I'm sitting in front of a warm, glowing fire. Everyone else in the house - meaning husband, the big, barky dog, and the demanding cat have curled up and fallen asleep. I have reading by the fire on my schedule, but first I wanted to share a few things with family, friends, and readers.
Writers often hear that readers want to peek inside their lives and that their blogs are a good place to do that. To share a little of what's on our minds. Sometimes writers are very, very good about 'branding' their blog. It takes on a certain tone, flavor, or interest and that is a very popular thing for everyone. My blogs don't do much more than take on the tone and flavor of the week I'm currently in and whatever season I happen to be journeying through on the moment. Case in point -
Here's my moment.
As many of you know two incredible young men in my life are in the military and have been deployed this past year. One to Afghanistan and the other to Iraq - so my greatest news and blessing is that both my sons are on home ground in America!!! This week my mother heart will rest easier than in has in many moons gone. I am exceedingly blessed beyond measure. My heart of understanding goes out to all the wives, mothers, father, sisters, girlfriends, children, and so on forever, who have loved ones serving in foreign places. My prayers for their safe keeping and safe return are with you.
Other things on my heart are my recent travels to book clubs, including the Metro Church in Marietta, GA. (And the questions and comments were so amazing from the readers on Saints In Limbo that I must recapture them and post those on my site) visiting Denise Hildreth's beautiful group the Whole Woman Revolution in Franklin (and having the honor of hearing her teach), and then having a full weekend of visiting with the Waterbrook (Random House) team in Nashville. They did an incredible job of escorting eleven of my fellow authors to visit Ingram books and to escort us to signings at Davis Kidd and two Lifeway stores in the area. Now, with two separate birthday celebrations for husbands birthday, a day of turning leaves, football and long walks we took along the Cumberland, it is indeed time to snuggle in for a little quiet reflection. What the week has given me is many new faces and friends across the transom of my life. And for good reason - I count that well.
Earlier in the week I received news that a dear friend passed away. She was somewhere in her seventies, had fought several different battles with cancer, was one of my trusted first readers of early manuscripts, and had one of the greatest attitudes about living life to the fullest that I've ever seen. When I think of Janis, I think of light - as if she was made of that essence. Even in the midst of one cancer fight and losing all of her hair, she painted her head with henna tattoos and soldiered on with pizazz and at style that was all her own. Her message seemed to always be one of joy in life, in travels, and yes, even in the midst of sorrow. I pray that her example will become mine. That all the blessings I have in this life will not be taken for granted. That her ability to find joy and share it is not beyond my possibility - somber child that I am. I pray to have a touch of that wild and wonderful spirit that Janis so easily possessed. And to share it as easily and readily with the world around me.
The morning after the news reached me I dropped into a salon and in the process met a new friend for the first time. I hope it won't be my last and if she reads this that she'll remember to look me up so we can have that cup of coffee we talked about. She is a wonderful, lively, funny 87 years old. That's the way Janis would want it. For me to celebrate her life to the fullest by making a new friend, breaking bread with them, and sharing the stories that lay between us.
As we move deeper into the season of Thankfulness, and towards holidays that can sometimes engulf us and busy us, I encourage you to read some great words, cherish your people, and make new connections within the community around you. My travels will soon take me to Dahlonega for the book festival in Dahlonega, Georgia, then to Southern Writers Reading event in Fairhope, Alabama. Please join me if these great events are anywhere near your hometown. We are in this thing called life together and you just finding these words and reading them links our lives together. It's an amazing journey full of surprises and the wildest of rides.
Keep reading, keep dreaming, and keep believing!