There are days when I don’t know if life is passing me by or simply trying to run me over. Every once in a while I have to push the pause button and take time out to breathe. It’s not like I’m thinking about the deep meaning of it all. I gave up on that years ago. Greater minds than mine have written volumes and failed to give full understanding to the narrative. Rather, I like to see it as a time of reflection; a rare chance to explore the accumulation of small victories which give days their own personal meaning; small slices of sweetness that make life tolerable and worth living. It’s about seeing the possibilities where there are none visible and letting myself soar on the hope of those possibilities.
The amazing thing about living is there are always new things to learn, new people to meet, and new things to see. An eagle landed on the roof across the street from us last night. The small birds fussed around her but she was unmoved. When she had enough she simply spread her wings and flew away. What a beautiful sight to watch the shadow her wingspan cast as she took off in flight.
Growing older, I think, makes us either grouchy or more reflective. I’ve chosen the second. I don’t want to miss any of the moments, (if I can help it) that are there to remind me even in the messiness of it all, life is a beautiful thing. Sunsets are breathtaking, children are wonderful, and grandchildren are the best. When the fussy little things around me become a distraction I need to spread my wings and soar or sail either way works for me.
I love when someone takes the time to write me letter regarding one of my books and they talk about the characters as if they were real. I received one of those letters not to long ago.
The letter began by saying: “Thank you for the hours of pure pleasure. I enjoyed my read immensely. I found myself excited just to get to the next chapter. Keep on writing, all your readers are looking forward to see what is the next mystery in Blue Cove.”
She goes on to say.”I would love to see Jessie and Matt tie the knot, they are meant for each other. Also, I’m so elated to see Katie has “maybe” found here true love. Thank you for all your hard work. One of your biggest fans.”
I’ll admit this made me smile and continues to, every time I read it. My characters are real to me. They hang out in my head on daily basis and the thought they have brought someone else pleasure is amazing to me. Jessie and Matt nudge me along and help me tell their story. They’ve set this crazy imagination of mine free. From a Bible teacher to a murder mystery writer, with a little romance thrown, in I finally feel at home in my mind. The strange thing is I was never a mystery reader. I’ve surprised even myself.
This letter got me thinking once again about all things Blue Cove and the support all of my readers have shown me. These four will soon be joined by book number five in the series, Only A Shadow. For all the books you’ve purchased and the reviews written, the words thank you hardly seem enough, but it’s the best I have. THANK YOU!
A new book will soon be out. Here’s the blurb and a teaser from “Only a Shadow”.
Trouble rears its head once again in Blue Cove and dashes straight into Jessie’s store in the person of a battered young woman fleeing her abusive spouse. Jessie finds herself pulled into another case as a body is discovered in the church dumpster, and the dead woman’s ghost takes up a vigil in Jessie’s place of business.
Is the dead woman connected to the frightened and battered girl who took refuge in the store? Matt and Jessie’s search for the killer leads them to their victim’s family, members of a strange religious group that lives off the grid outside of town. Add to the mix a crypt in the woods on a foggy night, Jessie’s abduction, a couple of angry and abusive husbands, and the resident ghost, and they will have their hands full solving this crime.
Will Matt and Jessie’s love for each other keep them grounded until justice can be served?
“Her eyes focused on a small structure in the midst of the trees. Its outline emerged through the spooky mist as she ran closer. What she saw stopped her in her tracks. Sinister in appearance, gothic in nature, its small spires and gargoyles stood watch and seemed to be staring at her. Creepy, and the fog didn’t help. The gate creaked as she opened it to go inside. The building was smaller than it looked from a distance. Was it a small chapel? It didn’t feel like any church she had ever been in. Maybe it was someone’s tomb. She shivered. A strange odor met her when she opened the door. Incense, perhaps. The light from her headlamp told an eerie story as it danced on the walls. It settled on a strange stone slab in the center of the aisle, which had something smeared all over it. Oh, this was worse than she had thought. She slumped to the floor. She had stumbled into something awful and didn’t want to be trapped here.”
A new contract is signed on another book. A blurb is finished along with the infamous tag line. In every book that I write there is a subject tucked in it somewhere, which is near and dear to my heart. From human trafficking to domestic violence, life constantly dishes up some hard stuff for people to overcome. Because of it there are limitless storylines with everyday people who are the real heroes and heroines.
I’ve often wondered with all the pain, sickness, and suffering that humanity experiences why we are not kinder and more humane in our treatment of one other. The old saying “Do unto others” is something we should consider all the time. You can’t live long on this earth without the need for someone’s compassion in your own life. It seems to me we should go out of our way to make it easier on one another to survive and not harder.
I’m grateful for the many kindnesses shown me. I realize the pull and tug to blame the other for my lot in life is great, but as my mom used to tell me life is what you make it. I do have choices and those choices have consequences which I must take responsibility for. My life is not perfect, but its mine. I’ve made a choice to be kind because I know how kindness has impacted me. I have chosen to reduce my faith to its simplest form…Love God, and love my neighbor as myself. There is so much freedom in living this out. I like to smile at strangers, listen to someone tell me how their life is going, and let go of the wrongs that have been done to me. I find it freeing to enjoy music, dance as way of joyous expression, and glean from the younger generations. The millennials have got a lot of things right. I don’t always get it right, but I keep trying. I’m in competition with myself to be the best version of me I can be.
Life is a veritable smorgasbord with all kinds of things to choose from. Some are life giving and others not so much. Some I choose and others I just get. I may not always be able to control what I face, but I can control my reaction to it.
I believe that love wins, character counts, and kindness makes a difference in the world. I don’t believe that the ends justify the means. The way you reach the end is just as important as the results. Fear may speak the loudest, but peace rules the day. Leaders may rise on the wave of hate and bigotry, but love has the ultimate power to resist.
I’m not naïve many terrible things have happened because of hate and bigotry, but amazing stories of love shine a light through the troubles of our darkest hours in history. People rise to the occasion when their backs are against the wall. I remember the day I first visited the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial) in Israel. The pictures of the death and destruction of a people simply because of who they were moved me to tears more than once. The stories that emerged of the gentiles who risked all to save some was equally powerful. The Jewish people are almost always first on the scene in disasters, they stand with those being persecuted, they promote life through the arts, because they know what it is to be murdered for simply being who they are.
It is easy to be lulled to sleep in life believing that everything will stay the same. Having fought for something once means you’ll never have to fight again. As long as there is an other you can blame you’ll never have to take the heat yourself. But life has a way of teaching us change is constant and the one sure thing in life. Every generation we’ll have to fight for the things they hold dear because there is always someone who wants to take it away. Eventually, everyone will become the other in the us against them game, and we can easily be swayed by the words of the next leader peddling another brand of hate in a new package.
For me I’ve chosen to love. Trying to figure out who is deserving and who is not is too great of a burden. Some might say I’m not worthy. I’ve decided to go with the tested and true words of one of this world’s greatest leaders. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”