause to celebrate and be reminded that it is people not belongings that make life worth living.
Every picture tells a story, every life is a song to sing, we are the legacy of time. One generation gives way to another, but our lives are built on the foundations left by those who have loved us. There are some missing this year. Gone too soon, but etched in our memories, we limp along with the ache of where they used to be.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May you be filled with love, kindness, and generosity as you share in the blessings of the day with those you love both family and friends.
“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” ― David G. Allen
Life often throws a few curves at us. It’s something everyone experiences several times in a lifetime. We can make plans, but still, things often happen out of order. I have found learning to be flexible, and to roll with what life dishes out is definitely an acquired knowledge needed for survival.
At times, out of order can actually be what’s best for you. All of sudden, events come together like a melody, or a perfect rose, and for one single moment life takes on new meaning and direction. You know the kind of moment I’m talking about; events that take you by surprise and make an ordinary day special. A gloomy day takes a turn for the better when a person smiles at you or encourages you along the way. What a difference they can make in an otherwise nominal day. An autumn day filled with gorgeous colors can leave you in awe, or one single moment of understanding can burst upon you and change your life for ever. I can still remember one occasion when it hit me that all people are made in His image and have a deposit of him within them. It matters not who they are, just that they are! People are amazing and sharing life with them (or a shoe) is what gives life significance.
During another out of order moment, I found writing or writing found me. Either way it rescued me at a hard time in my life. I have so much to learn about the process which keeps me interested every day that I sit down at my computer. What is the best way to say it, which word will show it better? How can I take the characters from being flat to alive using descriptive words? I’m grateful for something so simple yet complex that it challenges me on a daily basis; something to grow in, and to improve at, and in the process it changes me.
Out of order doesn’t necessarily mean not working. It can simply mean a new direction