Tag: gospel

Stop and smell the lemons

imageSunshine, porch swings, peonies, lemonade, tea parties, beach glass, sundresses, gospel music, lazy days, hammocks, a good book, warm summer nights, drive-in movies, scenic bike rides, campfires, festivals, massages, vanilla custard, Edgewater Beach, guacamole, romance…these are a few of my favorite things.

But today is Father’s Day. So my favorite things must give way to my husband’s, which are antique cars and airplanes. Plus, its cloudy and raining right now. So there’s no sun to be had for someone who kicked off this post with sunshine.

When life sends you lemons…
Speaking of rain, no one is immune from a little drizzle, not even a romance author. I have been working hard to get MIND WAVES into the hands of editors and agents — professionals willing to read the manuscript and provide constructive feedback. So it was with no small measure of excitement last week that I clicked on an email message from an editor who indicated that she had read the first part of the story.

And didn’t like it. Not one bit.

The message described several major issues with the writing — from shifting points of view to a lack of clear focus and not enough dialogue that moves the action along. It is clear from her message that if I hope to have a chance of publishing the story, I’ll need to go back to the drawing board and do some rewriting. Probably, a lot of rewriting. Maybe the whole thing. I have some work ahead.

At first I felt deflated, like one of those saggy helium balloons left over from a party. And then, I started to think about it, and I began to see her email in a more positive light. True, I have a lot of work ahead. But she wasn’t trying to tear the story apart. No. She was offering constructive criticism — feedback that I can use to get better.

So, I wrote her back.
I thanked her for reading the manuscript and told her that I was going to follow it. I mentioned that I have been working hard to improve my writing and am seeing the results of this in the second story, CROSS WAVES, which I would love to share with her when ready.

And guess what? She wrote me back and told me to send the second manuscript to her, too.

…make lemonade.
Yes, I still have work ahead. But somehow, I feel like I made progress. Because now I have some advice to use to get better. And I have a editor willing to take a look and work with me. Really, for a first-time author, this cup of lemonade sure tastes sweet.

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Let your little light shine

image“This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.”

Sing with me now.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.”

Great little gospel tune, isn’t it? It was written by composer and teacher Harry Dixon Loes around 1920. Most claim it takes its source from the bible when Jesus tells his listeners, “You are the light of the world.”

I heard it often as a child and always thought of it as a metaphor for our spirit or soul — a nice idea or sentiment but not meant for listeners to take literally.

BUT (and there’s always a big BUT when it comes to the paranormal), what if there is a light that shines forth from each of us, unseen by the naked eye, but real, nonetheless? And what if YOU were one of the few that could see it?

That’s the difficulty facing the heroine in my current work in progress, CROSS WAVES. Not only does she see lights around everyone she meets, but each person’s light gives off a different color that helps her make sense of what they are thinking and feeling. And she is so talented at this particular skill, that she can track missing persons by drawing their light to herself. Sound intriguing?

Of course, every good fantasy novel has some basis in reality. In the real world, proponents of the little light call it an “aura,” and they claim that certain gifted individuals can see it. Others say the lights are caused by a medical issue, such as a migraine or neural disorder, and are not magical or mystical.

I would call it all hogwash, accept (gulp, out with it Amanda), I have seen them frequently myself. When I first noticed the strange lights hovering around my teachers and classmates in grade school, I referred to them as my “bad eyes.” I figured I would stop seeing them when I received my first pair of glasses and contacts in high school.

BUT… the lights didn’t stop
Rather, they grew in intensity, and as I got older, I saw them more frequently and in strange venues — conference rooms, restaurants, rock concerts, etc.

To me, the lights appear to correspond to an individual’s energy level, which is why I think I tend to see them around public speakers, who typically are energized. Often, they are colorless or white, but I have seen the lights as blue, green, orange and black.

Is it the shape or construction of my eyes that cause the lights? Do I have a medical problem? Or am I being fanciful in imagining there is something more?

Maybe, it’s a little of each. Whatever the cause, I hope I’m fanciful enough to produce a novel that will keep your interest and stay with you long after the final pages have been turned.

So, let your little light shine. But remember, someone could be watching.

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