Archive for the ‘My Kitchen Table’ Category
The new CLEAN READ Edition of Duplicity takes the torch to continue the Independence Celebration!
Military Romantic Thriller
Please note: Duplicity was first published for the general market by St. Martin’s Press. In 2014, it was rewritten as a Clean Read novel and published by Magnolia Leaf Press. (Clean Read: no foul language, no excessive violence, and any bedroom doors in the book are closed.)
Would you ruin your career for a man you know is guilty?
On the cusp of realizing her dream as a career military attorney, Captain Tracy Keener is ordered to defend Captain Adam Burke, a Special Operations officer who caused the deaths of his entire team. Everyone knows he’s guilty and defending him will cost Tracy her career, but she has no choice.
Captain Burke swears he was framed. Swears he’d acted under orders. Swears things that can’t possibly be true: breaches requiring corruption at the highest levels, the deliberate sacrifice of an entire military team. Impossible!
Until they’re proven fact. Under cease and desist orders and then threats to drop the case and let Burke go down, Tracy and Adam rebel, push for truth. . . and are targeted for assassination. To their horror, they discover others too are marked for death—millions of Americans Adam and she swore an oath to defend at any cost, including their own lives.
Yet to really succeed, Tracy and Adam must risk more than their lives. They must risk their hearts. That proves far harder, trapped in an intricate web of Duplicity.
Special Event on HER PERFECT LIFE Continues…
20% of net proceeds support the Wounded Warrior Project
On awakening, like everyone else, I have my rituals. One of them is to read from the Bible and then to pull a quote for the day and reflect on how the two–the reading and the quote–interrelate. The quote for today is:
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” -Edith Wharton
There are a lot of ways to look at that quote. And I expect one sees in it what they’re looking for at the time. Today, my interpretation of it is that we’re all both candles and mirrors at different points in time on different issues and in different situations.
I think that’s a good thing. When we’re capable of creating paths (whether we really want to walk them or we feel compelled to walk them for the greater good), of doing things that need doing (pleasant or not), or we take action to make situations better, we’re the candle.
When we are the candle, we emit light into shadows and darkness and others see it and find their way or reflect it, emulating us, like mirrors. When your children mimic your actions. If you ask them for something and always say thank you, then they automatically do, too. When you treat others with respect, conduct yourself with dignity and grace, then others are more apt to treat you that way, as well. Not certain to, but more apt to. With free will, that’s the best you can do: be responsible for yourself.
When you’re the candle, you choose what light you cast. Knowing others reflect it, you should aspire to have it be the best you have to give.
When others are the candle and we act in harmony with them, then we are the mirror that reflects their light. This is why it is so important to choose those you surround yourself with carefully. If the light they cast is negative, harmful, hurtful–either inflicted directly or condoned–then you reflect it. If it is positive and constructive and helpful–either inflicted directly or condoned–then you reflect it.
When you’re the mirror–and at times we all are–then you don’t choose good or bad, right or wrong, negative or positive, or destructive or constructive. You simply reflect.
I’m being nudged this morning to write this post, and I never question spiritual nudgings. But this reads like a lecture on life, and I guess when you get down to it, it is. Yet like everything else it does apply to writing.
Writing is all about characters–people–and if you don’t believe that, take Scarlet and Rhett out of GONE WITH THE WIND and see what you’ve got left. Since writing is about people, it is a mirror that reflects light.
Which makes the point of this that every author is a candle. And all the fiction the author produces is a mirror that reflects the light from her candle. That is a compass for authors to consider the impact of what they write. To consider the light they emit that others will mirror and reflect.
Carrying this one step further, solely into the fictional world, the characters are candles or mirrors, too. As writers, we serve them well by remembering that.
I hope this helps–and because I know someone is going to ask, I’ll just answer the why question now.
I get these nudges often, and when I do, I heed them and post. Without fail, someone who gains some something from the post emails to say so. That’s held true in all the ten years (or whatever it’s been now) that I’ve done writing posts. At first, I considered it coincidence. Now I accept that in these posts, I’m not the candle. I’m a mirror.
* * * * * *
The Independence Celebration continues and there are a number of books being featured right now. None of the books are featured that long, so if you see one you want, best get it while the price is reduced.
Also, I saw where Bell Bridge Books, the publisher of the three Seascape novels, has those books now for $4.99 or $4.39 now. I have no idea for how long, but wanted to mention it. Also wanted to mention that these books are the original version (versus the clean read version). If you want the Clean Read version, you can check the website book pages (vickihinze.com/books) for links or borrow a copy from your local library. Titles: Beyond the Misty Shore, Upon a Mystic Tide, Beside a Dreamswept Sea.
Girl Talk is free on Amazon Kindle today.
This is the clean read edition story of a POW declared dead then six years later rescued. Home isn’t there anymore and now she’s trying to find her feet and create a new life. How? With what? Her husband’s remarried, her kids are strangers and love their new mom… She’s got nothing. Or does she? I’m donating 20% of net proceeds on this book to the Wounded Warrior Project.at Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.
Remember that the silver and black cover articles on writing are on Kindle at readers’ request. They are free on the website in the On Writing library blog.
I can’t make them permanently free at Amazon Kindle. The least I am permitted to price them is 99 cents so that’s what they are there. Again, these are free on the website. Do check the video and podcasts on this website, too. There are a number of writing chat videos and audios there.
Books on Sale:
$0.99 cents each at Amazon Kindle.
The celebration of Independence continues with a ONE DAY KINDLE DAILY DEAL in Romance on all three Seascape series novels: Beyond the Misty Shore, Upon a Mystic Tide, and Beside a Dreamswept Sea
“[Hinze]‘s vivid imagination is contagious, and her clever fusion of humor, mystery and romance makes the story almost believable.” –Publishers Weekly
All the summer’s guests are gone from Seascape Haven, all except artist Tyler MacGregor who captured it on canvas.
But Tyler cannot step off Seascape land without mysteriously blacking out. A mystical force is determined to hold him at the inn.
Help arrives in the form of Maggie Wright, whose mission begins as one of revenge and turns to one of love.
“Powerful and uplifting.” – Literary Times
Whimsy. Serenity. And a Touch of Magic. The Seascape Inn
Marketing executive Maggie Wright and artist T.J. MacGregor are linked by a mysterious car accident that killed Maggie’s cousin, Carolyn, T.J.’s fiancée. When Maggie arrives on the Maine coast determined to get answers from T.J., she discovers a tortured man who is bound to the Seascape Inn by supernatural forces. Despite the tragedy that stands between them, Maggie and T.J. begin to fall in love, seeking answers and a healing spirit they may never achieve.
“After reading the Seascape Romance Series, you’ll be ready for a vacation at the Seascape Inn.” – Literary Times
FIVE AND A HALF STARS – Affaire de Coeur , Best Science Fiction Romance of the Year Finalist, Affaire de Coeur
With their painful divorce looming on the horizon, radio psychologist Bess Cameron and her soon-to-be-ex-husband, John Mystic, meet at Maine’s Seascape Inn to finalize the terms of a property settlement. Bess believes John is in love with someone else, and she’s determined to move on without him. Their marriage appears doomed until the Inn’s matchmaking ghost, Tony, and its irrepressible owner, Miss Hattie, take matters in hand. Sometimes you have to leap upon a mystic tide and have faith the sand will shift and an island will appear . . .
The second book of Hinze’s Seascape Trilogy brings readers back to the gentle magic of a place where love is always stronger than the fragile boundaries of life…
Welcome to the third book of the Seascape Trilogy, three mystical romance-mystery novels by bestselling author Vicki Hinze.
New love isn’t on the agenda for widower Bryce Richards, who comes to the peaceful Seascape Inn with his three children, hoping the ethereal setting will help them recover from the death of their mother.
Likewise, fellow inn guest Cally isn’t looking for romance either; she’s recovering from an emotionally abusive marriage.
It will take all the matchmaking skills of innkeeper Hattie Stillman and her ghostly assistant to bring Bryce and Cally together.
Classic General Market Romantic Suspense
Kindle Daily Deal Sale Price TODAY ONLY $1.99 each.
Reminder: If you want a copy of Down and Dead in Even, snag it today. It’s the last day of it being featured in the Independence Celebration (which means, it’s the last day it’s on sale. Tomorrow it’ll be regular price again).
Watch this blog for special sales all month long.
WHAT DOES INDEPENDENCE MEAN TO YOU?
Soon it will again be Independence Day. We’ll grill, we’ll gather and shoot off fireworks, and celebrate. All that’s great, but do we and our kids even know anymore what we’re truly celebrating? That thought came to mind and stuck. And it set me to thinking…
Noted philosopher, Socrates, considered independence the ability “to find yourself, think for yourself.” Elbert Hubbard said, “Freedom cannot be bestowed—it must be achieved.” Both make valid points that are worth some thought this Independence Day.
In America, thanks to the efforts of our forefathers who established this nation, everyone is born free. Everyone has rights that protect his or her freedom. But in practical life, whether or not one remains free is up to the individual.
Freedom and independence are linked. One can’t be truly free while dependent on another. Whether you rely on an individual or an entity to, say, house and clothe and feed you or to pay your dental bills, once you are reliant you are no longer self-sustaining or independent and you are no longer free.
With dependence comes costs. You rely on and are subject to the terms and conditions of being reliant. There are rules you are required to follow to be given what you need. You can do this, you can’t do that, you must fit within these perimeters. Embracing those “requirement” rules renders an absence of freedom. And that absence, if embraced, can take us to a place where it’s like stepping on a treadmill and, once on it, one can never step off. Perhaps that truth is the root of the saying, There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
An example. You collect a check from the government each month. You can’t work. If you work, you lose the check and the medical benefits that come with it. You’re dependent, subject to the rules for getting the check, but once you step on that treadmill, you’re stuck on it with no way off. If you work, you lose what you have. If you don’t, you’re stuck where you are for the duration. It’s a lose/lose situation. That isn’t independence or freedom. And it limits you and what you’re able to do and to achieve.
Freedom renders us limited only by our imaginations and our willingness to make efforts and take risks. Personal freedom and independence isn’t a new concept, but it is rare. Most of the world lives under heavy restrictions.
DID YOU KNOW
Did you know that only fourteen percent of the people in the world have access to a free press? That only thirty percent have religious freedom? According to Religion News, 5.3 billion people live under harsh religious restrictions.
And you’d have to live under a rock not to be belted by all the news of restrictions on women. In many nations, they can’t drive, can’t go out on the street unescorted, can’t work, can’t be educated, can’t choose their clothes, their path in life, or even their own spouse. And if they step out of their designated place, they’re beaten and/or arrested and executed—even if/when expecting a baby.
America and its republic is a harder road, yes. Its people have to value freedom, liberty, independence. They have to respect it and desire it, and fight for it. Benjamin Franklin once responded to a woman named Mrs. Powel, asking what the founders had created—a republic or a monarchy. “A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”
The founders knew that independence and freedom didn’t just depend on creating that republic but also on maintaining it. Constantly guarding and protecting it. That’s the responsibility of each and every individual in each and every generation.
USE IT OR LOSE IT
If you enjoy choosing your life, your school, your work. If you enjoy choosing your faith or the absence of it, defining yourself and what is important to you, deciding the kind of life you want to live and the kind of person you want to be, then you might want to take to heart the words of Steve Jobs. He said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
That’s the heart of individual liberty, personal freedom. To, as Socrates said, think for yourself and as Hubbard said, achieve freedom. It, like independence, isn’t a one shot and you’re done deal. It must be maintained.
This is why throughout history when one seeks to control the masses, the first thing that must be squelched to successfully transform and bring everyone under one’s control is choice. Get rid of God, force reliance on government, and then begin nudging the public to fall in line with one’s desires by making not falling into line painful. High costs, hunger, restrictions; demeaning, ridiculing, demonizing—any and all that can be done to control.
And there is always a high-intensity move to control thought. This is how you should feel about this and that, and if you don’t, you’re abnormal. You’re … choose your own awful adjective.
All of that isn’t about being fair or just or right, it’s about controlling others.
The natural inclination for Americans especially, is to consider that type of manipulation unthinkable. It couldn’t happen here. But the truth is America only works if its people engage and stay engaged in its own affairs.
Many others have considered losing control of their lives unthinkable. But when we look at what happened to them, we see the same mistake on the part of the people repeatedly. They became apathetic, wrapped up in their personal lives and tuned out on their national interests. Then came the nudging, which was deemed to be misunderstandings. Surely Castro, for example, wouldn’t take away people’s private homes and businesses. But he did. And once he did, it was too late. The people had already lost too much and had nothing left with which to fight for themselves. That’s the cost of apathy and the cost of denial.
This Independence Day, we need to remember who we are and why we are.
This country was founded by those who wanted to be free to choose, free to pursue their own visions for their lives, free to worship as they desired without fear of retribution or execution.
Pull out a copy of the Constitution and read it. A copy of the Bill of Rights. Get reacquainted and connected. Your independence is not something to take for granted. If you do so, know that you do so at your own peril.
Look around at how women fare in most of the world today. Is that what you want for yourself? For your daughters and granddaughters?
Americans are so accustomed to exercising their own will that they’ve lost sight of the concept of not having that right or privilege. They’ve fallen to PC police in a way that would stun those who came before us. Do what I want done, the way I want it done—think what I tell you to think or forget tolerance, you’ll be shouted down until you fear opening your mouth about anything.
Is that what Americans want? I doubt it. I seriously doubt it. But if they don’t want it, then they can’t do the same thing those before us did with apathy and denial and expect a different result.
Remember what it costs, and choose what it means to you. If you fail to do so, you risk waking up to find your independence and liberty and freedom is no longer anything more than a faded memory.
America was not established for that. Founders didn’t pledge their lives, treasure and sacred honor for that idea. All who have sacrificed and shed blood to retain freedom didn’t go through what they did for freedom to become a faded memory.
They did their part to establish and maintain freedom for this nation’s people. Not select people in it. Not its government. Its people.
The question on minds this Independence Day is, Will we?
© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is Down and Dead in Dixie. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. www.vickihinze.com.
The celebration of Independence begins with my latest release, DOWN AND DEAD IN EVEN, a Quick-Read in the Down and Dead, Inc. series.
(In the Down and Dead, Inc. series, books follow Daisy/Rose. Quick Reads follow other characters you know. This one involves Jackson, Daisy/Rose’s brother…)
Caroline Branch Easton has been trapped, a victim of domestic violence, and her husband has just delivered the final straw.
Now she’s getting out, or trying to get out. She’s tried before. It didn’t end well. But this time she has a secret weapon: a sister willing to do anything and Jackson, a member of the Down and Dead, Inc. group, on her side.
Will she get to safety at Sampson Park alive, or be intimidated by threats of harm to herself and her sister and return to the luxurious life that had been her prison?
INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION SALE PRICE
July 1 – 8
ALL MONTH LONG
20% of net proceeds support Wounded Warrior Project
This month, I’m celebrating Independence with special sales on books all month long.
Be sure to watch this blog for the latest info.
Blessings–and have a meaningful and joyful Independence Day!
This Month’s Spotlight is on . . .
Watch this blog for special sales all month long.
Down and Dead in Even. While it is part of the Down and Dead, Inc. series, you can read either it or Dixie–order makes no difference.
Down and Dead, Inc. books follow Daisy/Rose. Quick Reads follow other, secondary characters.
Because You Asked…
Hi, everyone. As you might know, I’ve been ill and am facing a surgery (just a little one, thank goodness), so I’m behind on responding to your questions. I thought I’d address those I can respond to publicly here. (I am working on the ones where I need to answer privately. I apologize for the delay and ask for your indulgence. In total, I receive over a thousand emails each day. I am trying to catch up, not ignoring a single one. Please be patient with me.)
Q. I can’t find DOWN AND DEAD IN EVEN, the short story after Down and Dead in Dixie. Where can I get a copy?
Right now, you can’t. (Sorry!) Due to a My Evil Valentine glitch, there’s a delay. After June 11th it will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo in digital format. Since it is a short story (about 14,000 words) it won’t be available in print. However all the readers have free reading devices, so if you’re reading this post, you’ll be able to read the story.
Q. You haven’t put in your newsletter that Her Perfect Life is out, but I’ve seen it at the online book store. I saw your note that you rewrote it as a Clean Read book. Why did you do that when it’s gotten awards and everything?
I haven’t done a newsletter due to illness, which is why I haven’t yet announced the release. Another item to do on my list for which I apologize but honestly couldn’t avoid. Sorry.
Yes, I did rewrite the story as a clean read. Clean reads by definition contain no foul language, no excessive violence and if there are bedroom doors in the book, they are closed, which is a polite way of saying the story does not contain explicit sex.
Several years ago, I began writing Christian fiction and writing general market stories suitable for young adult readers. I choose to bridge the gap between my general market books and my Christian fiction books when I can by making the stories suitable for both. That’s what I’ve done with multiple other books I had written early on, and with Her Perfect Life. I’ve also done so with Duplicity, which is also a big award winner and now out but not yet announced due to the illness.
Why I rewrote these books is a little more complex than just crossover marketing. It goes into my purpose—as a person and as a writer. I’ll try to explain but honestly it’s hard because it’s one of those things that has so many tenacles, it’d take a book to fully explain. The short version follows.
I’m a Bridge-Walker. What I mean by that is I have one foot in the secular world and one foot in the Christian world. I love many people in both, and my purpose, if you will, is to walk the bridge, to continue to live my life and for my work to span both.
You see, I write healing books. But going back to when I was a kid, people came to me with their troubles. Not because I had all the answers—I don’t and never have or will—but because I listened and did what I could to help them find their answers. While problems might be similar, there are always differences and they’re important. What is wrong or right for one person in his/her situation, might be right or wrong for another. So others can’t really find answers for you. They can hear you, listen to you, ask questions, and explore with you and that can lead you to see things you didn’t see or offer insights you lacked that can aid you in finding your own answers—the ones that are right for you.
That spills over into my writing and work and always has. I write healing books—that’s my author theme. Those who are lost, struggling, can’t find solutions see characters in my books facing situations and having those struggles and challenges and they find their solutions. So readers discover that solutions do exist—and if the character found them, then readers can too.
In short, that’s the bottomline. Yes, I could have written a new book in the time it took to rewrite Her Perfect Life. Any of them that I’ve rewritten. But in each of them there were those struggles and they’re significant ones that many readers are facing today. If the stories can benefit my readers, I’m going to invest in them. I’m going to do all I can to offer them whatever I have to offer to help them. That’s why I wrote the stories and why I rewrote the stories.
Her Perfect Life is about a female soldier who was shot down and deemed dead. Her husband and children mourned and went on with their lives. Six years later, we discover the soldier wasn’t dead but had been taken prisoner. She’d been tortured and lived through hell for those six years. All that kept her going was the hope of getting home to her family.
In the story, she does get home. Only home isn’t there anymore. Her family has moved on. Her husband’s remarried, her kids barely remember her, and everything in her life that had made it hers is gone. She doesn’t even have the luxury of diskliking the new wife because she’s a great woman who’d been wonderful to her children and to her parents.
So she has nothing except her old co-pilot who feels seriously guilty because he believed she was dead and left her there. He’d been rescued. She hadn’t.
How does she cope? Rebuild? All while suffering PTS (aka PTSD) and having flashbacks she isn’t sure are memories or fears.
This was an incredibly important book to me. If it can help one person cope, I’d rewrite it not just once but a hundred times.
Each of the books I’ve rewritten have their own similar story that make them worth the effort.
Thanks so much for the questions. I hope you enjoy the new version of this story.
Q. Are all of the Down and Dead, Inc. books going to be about Rose and Matthew?
The books will follow Rose and Matthew, yes. The short stories between the books like Down and Dead in Even and Down and Dead in Fern (working on it now), will not. They will be on other characters introduced in Dixie. For example, in Even, Jackson, Rose’s brother plays a key role, as does Sampson Park and Lester and Mr. Perini and Emily. Rose and Matthew briefly appear, but the story is not theirs.
I wanted to follow Rose and Matthew’s adventures, and I love them as characters. But I also wanted to do stories on some of the others. This is a colorful cast and they’re all so interesting to me. So books are Rose and Matthew and their adventures with cameo appearances from some of the other characters in Dixie. Short stories are about one of the other characters and something interesting happening in his/her life.
Thanks so much for asking.
Q. You used to blog every day. Now you blog a couple times a week on different topics. Why don’t you blog everyday anymore?
Bluntly put, time. I do an article once a week for the Social N Global network, articles for the Book Fun organization, and I had five blogs. I couldn’t do new articles on all of them every day and write books. Something had to give, and it was me. With the exception of Christians Read, I combined the separate blogs into one with sections, (My Kitchen Table, My Faith Zone, Thinking Aloud, and On Writing) and I started out posting on a rotating basis—a section each day. But then I had to have surgery and we all know too well all that’s happened since. I just couldn’t do it. So I post what I can when I can. It hasn’t been much by typical standards, but it’s been all I’ve had to give. After the June 12th surgery is behind me and I’m healed, I hope to get back on schedule. Between now and then, I will continue to do what I can as I am able.
Thanks for posting that you miss the regular posts. That means a great deal to me.
Q. I’ve enjoyed your writing articles for a long time. Could you tell me why you have them for sale on Kindle but free in your writing library?
The articles have always been free on my website library. The writing articles typically start out in a workshop or blog post and then are added to the On Writing library. No charge.
But when ereaders got popular, I received a lot of requests to make them available on Kindle. I could do that but couldn’t make them free. The least amount that I could make them was 99 cents. Writers wanted them anyway, so I made them available. I have been vocal about the articles being available for free but if you want the Kindle copy, I can’t make those permanently free.
As a sidenote, the funds that come in on those articles support the special projects that benefit writers. Christians Read, Blog Alliance, Chapter 1 Zone and all the other projects. That’s always been the case. They don’t pay for them, but they do help.
Q. Are you going to write more LOST, INC. books?
Honest as I can be, I don’t know. I’ve done three projects—Survive the Night, Christmas Countdown, and Torn Loyalties—and the books have done well. Torn Loyalties has been on the inspirational list for over a year. But during the wait to see if readers would like the books, I started on the Down and Dead, Inc. series, and I do have to write at least two more books in that series first.
I’ve also been asked to do another series and am weighing that. It’s romantic suspense, following the same two characters. I’m debating.
I’ve had a lot of requests to do more Lost, Inc. books, requests to do more Crossroads Crisis Center books and more books in the War Games series. I’ve also had requests to do more books like Mind Reader and Festival.
Maybe I should put up a poll and let readers decide what I’ll write next. Good idea? Bad idea? Obviously I love them all or I wouldn’t have written them to start with, so maybe we’ll just do that—ask readers and do whatever they most want.
Thanks so much for asking.
And, dear friends, that’s it for me this time. I’m out of fuel and need to go rest a bit. I want you to know how much your notes and cards mean to me. It’s such a blessing to be out of commission and for someone to notice much less send such lovely notes that one is missed. I’m grateful for you.
Believe me when I say that no one will be more grateful than I am when I get back to normal. My normal is warp speed and this turtle walk is making me nuts. J
My gratitude to you all. Thanks for keeping in touch!
Life is in the interruptions. We’ve all heard it, and lived it. Often, many times.
For the last six weeks, I’ve been stuck in an unexpected interruption. It started out simply enough. Allergies. But then, being out and around with low resistance already, I contracted a virus that severely impacted my respiratory system. Simply put, that knocked me flat and has kept me flat for a full six weeks, through four rounds of multiple medicines and I can’t even tell you how many boxes of tissues. I should have bought stock.
During this stint, two other interruptions occurred. A cap broke off a tooth that I can’t have repaired until all is well on the respiratory front, so I’m snaggle-toothed, which might be cute at six but is far from it as an adult. And a hernia developed from the coughing along the incision from last year’s surgery. That means another surgery in mid-June.
None of this has been fun or easy. I watch the work build up and the stacks on my desk get deeper and deeper and there’s been nothing I could do about it. My doc, knowing me well, ordered rest and that means I’ve been barred from the office.
As if this wasn’t enough, it served to interrupt my absolute favorite time of the year: baseball season. I haven’t seen one of the angel’s games all season. Now that’s just adding insult to injury but with allergen levels high, I’m also barred from spending time outdoors. So it is what it is.
I’ve slept a lot—in fits and starts, but we’ll take what we can get at this point. And read a little. The meds fuzzied my head, so focus just couldn’t be found. I’d read and read again and again only to not grasp what I’d read. That was frustrating. So I watched a oouple of series on TV—those with three or more seasons—and I gave in to the fact that I had to just be still and heal.
That was a major concession for me; I don’t do still. I’m a serious multi-tasker and rarely just do one thing at a time. Anyway, back to the proverbial wall, I got still and something fascinating happened.
It started out with my mind whirling on all the things I needed to do. I’d just finished rewriting Duplicity and Her Perfect Life, creating Clean Read editions of both books. My editor reviewed and my life saver, Jessica, took them from there. Being the resident mortal guardian angel she is, she got them ready for publication. With that taken care of, my mind went into still-mode.
Hubby knows being still is alien and drives me nuts, so he enlisted my opinions on relandscaping two areas in the backyard that I could view from the Florida Room windows. The darling man planted me irises. They’re my favorite flower and now there’s a profusion of them in purple and white.
I hobbled back to the recliner, tempted to give Candy Crush a run but really didn’t want the frustration of not making that next level. I had enough frustration for a time. I noticed a new neon orange journal beside my chair. I start new projects in neon orange journals—jot down ideas. But I had none—ideas, I mean. Fuzzy headed, miserable, fighting for wheeze-free air, I couldn’t think. So I dozed and hung out in that netherland between sleep and waking and just drifted.
Next thing I know, I’m seeing a woman in a wedding dress looking in the mirror. She’s standing in the bridal chamber in a church and her eyes look haunted. I’ve never seen such a sad bride. It tugged at my heart. In my head, I asked her, “What’s wrong?”
She looked at me as if she might shatter. “I’m getting married.”
“You don’t look glad about it,” I state the obvious. “Figured that from the dress. So what’s the problem?”
“I’m marrying the wrong man…”
That got my attention. “Why?”
“He’s wonderful—a hero.”
“But you don’t love him?” I guessed.
“No, I love him very much.”
“I’m not in love with him.” Her eyes filled with tears. “But you don’t just dump a wounded hero who has been nothing but wonderful to you.” Her whole demeanor changed and self-loathing etched her voice. “What kind of woman does that?”
“One who is in love with another man?”
She nodded. “It’s too late. I have to just put that out of my mind. He probably doesn’t love me, anyway. I’d destroy lives, upset families and for what? Nothing.”
“So you’re going through with the wedding?”
I grabbed the orange notebook. Jotted down some notes.
“Don’t you have some sage advice for me?” she asked.
“Nope. But I am going to hang around and see what happens. You already know that marriage is hard enough when you love each other—“
“We do love each other.”
“And you’re in love with each other,” I added. “I can’t see either of you being happy long-term.” I sighed. “I hate to say it—you seem like a really nice woman. But truth is truth. You’re choosing a hard road.”
“The road chose me a long time ago. I’m just walking the path put before me.”
She turned her back to me, keeping her secrets about her meaning. But she’d said enough. I was hooked. So a new story was born.
To celebrate, I took a nap. And dreamed of a new series. Characters, setting, the premise and conflicts and even the series arcs.
The moral to this post is that sometimes life is in the interruptions. They’re inconvenient, annoying, frustrating and we have to adapt and learn to be still. But when we work at it, unexpected things happen. Creative minds take us on new journeys, and oddly enough, by nightfall, I had scribbled notes in over half of that journal.
I guess creativity lurks in stillness. That or it took mercy on me. Either way, I have four new ideas, three related stories and one stand alone. And I love them all.
Medical misery aside, that’s a pretty productive interruption!