When you write, everything relates—it’s all fodder. Every single incident, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time, eventually relates. Sometimes incidents combine and we don’t notice them. We’re too busy with the mundane details in life. Sometimes we ignore them, because to notice them requires we step outside our comfort zones and actually do something we don’t want to do.
But then there are other times. Ones when we are graced (or body-slammed) with these magnificent insights.
At times those insights flow over us like heated silk and, like the butterfly, we emerge from them transformed. At other times, we rebuff the wisdom and then too often we’re later sorry for having done so.
But we shouldn’t be sorry, and I guess that’s the message in this–at least, for me. We get what we need when we get it and when we need it.
That’s been the case with me in understanding relationships, in seeing the forces that drive healthy ones into a bond that runs so deep it’s hard to tell where one person stops and the other starts.
I’m not talking about the physical chemistry between two people, I’m talking about the merging of lives, the compassion and understanding, the striving to be understood.
The comfort and joy of a relationship so special it can’t truly be grasped by anyone outside it. Love is powerful, able to contend with the worst and best in life. Able to overcome horrific circumstances and trials, and seeing two people work together to face what comes, well, that’s a beautiful thing. This happens in many romance and inspirational novels.
Sometimes to gain insights in life or to catch that lucky break, we have to wait for events and wisdom to line up like the proverbial ducks, so that we have the foundation we need to be able to grasp and interpret accurately the value and worth of what’s coming to us. That happens often in romance, inspirational and women’s fiction novels.
Perhaps, if we grasped the wisdom too soon, we would misinterpret it. Then, in following it as we inaccurately perceive it, we miss the true wisdom and it misses its proper place in our lives. We do more harm than good. Miss out on the best.
These are common meanderings that have gone through my mind while reading mysteries and inspirational and thriller and romance novels. While searching for answers as to why things happen as they do.
As a writer, I’ve spent a lot of time in the past two decades wondering about a lot of things. I’ve studied a lot of topics and subjects, places and history. I’ve jumped with both feet (on a wing and prayer) into situations that were far outside my comfort zone. I’ve learned a lot. About the power of love, the redemption possible in it, about cause and effect, consequences for actions (and inactions), and about forgiveness. Understanding. And so much more.
In writing about this now, I realize what I’ve most experienced are those amazing moments of grace that bypass the mind and speak straight to the heart.
Characters, like real people, have all kinds of experiences that shape them into the people they become. They’re more complex. They’ve known sadness and joy, they’ve feasted and hungered, they’ve lived. They’ve been kicked hard for crossing proverbial lines. And they’ve been blessed with unexpected moments of grace.
Whether in reading a novel or in living a life, we all have amazing opportunities to embrace a moment of grace. Sometimes we want to embrace these moments and we do, and sometimes we’re inspired to, yearn to embrace them, but for some reason, we let those moments pass.
We know too that there are times when opportunities only knock once. I’m reminded of a woman who in her old age was asked why she never married. She responded that because the last time she’d been asked, she hadn’t known it was going to be the last time she would be asked.
That moment came to mind in a novel I recently read and I worried, hoping that the character hadn’t blown off her one chance to be content and loved.
As I got nearer and nearer to the end of the book–just pages away–I had absolute knots in my stomach because there was no sign of that second chance. I prayed, pleaded, begged, but it just wasn’t happening. And honestly, the writer in me was pitching a fit inside and I was grumbling. XYZ (the author) had better not leave me hanging. I’ve trudged through the muck with this character and I want a happy ending!
The writer, woman and justice-seeking human being in me dove deep into full out rebellion and mutiny was but a few pages away.
Don’t give up. Don’t give up! I told myself that over and over. I hung onto hope by a thin thread, but this was a romantic thriller novel. Of course, I dared to hope. Of course I did.
And then, on the second to last page, there it was. That moment of grace.
And she took it.
So I suppose it’d be safe to say I’ve learned a lot both reading and writing novels. About love, about people, about life.
And I’ve learned that when you write, it is all fodder and merit wears many faces in many places in all moments of grace. ❖
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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: Survive the Night (romantic suspense), Duplicity (mystery/thriller), One Way to Write a Novel (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. Contact.