INSPIRATION AND LEMONADE:
The story behind Beyond the Misty Shore
Into every life, lemon juice does pour. If you’re lucky, you learn to love lemonade. I’m lucky. And it’s a good thing because…
I was having a pitcher-full and a truth about life and lemonade settled in: Loving lemonade is a choice. I mean, we can’t avoid lemon juice any more than we can avoid challenges. We can fight it, but we are going to lose. Lemon juice will be poured; it’s inevitable. But that doesn’t mean it has to be bitter. We can make a different choice. Sprinkle in a little sugar or Splenda, so to speak, a little water, and we’ve got lemonade, which tastes quite good and, on a hot day, it’s amazingly refreshing.
So I got juiced. I was at this crossroad in my life, debating which way to go, and this lemonade truth kept stealing my attention. I refilled my glass with half-a-pitcher to go, and another thought came to mind. We have a choice. When life throws us lemons, we can choose to make lemonade, or not. Another thought chased that one:
What if we couldn’t?
What if we didn’t have a choice. Or the choice wasn’t ours to make. We’d be stuck. Literally swimming in lemon juice without lemonade or a solution or resolution in sight!
I didn’t care for the feeling, and it shot holes in my theory that I had at least a little control in my life. Don’t you hate it when that happens? When your illusions are shattered and as leaky as a sieve?
I more than didn’t like it, I hated it…but I was intrigued. So I thought about it. Okay, so you have not a pitcher full of lemon juice but a barrel full. You’re already banged up. (Can anyone get to adulthood in life without getting banged up? Unlikely. Rare, even.) So you’re chugging lemon juice from the barrel, eager to drain it and get the nastiness behind you. You’ve deciphered your problems and have progressed to looking for solutions, and you’re feeling good about that because, while the bad stuff isn’t behind you yet, you’ve made progress. You’re on your way to getting rid of it.
Only you’re not. You’ve wracked your brain and there just are no solutions. Not even one. Worse, not only have you been robbed of a solution, your choice in what to do has been stolen, too. Now what? What do you do?
That was the situation I found myself in that led me to write the Seascape novels, and Beyond the Misty Shore specifically.
Being stuck doesn’t exactly inspire you to be in the most receptive frame of mind. Sunshine is arrogant when you’re grieving, right? But isn’t it true that the worst possible time is always when important things happen? When life-changing things happen?
That’s been true in my life, and so I made it true in TJ MacGregor’s life, too. He is the hero stuck at Seascape Inn in Beyond the Misty Shore. Add more lemon juice in the form of Maggie Wright, a woman who loves to hate him, and Miss Hattie, the wise Seascape innkeeper (who seems to know everything about everything but won’t just tell anyone anything because “some things are best learned firsthand”), a colorful cast of local characters, Maine cliffs, and a little otherworldly intervention, and, well, T.J. has his work cut out for him, doesn’t he?
He did, and so did I. But don’t feel too bad for him. We’ve all tasted the tart of the juice and, you know, sometimes when we’re broken, we have to really hurt to ever get beyond the pain. We have to figure out that we can heal before we do heal.
Eventually, we get it. And when we do, magic happens. We no longer just survive. We truly live.
Like you and me, he’ll figure it out… eventually. So will Maggie. And what fun to watch without personally sucking lemons!
I’m getting a little misty here. I think I’ll pack a bag and go visit Seascape Inn again . . . just as soon as I finish this glass of lemonade. Care to join me?
That’s not a rhetorical invitation but a real one. My publisher, Bell Bridge Books, is giving away digital copies of Beyond the Misty Shore right now. You can get a free copy at Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, or Google Play in the US, UK, Canada or Australia.
Do note this novel was created years ago for the general market. It is neither Christian fiction nor a clean read novel.There is a clean read edition available in hard cover. See the book’s page for details.
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: The Marked Star and In Case of Emergency: What You Need to Know When I Can’t Tell You (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!