Every book has it's own personality. Characters show off all different quirks, scenery whispers anything from forest breezes to salty ocean waves. The best stories aren't the ones that stunned you with their prose. They are the ones that left you feeling out of breath and a little like you stepped into another world.
Over the years, I've found that with every change of season I start craving certain books. Maybe because the first time I read that particular one, the lilacs were blooming. Or my sister bought me another and I read it on a rainy day...
Today, I've gathered up a little collection of my favorite reads for a summery afternoon, old-fashioned, new, and everything in between.
Being a writer is hard.
I admit it.
I am an author. I've tried to be other things and it didn't go well. Bursts of imagination set me on fire, characters leap out at me from the pages and tug me along on their adventures. Stories run in my veins, but that doesn't mean they come easy. Sometimes, to get those stories out, I have to sweat. I have to cry. I have to bleed.
Anytime you pour that much heart and passion into anything, you risk something. Hope is a driving force, a spark that makes your heart beat faster and thrusts you onto journeys you never thought possible. When it shatters, it takes some time to piece together again. Hope is terrifying.
War stories have always intrigued me. I understand that too often war is sugar-coated and romanticized by those who have never experienced it. War is darkness and death, yet we read stories of it to be reminded that even in the most devastating of times, there is hope. There is courage, there is goodness, there is redemption where we least expect it.
The deeper darkness is, the brighter light will shine.
I am thrilled to announce that three incredibly gifted authors of World War II fiction have agreed to partner with me in giving away one of their books! Each story weaves the gritty days of war with a strand of beauty amidst ashes and will leave you breathless.
Spring is humming on the air, my windows are open as I type, and bursts of sunlight are dancing across my bedroom floor.
There is something beautiful about the sunshine, the way it soaks into my skin the moment I step outside, how it bathes every facet of nature in pale brilliance, and transforms morning dewdrops into flecks of gold.
There is something beautiful in seeing God's creation flourish in the role it was meant to fill. It leaves me wondering how radiant life would be if I spent more time focused on glorifying Christ rather than myself.
I stumbled across a favorite quote by George MacDonald along that vein of thought: "The flower expressed what God was thinking of when He made it; the face, what the girl was thinking of herself. When she ceased thinking of herself, then, like the flower, she would show what God was thinking of when He made her."
a writing update...
April has become a historically productive month for this writer. There is nothing like a fresh breath of spring to get me motived. I have spent countless hours on my novel, polishing the rough edges, discovering new rules of grammar, and even letting myself enjoy my favorite scenes all over again.
Besides that, I have been writing more for the Unlocked devotional and also submitted to an up-and-coming magazine that I am excited to tell you about in the near future!
Now that all of my deadlines have been met for the first quarter, I am finally letting myself drop exhausted to the floor with a notebook while I plot my next story. So far it has included character sketches, pages of research, and spur-of-the-moment letters between my two main characters--all of which now litter my desk. It's beautiful. :)
Sometimes it's worth meeting those deadlines simply so I can sit down and enjoy the stillness.
the rest of life...
The in-between moments are a swirl of iced blueberry tea, handfuls of colored pens, the odd hour of laundry and podcasts, morning walks and horse-training sessions, days spent experimenting in the kitchen, and coaxing hymns out of the piano.
A goal of mine for this year was to read more historical fiction. Initially, I just wanted to steep myself more thoroughly in the genre of my craft. I ended up reading a dozen books simply for the fun of it. I have been loving Tessa Afshar's Biblical fiction and am re-reading one of my favorites, Stepping Heavenward.
I am also rediscovering the joy of digging into God's Word. That joy is something I find that I have to keep chasing and forging every day of my life. It is all too easy to skip a day and realize that I have stumbled back two steps when I could have tiptoed forward one.
How has your year been thus far? Are you enjoying these first weeks of spring? I would love to catch up! Until then, blessings!
I once stumbled across the idea of assigning a word to each new year. Be it a character trait you hope to develop, a challenge you want to overcome, or a goal you would like to reach, narrowing down a single word that you want to define your year does wonders to put things in perspective.
But at the beginning of January, I looked back, trying to remember what my resolutions were a year ago, and instead accidentally assigned a word to my 2020. Considering the fact that the year is over, and in retrospect was nothing like I imagined it would be, this one word was backed by a dozen stories, a thousand emotions, and weighed on my heart as I tried to decide where I go from here. How does one look back on disappointment and still race ahead with joy?
In a word: remember.