Ok, something incredible just happened! A box arrived! I already know what the box contains, I have been tracking it for days. It’s my first shipment of BLACK INFERNO! You might think I’d rip the box open and grab the top book to hold the product representing so much of my time, energy and passion. But I quietly made a cup of tea and here I sit at my computer writing this blog. WHAT??? Yes, you read that correctly. Why? You may ask. My first thought is I won’t want to come back to this task at hand and finish but that is not the real reason.
It’s hard to explain, but I have dreamt of this moment for so long, holding my second book in my hands, that I simply cannot treat it like an ordinary moment. It is deserving of so much more. When the time comes, I will look it over lovingly front and back, I will open the cover and read the book dedication and the biography. I will tenderly turn the pages and run my fingers across a few lines. Then I will kiss the cover and hold it ALL DAY LONG. So few moments like this come along in life, I want to snap a few pictures and I want my husband and any of my kids who can to be by my side. Those who love me have had endless hours of ear bending over all things Circle of Sun. Bless them.
It is so much more than a cover and pages with ink. This tangible thing is a product of only a dream that has been painstakingly created from within me. The book was first just a thought, then a dream. A dream is a precious gift. With time and fuel and elbow grease a dream becomes a goal with a target. Every day I asked God to bless my efforts, and to guide me. I asked Him for his blessing on this bumpy journey and I promised I would attempt to put some light into the world, even if it’s only a small flame.
I never considered not completing it, not one second. And it all began with the first book, Circle of Sun. Enough time has passed that I can look back with some objectivity about why I started writing stories.
Writing about experiences, journaling as therapy, using words to communicate has been a part of who I am. But writing a book was born out of great pain. I wanted to be by my Mom’s side every moment when she was so ill with ALS. Her care consumed my dad, who was her devoted caretaker. I traveled to spend time with them. My whole world changed….my busy, high energy, steep schedule, candle burning at each end lifestyle was stalled. I was sitting still and I wasn’t communicating with anyone. Just me and my thoughts and my computer. There was no distraction great enough to ease the pain of the impending loss. Some stages of life require strength far beyond our capabilities. He supplies the strength, and I found solace in writing.
The only time I could find a peaceful place was when I was journaling. I could fill my thoughts with something that wasn’t pain and fear. One afternoon I watched nature’s fury in the form a snowstorm from my bedroom window. The wind blew the fresh snow across the pond. That scene was so beautiful I was inspired to write about it in my journal.
“The white snow rests peacefully, wrapping its arms around a frozen pond. The ice lies stoic and formidable except for a dancing wind-whipped veil, swept one way, until nature changes her mind and sweeps it another. Each snow-covered pine surrounding the pond stands gallantly devoted. The scene is so entirely peaceful, so breathtaking, so magical, that time is suspended. Here and now is where my mind’s gossip can stand exposed for exactly what it is. Barriers in the maze of uncertainty dissipate. Everything is clear.”
I read over what I had written. I still am not sure how the logic applies, but it was in that very instant I decided I would write a book. And I started on it right away. I had no storyline at all. I slept on my decision and began the next day. I started first with characters that I liked. I had no idea what I was doing. But writing felt so good, and it helped me cope, occupied my mind.
Eventually my storyline came together, grew into an outline. The excerpt above from my journal is part of the first book Circle of Sun. The learning curve has been so steep at times and I have had plenty of frustration and put myself in the land of uncomfortable. The process has given me some bumps and bruises, doubt and sleepless nights, but it doesn’t compare to the joy that I have experienced in this process.
All of that has brought me to this place. Loss is not something we can escape. He gave me the grace to endure the pain, and the gift of a dream to pursue. Like turning a sharp right corner, my direction is changed and the unplanned journey becomes a path leading me home. Time to put on some lipstick, uncork some wine and open the box upstairs.