Saturday, June 11, 2016
For Writers & Everyone Else
I'm pretty sure writers will understand this post, and I think everyone else will too.
I had a story, the story of my heart, that weighed on me for years. It was always in the back of my mind, asking me to write it. I wanted to, but I was busy, or the time wasn't right or publishers wanted something else from me. For years I let it go. But it had to be heard and finally I stepped away from everything else and went to work on the story of my heart.
It wasn't easy. The characters had to be real and quirky and fun. They were together in most scenes. Research required a cross country trip. The book was contemporary and all I'd written was historical. It was personal and revealed my soul. It was risky. And I had to get it right.
I did it. And I felt good about that book.
To Dance With Dolphins is the story I had to tell. It's a good story. But it's not one that at first glance is appealing to the masses. It's about people, young and old who live with mental and physical illness. They are real, they are people who suffer like so many of us do.
So, why would anyone want to spend time with characters who suffer? Read an entire book about people who fight just to get out of bed in the morning?
If sales say anything about readers, my guess is that most people don't want to spend more time where they already live. Only, they'd be wrong if they think that's all this book is about. The journey my characters take across this amazing country called America is one we should all take. It's a place to discover who we are, why we're here, and to realize there is so much to hope for and that exuberant joy exists even for the afflicted.
We all experience physical or emotional obstacles. After living with chronic pain for twenty-five years, one thing I know is that everyone has stuff. We all walk through valleys, some of them terrifying and dark, but nevertheless we walk through ... one step at a time. We also climb mountains and stand on summits and gaze at amazing vistas that make us cry because we can't believe something so beautiful even exists. We give and receive love and devotion that reminds us that goodness still flourishes on this planet where we live. And there are troubles we think we will never overcome and then we do.
We try to ignore the places we don't want to think about. The "what ifs" of life. Where there are no winners. Where our bones and souls are crushed - where God meets us. He reaches down and lifts us up, pulls us into His arms, presses us against His heart and wipes away our tears.
How extraordinary it is when we realize that with the Lord there are no losers. Whether in this life or the next, His children win.
I wrote To Dance With Dolphins because I had to. It is a story for those who have no hope. It is a place where they may find it. And for those who stand alongside the suffering I pray it will give you strength.
Mostly it is not about suffering. It is about living and discovering love, joy, and hope. It is the story of my heart, the one I had to tell. I want people to read it. I pray people will read it.
Grace and peace to you from God,
You can purchase the book here: http://amzn.to/1PkPGu2