I’ve always loved mosaics. I find them at summertime garage sales. I gravitate towards them when I’m buying remembrances from our summer vacations. I’ve inherited afew when relatives have died.

When I don’t find actual mosaics, I gravitate towards mosaic-like images. What is a quilt, if not a mosaic made with fabrics?

A stone wall if not a mosaic made with rocks?

Stained glass windows if not a mosaic made with bits of colorful glass?

Just like jigsaw puzzles, I like mosaics because they’re bits and pieces – nothing pretty by themselves – that when put together, become beautiful.

As a writer, my hope is that my books – mosaics of words and thoughts woven together in such a way that they’re pleasing to the soul -reflect that same sort of beauty.

Some would say that my collection of would be candidates for mosaic creations is just one more way that I feed my pack-rat tendencies. That’s me… I can’t throw anything away, even when it’s broken. As I writer, I also cling to things. I remember things that happen to me, people I’ve known, sights I’ve seen, and file them away to be included in a book someday. Nothing gets deleted from my memory banks permanently. Even when I purposely hit delete, it seems my thoughts and remembrances hide away in a cache somewhere, ready to resurface when the moment is right.

I’ve written 8 books. There are several more floating around in my head, random snippets of life, experiences, and emotions waiting to beorganized into a mosaic of words.

Someday, I’m going to make my own china mosaics, too. I’ve got the materials. I’ve been buying up flat-faced photo frames on clearance so I can cover them with mosaic wonderfulness. I have the tools. I even bought a nipper. Now I just need the time. Summertime is too busy. Maybe a winter project. (I’ve been saying that for at least 10 years…)

In the meantime, when someone breaks a piece of china at the Blue Belle Inn, I try not to hyperventilate. Then, as I look at the broken shards and the shattered pieces, I console myself with dreams of mosaic-fronted fireplaces and coffee tables covered in mosaic splendor.

I’ve seen mosaics embedded with Scrabble letters, sea shells, sea glass, pebbles, stained glass, beads, jigsaw puzzle pieces, driftwood, andcharms.

Some pieces are dimensional, and may even include half of a teacup, part of a special wine bottle, or some other precious object. Seeing the creative things other people think of always inspires me and gives me license to pick up pretty rocks, sea shells, and bits of this and thatwherever we wander.

I guess making mosaics out of my broken china is like making lemonade out of lemons. In many cases, so is writing a book. If those broken bitsand pieces can become a cherished memory, if a broken heart can be reshaped into a beautiful book, what better way to preserve the fragments of the past? What better way to tell the stories of our lives?

(Water Lily by Sherrie Hansen is scheduled to be released in June of 2010)