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Dreams…

Dreams are what motivate us to do great things, or even simple things that make us happy. Dreams can take us to the moon, or inspire us to open our own business, or move to a new place – dreams can also encourage us to become something more than we are, such as a teacher, or a writer, or a mother…

We all have different dreams, things that we want more than anything else, things that quicken us… For Sarah this dream was to become a mother, she wanted that more than anything else – the problem was finding a guy to have children with. At 27 she begins to wonder if her dream will ever come true. She feels her dream is behind schedule, and begins to worry that it’s becoming out of reach…

Turning our dreams into reality takes a lot of hard work and can take a bit of facing fears and new situations that could throw us off track if we let them. Dreams take a lot of focus, and most of the time they take all the dreamer has inside to make them come true…

 

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!!

 

Excerpt from New Parish:

“The frustration of it all boiled over in Sarah’s mind so she decided to go for a walk to try and clear her head.

            The cool air and busy sidewalks were almost enough to distract her mind from the pervading thoughts of how much this plural marriage thing could go wrong. She wanted to believe that things could be as wonderful as Mary said they were, but she knew how people could be, especially men… her thoughts went to, “Maybe I should just drop the whole thing,” then the idea of dating again entered her thoughts which almost made her nauseous. Then the thought of giving up on her dream of having kids and a family came to her mind. A tear rolled down her face, which she quickly brushed away, that thought was the saddest one she’d ever had…

            Sarah looked up at the sky and saw a plane flying west, she knew she would be on one soon… flying west. She breathed out a sigh and with a new resolve walked back to her apartment.”   

Changing Seasons

As Spring is rapidly approaching my thoughts wander off to the changing of the seasons. Everyone has their favorite season, mine is Fall or Autumn if one is formal. That’s where New Parish begins, I don’t think I planned it that way on purpose, but maybe that’s where it began because of my love of Fall. Oh, I like the other seasons too and they’re all present in my book New Parish, but I’ve always enjoyed Fall the best. Sarah enjoys Fall with her family in Savannah for Thanksgiving then the story moves on to Winter. Winter is nice, I like the cooler weather, but it can get too cold and have other challenges, such as wild winter storms. Sarah’s first visit to New Parish is in the winter, this visit, isn’t just fun, but very enlightening…  Sarah’s first winter in New Parish becomes an inner journey of winter changing into Spring. Spring is nice, it’s like life begins again, after a long time of barrenness… Sarah’s first Spring in New Parish is by far the most unique one she’s ever experienced, I won’t give spoilers… Spring is also a prelude to Summer. Summer can be nice in New Parish, early in the morning and late in the evening, after the sun goes down, but it can get too hot and has lots of insects that like to munch on a person. I don’t talk about the insects much in my book, New Parish, there’s way too many other things to be getting on with. As summer fades in New Parish the cycle begins again, and Fall returns with a whole new situation…

Of all the seasons we enjoy in New Parish or anywhere else I remain firm in my love of Fall, it’s cool but not too cold, there are still flowers hanging around, and it kicks off the holiday season, which if I’m honest is really my favorite season…

I hope everyone will enjoy all the seasons in Sarah’s journey to New Parish!

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish: Winter was Sarah’s first season in New Parish

“The next day after breakfast Sarah and Mary decided to get out and explore some of the community and enjoy the snow that had fallen. Several of Mary’s little brothers and sisters tagged along with them. They were all bundled up in coats, scarves, gloves, and boots. Sarah laughed at herself and the rest of the gang, they were definitely prepared. Sarah had already decided that the community was quite beautiful but now with a blanket of snow it seemed like a picture postcard of a Christmas village from long ago. There was even a wooden wagon with red painted wheels going down the road pulled by two large chocolate brown horses, it was all very picturesque.”

Connections…

Have you ever pondered the connections we make throughout our lives? I do sometimes, and the pondering of these connections seems to spread out like an intricate spider web of experiences reaching from one encounter to another… When we’re children we form connections based on what we need or want, that doesn’t change much when we’re adults. We still form connections with others who can provide us with something we need or want – whether that something is friendship, or romance, or simply a bridge from where we are to where we want to be. 

As these connections form we grow, we learn, we experience… our lives become fuller, more defined, and even sometimes more complicated. It’s not always easy to leave the comfortable connections we’re sure of – the ones we’ve known for a long time, and take hold of the new connections that will expand ourselves and our lives. But, as we move forward with these new connections we can look back and find that some of those old connections have become more sure and solid – we find in the end we haven’t lost anything, only grown and gained so much more.

In my book New Parish Sarah worries about her connections, the old ones with her family and the new ones she’s forming with her new friends and the new way of life she’s planning to undertake. I hope you enjoy finding out how she handles all of her connections…

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

“What came next was her family’s version of a full on intervention. Upon entering the kitchen Sarah found the whole family assembled, “Hey, what’s up?” she asked casually hoping for the best.

            Her older brother Dave, spoke first, “What are you thinking? Going out west to join a commune, and be a part of a cult? I thought you were smarter than that.”

            Sarah laughed, “I’m thinking more than you are! I’ve never depended on your opinion to gage my intelligence. I’ve been doing the research and asking questions, what do you base your information on?”

            He didn’t reply, Sarah’s father spoke next, “Are you serious about this or is this some kind of practical joke? If this is a joke, it’s not funny.”

            “It’s not a joke, Dad, I met this very nice girl at the children’s center, where I volunteer, and she’s from out there. So, we got to talking, she told me about where she’s from and I got curious about it. I’ve had a lot of bad dates lately, well, for several years, there’s just a limited number of decent guys and I haven’t been able to find one, so I thought this might be an option. I haven’t decided on anything yet, but, I’m considering it seriously,” Sarah tried to explain her side of this obviously now blown out of proportion story.

            “So, you’re really thinking about marrying a man who is already married?” Hannah asked.

            “That’s disgusting!” interjected Brenda.

            “Whatever…” Sarah shrugged.

            Hannah spoke up to explain her question, “I didn’t mean it was disgusting,” she eyed Brenda with an annoyed look. “I meant that it could be complicated. What if his other wife or wives don’t like you, or you don’t like them? That could be really complicated.”

            “I’ve talked with the leader out there about a lot of that stuff. There’s ways to deal with it, and the girl always has options, and choices,” Sarah explained.

            Most of the family was shaking their heads in the negative by this time. Sarah was wondering what was going to happen next and how much longer it would take the kids to get into the attic, when a loud bang from that direction shook the house. Everyone in the kitchen could hear the kids shouting and laughing from above.

            “The kids are in the attic!” Brenda shouted with panic in her voice, as everyone except Sarah and Hannah ran out of the room.

            Sarah and Hannah exchanged smiles, “Good save,” Hannah accused Sarah.

            “I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sarah feigned innocence.

            “Did you tell them about the old sea captain?” asked Hannah.

            Sarah smiled, “Yep.”

            “Yeah, the others don’t know you like I do, or they’d have sorted that out,” smiled Hannah. “I figured that you’d have some sort of distraction worked out before coming in here. You were a master at it, when we were kids.”

            “A girl’s gotta survive somehow,” Sarah replied.

            They laughed and waited for the others to rejoin them. When the rest of the family returned the energy of the intervention was flattened.

            Sitting down at the kitchen table where there was lots of food in the middle of being prepared, Sarah’s dad said, “Are you really serious about this polygamy thing?”

            “I’m serious about finding out about it, and, if I want to be involved in it,” acknowledged Sarah. “I want to know for sure it’s what I want before I make any decisions about it. I want to have kids and have a big family, but I don’t want to settle for marrying an idiot, or jerk, or worse, just to have a family.” She avoided looking at Brenda when she said this, she’d always felt Brenda had settled for the idiot she married because she had wanted to have children and be married.

            “Promise me that if there’s any abuse or mistreatment of women or girls you won’t get into polygamy. Will you promise me that?” her dad pleaded.

            “Yes, yes, Dad, I promise,” Sarah assured.”

Journeys We Take

There are many journeys we take throughout our lives. Sometimes it seems life takes us on these journeys whether we want to go or not, and sometimes we choose the journey. There are far and distant places to visit, there are unique, to us, things to do, there are huge life changes that happen, all these are journeys… journeys that we each have to make on our path to find ourselves and our home – the place we belong. Finding the place we belong isn’t an easy journey, sometimes it takes a life time to find, or sometimes it’s just outside our comfort zone – wherever it is, we’re on a quest to find it, that’s our ultimate journey…

I’ve been thinking about these journeys lately and the journey Sarah takes in my book New Parish. The journey she ends up taking isn’t at all the one she thought she’d be on in her life, or at the very least it was far outside her comfort zone. It was not only out of her comfort zone, it was across the country, against her parents wishes, and scared her a bit. Sarah’s journey begins with desire, heartache, and determination – I hope you’ll all enjoy Sarah’s journey to New Parish…

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

““What’s wrong with me?” she asked aloud in frustration. 

            Sarah’s mind went to something her new friend Mary had said when they were working together at the children’s center. Mary had mentioned her home, a place called New Parish in Arizona. Sarah had known her for a few months. Mary was only going to be there for a while longer, just until she finished her degree in early childhood development with the work study program she was involved in at the children’s center.

Sarah thought about the day she’d been complaining about the poor dating prospects and her dream of being a mom floating away from her, when Mary revealed to her that in the community she came from, the people did plural marriages. So, any girl could get a good man and not have to worry about missing out on being a mom. Mary’s descriptions of her home made it sound like a little piece of heaven, where people lived happy lives, and found their happily ever afters.

Sarah sighed, thinking of the small rural community Mary had described, “Maybe…”

The children’s center, had somehow become the hub of Sarah’s social life. She loved children and had always wanted to have a big family of her own, she knew this wasn’t a popular dream for most girls in modern times but it’d always been what she wanted… this was becoming a frustrating distant dream that she was trying very hard not to give up on. Sarah began wondering why people would choose to live that way, in plural marriage, and could she even consider it. She drifted off to sleep with a firm resolve to talk to Mary more about this community and how things work there…”

More Than One Way

All my life I’ve heard that there’s more than one way to do something. That old saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” always used to gross me out, but it has some real world applications – and some literary ones. In my book New Parish, Sarah definitely finds more than one way to live her life. She grew up in a small town, on a road where everyone knew everyone, then after college moved to Atlanta, which of course is a very large city where most people don’t know their neighbors or the person sitting next to them on the public transportation system. Then she moves to a very small community in the desert of northern Arizona which is more different than any other place she’s ever experienced – with cacti, very short trees, and a healthy smattering of cowboys…

As a writer I like to write about what I know, I’ve visited Savanah Georgia, where Sarah grew up, I’ve visited Atlanta, walked its streets and partaken of the public transportation system. I’ve also lived out west in the area where Sarah settles, and have experienced all the nuances she experiences in moving out there – everything from horse apples, to cacti, to the majestic mountains and mesas that surround the place… and have met a few cowboys along the way as well…

Beside finding more than one place to live, Sarah finds that there’s more than one way to live… finding her happily ever after gets complicated, but she finds her way there – eventually.

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish: Part of Sarah’s visit to Tybee Island

            “Before stepping from the pavement to the sand she removed her shoes so that she could enjoy every second of the experience. Tying the strings of her canvas sneakers together she hung them over the strap to her backpack which she slung over one shoulder. Her oversized blue denim shirt was perfect for this time and place. There were a few white puffy clouds in the sky of brilliant blue, the sun was shining down warming her face with its touch. The light cool breeze from the ocean fanned her long white boho skirt that hung down around her ankles. She took a deep breath and stepped out onto the sand to begin her journey toward the decision that would affect the rest of her life.

            Sarah had the beach mostly to herself, she could see a few sage gentlemen standing iconically on the pier fishing, but other than that she was alone with her thoughts and her decision.

            The white sand made a slight scrunching sound beneath her feet and she couldn’t resist digging her toes in it as she walked. The waves gently embracing the shore carried her thoughts to a place where there was no ocean – New Parish…

            Sarah sighed, “Living there would be so different, just the climate with its dry arid environment would be a challenge,” she thought. “I had to use loads more lotion when I was out there for just a few days. I could get used to that, and invest in tons of lip balm.” She pondered over the mountains and mesas of the surrounding areas of New Parish. She stopped her walk and stared out at the ocean waves in the far distance, some were creating little white caps. “It would be so far away from my family,” she thought. “I’m not one of those girls that needs to be near their mom, but living in Atlanta is near enough to go home any time I want.” Sarah sighed again, the “girl talk” session from her last night in New Parish came into her thoughts, “What if I get into a mess like some of those girls?” She walked on down the beach with her thoughts, feeling very heavy and worrisome now.”

 

 

Sisters, Friends, & Sister Wives

There have been many poems and lovely sentiments written about sisters and friends and I agree with most of them. I have a wonderful sister who I love dearly and have had some wonderful friends throughout my life that I’ve loved, and still love dearly. I can’t imagine my life without them… it would be a very lonely dreary place. I love hearing from my sister and my friends, each time I get an inner excitement and a smile always crosses my lips. That’s the way things are with Sarah and her friends and her sisters.

In my book New Parish Sarah finds help, support, and solace from her sisters, and from her friends, especially her new friend Mary, (who becomes her new BFF).

As you might have guessed by now, the story continues from New Parish, to Return to New Parish, then on to Home to New Parish, and then to Passion in New Parish… these are stories about sisters, sisters who are very different in who they are and what they’ve chosen for their lives. In turn each sister finds her way to New Parish, wondering if this is the place she can find her happily ever after… In New Parish, they make new friends and eventually consider, maybe, having sister wives… Sarah, the first sister to find her home in New Parish investigates how things work in this very different lifestyle. She hears stories about the good and the bad that can happen and wonders if the very different relationship of sister wife could be something like a combination of sister and friend… sort of. She for sure finds that these people are a bit different… She eventually shares what she learns with her sisters, some of them are supportive from the beginning some are not… but that’s how sisters are – protective, nurturing, supportive, and sometimes straight talking, opinionated, and suspicious of things that might be potentially difficult… or different.  

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

This is an email from Sarah to her sister Hannah… Hannah makes her own journey to New Parish in book 2 – Return to New Parish.

“Hi Hann

So this last week was full of things going on, the community had a social which you would have loved! It was on a real cowboy ranch with some beautiful horses, (picture attached), with a live cowboy band, a hayride, and a bon fire for me to burn marshmallows in. Which of course I did…

Brother Michael said he and the other church leaders think I should marry that cowboy that I detest… I threw a real fit and said there was no way I was marrying him, then I calmed down and promised Brother Michael that I would try to give him (the cowboy) a small second chance. I really can’t stand him, the cowboy I mean not Brother Michael, he’s everything I decided long ago I would never get involved with ever again. He’s a macho, self centered, nethanderthal man who thinks that the world revolves around him and what he wants, you know the type the ones with no real higher level thinking just testosterone and me Tarzan you Jane. Oh well I’m sure Brother Michael will see soon that this just won’t work.

Anyways back to the party, Mary insisted I try to square dance with her, you would have laughed at me so much, there would have been tears… it was going okay until I saw that cowboy in the band, he plays the guitar, I tripped over my own feet and fell on my bum… I can’t seem to keep my balance around that guy… Yeah I know you would have fell over laughing at me then too.

Okay, so work is going pretty good, I have a couple of picture books I’m working on now, they are both from a series that I’ve worked on before. Living with this really big family has been amazing and fun. You wouldn’t believe how much fun!

How’s school going? Are you dating anyone yet? I know you’re really busy with all the extra classes you’re taking but you should find some time for fun… Any returned missionary prospects? 

Love ya

Sarah”

Can’t wait to share this incredible journey with everyone!

Just Around the Corner

As I’ve said before, the one thing that’s for sure in life, is that things always change. You never know what’s just around the corner… Just around the corner could be a new job, a new place to live, a new person of interest that enters your life, or a myriad of other things. My point is, just around the next corner of life, your life could change forever.

Out here in the wild west, along the Arizona Strip, things can change in an instant. There could be anything from a flash-flood, loose cows, or even a girl from the southeast showing up and shaking the place up a bit. These things happen in real life, and also in my book, New Parish.

 I’ve been the girl from the southeast that’s shook things up, and I’ve encountered loose cows, suddenly, and have seen flash-floods, from a distance. Life brings us surprises we’re not expecting just around the corner… Sarah finds many surprises on her journey to happiness, in New Parish.

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

A couple of Sarah’s just around the corner events in New Parish:

“After soaking in a tub of very warm water for a very long time and her body starting to feel like it could actually be warm again, Sarah thought, “Albert is a really nice guy, he would be a great husband…” She removed herself from the tub and wrapped a very soft bathrobe around her still wet body, while slowly drying off. The memory of the “incident” kept running over in her mind, “Why didn’t I move?” she thought, “How could something like that really happen? Why was I so mesmerized by that silly cowboy?” She let out and exasperated, “Ah! I hope I never see him again!””

…….

Later in the story:

““I feel like I’ve stepped into a Louis L’Amour novel,” Sarah said looking around at all the cowboys and horses.

            The cowboy band was playing and there was a square dance going, Mary said, “Come on let’s go!”

            Sarah said, “No way, I’ve never dosey doed in my life. I don’t know how,” trying to excuse herself from this activity.

            Mary grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the dance area in front of the wooden stage the band was on, “I’ll show you, it’s fun!” she said laughing.

            Sarah had an inner dread that she was not only going to dosey doe for the first time, but that Mary had much more confidence in her abilities than she did.

            Mary had her twirling around the grassy dance area in no time. They were both laughing at her many mistakes, and having so much fun. Then Sarah saw one of cowboys on the stage… it was Max, he was playing the guitar, and smiling at her. He was wearing a black cowboy hat with a silver and turquoise band around it, a white shirt with a bolo tie, and a black leather jacket. Her mind had inventoried him quickly and then lost all cohesiveness. After that she lost her footing, causing her right foot to trip over her left foot, she landed on the ground with a thud. “Oh, I hate him,” she thought picking herself up from the ground quickly. Mary tried to help her up while trying to hide the fact that she was almost doubling over laughing at her.

            “Seems you’re always falling for him,” Mary teased.

            Sarah was even more embarrassed to know that Mary had seen the cause of her fall, “Thanks, that helps,” she replied half way laughing too.”

Storms…

Every now and then we all have to deal with storms. Whether they are internal or external – they happen. It seems there have been a lot of weather related storms lately around our country… these storms can bring challenges, stress, and even serious consequences. Our internal storms can bring much of the same things into our lives, whether we are dealing with internal storms or weather related ones – we must go through them…  Sometimes in life our inner storms can be like a hurricane, with inner thunder rolling through us with a vengeance and unexpected lightning strikes that bring us to our knees. Then we reach the eye of the storm and get a short respite from it all, we might even think the storm has ended, then we get hit with the ravages of the back-end of the storm… things are never the same after one of those kinds of storms. We change, we make decisions, we sort out the aftermath… then we move forward.

Sarah faces both an inner and an external storm in my book New Parish, it’s the inner storm that changes her forever…

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

            “Sarah pulled her sandals off and got up, she started walking down the beach trying to clear her head of the emotions she was fighting, she could feel the sand beneath her feet which was a little comforting. The wind started blowing, making her scarf float behind her like a flag of surrender. Anger began cropping up first on her emotions list, for allowing herself to get tricked into that situation, embarrassment was next for what he’d tried to do, then sadness, frustration, disappointment, and back to loneliness… Her thoughts raced through questions that she didn’t want to answer, but had been plaguing her for a while, “What do I really want? What if I can’t do plural marriage? Is this my only option? Can I really do this? Am I desperate? Am I nuts?!? What if I have to live my life alone? What if I never get to be a mom?” Sarah hugged herself trying to calm down, she’d lost all sense of peace she felt as if a storm were beginning to rage inside her… she looked up to see the stars, that always comforted her, but there were no stars tonight just dark storm clouds above her. She felt tiny drops of rain lightly touching her face, she remembered she hadn’t checked the weather forecast, she’d let herself become distracted. She knew not to be out on the beach when the rain starts up. She quickened her pace as the wind increased its speed. The rain got heavier, she ran as fast as she could, the tiny drops turned into huge drops in a torrential down pour.

            Completely drenched and soaked through, she reached for the door knob to the condo. As she closed the door the thunder sounded so loud she could feel the vibration from it in her stomach. She ran to the bathroom and stepping into the bathtub quickly peeled the wet clothes from her now shaking, shivering body. She shoved her clothes to the end of the tub with her foot and turned on the hot water. It quickly heated up, the warmth of the water washed over her body and slowly stilled her shivers. She stood there in the warm water for a long time secretly wishing it could wash away the feelings that were growing inside her. She heard the thunder sound loudly again and jumped. She felt like the storm inside her was gaining strength… she turned off the water and grabbed a big fluffy towel to wrap around her. She quickly dried off and ran to the bedroom to put on her pajamas.   

            Looking out the window Sarah could see the wind blowing wildly as the rain pounded the windows and everything else outside. The storm outside was gaining strength…”

Glitches

Computers aren’t the only things that have glitches…

As I pondered the “new updates” that had to be installed on my computer last night (they took all night and most of the morning), I thought of how our lives have glitches as well. There are many different kinds of glitches in life, health problems, accidents, or a good dose of Murphy’s Law happening to you. We all have to deal with them in one way or another, and in one way or another they define who we are…

In my book New Parish, Sarah runs into one glitch after another in trying to live her dream. The biggest glitch is finding a decent man to marry and have a family with, but there are many more glitches, such as dating problems, family interventions, animal accidents, the wrong guy, the right guy who she thinks if the wrong guy, a couple of storms, and finally finding the life she always wanted in a very different situation.

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

“Sarah gathered herself together as best she could and began walking toward the stall which looked like it would be too close quarters for her and the cowboy. With her focus on the stall she didn’t see what was on the barn floor just ahead of her. The second step she took, her foot stepped into something soft and slimy. Her foot slid forward and upward, the rest of her went backward and downward… hard. As she lay there on the floor of the barn with the aroma of what she’d stepped in wafted strongly around her she thought, “It just figures!””

Glitches happen… so if you find any glitches in this post… glitches happen, especially when we’re not expecting them.

Places That Haven’t Changed in Over a Hundred Years…

I’ve recently visited some places that haven’t changed in over a hundred years. They still look the way they did when the earliest pioneers came out west to settle the place. The raw rustic beauty was amazing, in some places you could see forever, in some places you were near walls of mesas that jutted up from the ground to the heights where eagles fly. These places reminded me of friendships I’ve had over the years, some friendships I know will go on forever, and some have elevated me to new heights… Each new friendship we make in our lives has the possibility to do that for us – be something that will last forever and or lift us to new heights.

In my book New Parish Sarah finds new friends that will last forever and lift her to new heights… It all begins with her new friend Mary who comes out to Atlanta to do her work study for the teaching program she’s in. Mary is from a community out west where they live differently, well… they live marriage a little differently. Mary tells Sarah about plural marriage in her community, New Parish, and about life out there. This leads Sarah into an investigation that will change her life forever and lift her to new heights…

New Parish Coming Soon!!!!

Excerpt from New Parish:

“Sarah looked in the full-length mirror to check herself out, everything was great except her hair, she frowned.

            Mary noticed, “You look lovely. What’s wrong?”

            “My hair,” Sarah complained grabbing a handful of her hair on each side of her head, “I’ve never really been able to tame it. I usually just pull it back into a pony tail because that’s the extent of my hair prowess, but this is an occasion I wish I had more skills with hair.”

            “I’ll do it for you,” Mary cheerily volunteered, “What sort of “do” do you want?”

            Sarah laughed, “I have no idea.”

            “Humm, okay let’s see what you like. We can try a few different styles if that’s okay?” Mary suggested.

            “It’s more than okay,” Sarah said gratefully.

            Mary smiled and held up a brush in one hand and a comb in the other, and said, “Let’s do this.”

            The next half hour was spent showing Sarah different styles of “up dos”. When one was finally selected Sarah looked at herself again in the mirror, holding another mirror so she could see the back of her hair too, “Wow, I didn’t know my hair could look that pretty.” They both laughed and quickly gathered their jackets to go.”