You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2012.

LOVE NOTES has been released and let loose in the world, and I am ready to move on. But to where? And to what? I am lost and don’t know where to go.

To Scotland?

To Florida?

To Denmark and the Faroe Islands?

Do I revisit Anders and Bjorn, Jensen and the Christiansens in Daybreak in Denmark?

Do I get to know Rose, who is wild, and Ted, the vicar, who is not, but so wants to be, in Wild Rose of Scotland?

I have plenty of inspiration to write about a host of quirky church ladies, should I decide to visit St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe.

Or should I finish Blue Belle of Scotland? I already know Aileana, the blue belle from Virginia, lost, like me, in Tobermory, Scotland.

I know Damen and his secrets. I know Micheal St. Dawndelyn and his. Believe me, he has more than a few. Not as dark as Damen’s, but shady enough. Blue Belle of Scotland scares me. Too much nakedness, too frightening, too close to home.

If I go to Florida, I have my setting, the sand swells of the beach, the Pink Palace rising up from sea level like a treasure chest half swamped in sand, but overflowing with gems.

I know the Everglades – birds of every color, plants, water.

Alligators lurking everywhere you look.

But that is it. This book has no name. I have a plot, a conflict, and I know who the characters will be, but I don’t know them. They are also nameless.

I don’t know what they’re like, what they like to do, what they like to eat, if they’re on Facebook, what they wear, what color hair and eyes they have. They are strangers to me.

So do I want to spend some time with strangers, and hopefully, make some new friends, or do I want to see what my dear old friends are up to. There is comfort in the familiar. Do I feel brave and gregarious, or timid and shy?

I am lost. I have no idea which way to turn. The friendly folks of Embarrass, Minnesota have opened their arms to me in a warm welcome, but I cannot stay there. I must go out into the world, explore new places, see new things. It is what it is.

Will it be warm, balmy Florida, cool ocean breezes, palm trees and swamps, sand and seashells?

Or is it the stiff winds and nippy breezes, rhododendrons and wild roses, bluebells and cool, deep, waters of the highlands that call out to me?

Hairy coos and tidal pools, stolen loot and whiskeyed-up fools. Kilts and bagpipes and monsters lurking in the depths. That’s what Scotland is made of.

But then, there are those tall, magnificently blond Danes with sun-washed eyes of blue, oceans and time, still keeping lovers at bay. Babies and boys and a whole new world… Denmark calls me. It is the land of my ancestors.

Each place has its allure. So many stories waiting to be told. I don’t know which way to turn. I need more time, an extra set of hands, a spare brain.

I know Cristina wants to go to Florida. She loves it there. We were there, together, when the plot hatched.

Helle and Villiam want me to come to Denmark. They know me well. It is where my heart is. Ancient ties.

Mark wants to go back to Scotland. It’s golf. Always has been, always will be. His mistress. And I so loved the tea houses, the castles, the history, the shoppes. It is the perfect place to be with Mark, so appealing to each of us.

So what will it be? At the moment, I just want some Swedish meatballs, with a big old scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy. Hold the Lingonberry jelly, please.

But a good Scottish breakfast sounds good, too. Cumberland sausages, and that wonderful smoked haddock pie with mashed potatoes and shredded cheese on top.

Or some chocolates, hand made in Tobermory.

But Florida has healthy, Whole Foods. Key Lime Pie. And fresh oranges.

It all sounds so good! Can you see why I’m confused?

Please share your thoughts. Where, oh, where, should I go?

Advertisements

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I’ve had a whirlwind blog tour going on in honor of the June release of my first inspirational novel, LOVE NOTES. I’ve posted the links to each article below. If you haven’t already, please join me! (For your reading enjoyment, I worked very hard to make sure each article is different.)

If LOVE NOTES sounds interesting, you can purchase a paperback or electronic  copy at my publisher’s website or in any format you like at at Amazon.com or Smashwords.com. Enjoy!

Interview at Andrea Boeshaar’s Everything Writerly blog

Excerpt from LOVE NOTES at Pat Bertram’s Dragon My Feet blog

Interview about how Maud Hart Lovelace (author of the Betsy Tacy books) and Madeleine L’Engle (author of A Wrinkle in Time) influenced my writing at Pat Bertram’s blog

A devotional about hope at Phyllis Wheeler’s blog

My ‘Second Chance at Love story at Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s blog

Sandra Robbins interviewed me about Tommy Love and Hope Anderson at the Borrowed Book blog

I blogged about Looking for Hope, Joy, Peace and Love in All the Wrong Places at Second Wind Publishing’s blog

I posted a video of me playing the melody for the song, Hope, Joy, Peace, Love (written by ‘Tommy Love’ for LOVE NOTES) on the piano at Gather.com.

To you, I probably still look like a red-breasted robin with a big fat belly.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d331/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Too many worms, you’re no doubt thinking.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d504/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

You probably think I should quit sitting on my nest…

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d329/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

… get out and fly a little more often. It’s good exercise.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d330/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

But the truth is, I feel like a butterfly – gossamer wings floating on the wind, lighthearted and carefree. I don’t know why, but I do.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d335/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Don’t want any worms. Really, I don’t. Nectar it is, for me. I crave nectar.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d334/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

The only thing is, the joint in my hind leg hurts. Must have twisted it tripping over a hibiscus.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d507/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

A stigma? A stybus? Whatever.  I am limping along.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d505/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Those nasturtiums look tasty.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d339/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

So do those borage.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d503/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

I believe I will stir some into my salad.

https://i2.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d338/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Forget those. I think they’re poisonous.

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d502/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Let me tell you ’bout the birds and the bees and the flowers in the trees…

https://i1.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d337/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

It’s been a long day. Can you tell? I’m getting punchy and my eyes are fuzzy. Time to find a rock and rest. Sweet dreams.

https://i0.wp.com/media-files.gather.com/images/d336/d377/d747/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Just one more thing. This bee and butterfly stuff is for the birds. What about the bunnies?

Tommy Lubinski of Tommy Love and the Love Notes fame, the somewhat unlikely hero of my new book, LOVE  NOTES, is a fading star whose heart has been trampled on so many times that it’s frozen solid. Although he’s enjoyed fortune and fame, he can’t find the words – or the heart – to write a new song. Probably because he has no hope, joy or peace. Or faith. Tommy thinks that building his dream house on the shores of  Rainbow Lake so he can sit on his new deck and bask in one of the most beautiful views in all of northern Minnesota, his childhood home, will inspire him to create again.

What Tommy wants to write is punk – or hip hop, so that his new hit will appeal to a younger listener. That way, his legacy will live on in the hearts of a new generation. But once he meets Hope Anderson, the original old-fashioned girl, all he can seem to think about – or write – are love songs about Hope. As God was working in Tommy Love’s heart – and mine – while writing this book, a song came to me / him…

I was so deep into Tommy Love’s character when the song came to be, that it truly felt like Tommy Love wrote it. For the past few years, we’ve sung it during the Christmas season at the church where my husband was pastor. The first time Mark printed up the words to put in the church bulletin, he asked if I wanted it to say, “Written by Sherrie Hansen”, my maiden name, and the name under which I’d written 4 novels, or “Written by Sherrie Decker”, my married name, since that was how everyone at church knew me. Without thinking, I responded, “I didn’t write it. Tommy Love did.”

Mark smiled and said, “I wouldn’t tell that to too many people if I were you.” You authors will know what I mean. In my mind, the song truly was a love note written by Tommy Love, with a heart newly melted around the edges, to Hope. And to God.

That’s where the song Hope, Joy, Peace and Love came from. You can hear the music at Gather.com if you click here. Below, I’d like to share my thoughts – some of which came from getting to know Tommy Love – on each of the four words in the title.

Hope, Joy, Peace, Love

Gentle blessings from above.

A rainbow bright, a starry night

To warm our hearts – the gift of light.

Hope, Joy, Peace, Love

A star to follow from above.

Shining brightly in the night

To warm our hearts – the gift of light.

Hope, Joy, Peace, Love

The Son of God from heaven above

came down to us on Christmas night

To warm our hearts – the gift of light.

Hope – I don’t know about you, but on many occasions, I’ve given up hope – hope of ever feeling good again, hope of ever being slender and healthy, hope of ever being happy, hope of finding someone to love, of being loved. I start out at least a little hopeful, but if things don’t come together fairly quickly, just the way I think they should – the way I HOPE they will, then I lose hope. Maybe depression is the opposite of hope, looking down instead of up. So how does a mid-aged woman who knows that things are probably just going to keep getting worse from here on out, have and hold on to hope? In Ephesians 3:20, the Bible says, “By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope” and in Romans 15:4, “For whatever was written was given to us for our learning, that through patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

Joy – To me, joy is the most elusive of emotions. The older and wiser and more cynical I get, the harder it is to attain any semblance of it. Joy is not synonymous with happiness, or pleasure, or feeling good. It is so much more than that. I know, because on rare occasions, I have experienced it. Most recently, I’ve seen it in the eyes, heard it in the squeals of my little nieces and nephews, so quickly lost, so hard to capture. Joy is like a hummingbird, flitting around us at lightening speed, teasing us, taunting us, because we are just too slow and encumbered by burdens to get more than a glimpse. But God says of joy, “Those who sow in tears will reap a harvest of joy; for though they may weep while going forth to plant their seed, if they persevere, they will undoubtedly return rejoicing—bringing their sheaves with them. (Psalms 126:5-6). And in John 15:11, after telling his disciples that they need to keep his commandments and abide in his love, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Peace – Hard as I try to keep my life, my household and my business organized, there is so much chaos surrounding me that lately, it has become possible. I struggle with anxiety and come from a long line of “fretters and stewers”. Unfortunately, my wild imagination – the same one that makes me a good writer – adds fuel to the fire. The same “what if” exercise I use when I’m coming up with my stories has often kept me up at night, as I imagine the worst and worry about what will happen if I’m right. God’s peace is the only answer to the chaos of the world… another of those things that I can’t possibly control or conquer on my own. If you’re going to have lasting peace – peace that sticks with you through the bumpiest of rides, you need to find it at the feet of Jesus. Here’s what He says about peace in John 14:27:  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Love – I do know that people love me – my husband, my parents, my brothers and sisters (well, most of them), my nieces and nephews, and friends – but we all know that human love is fallible.  We’ve all had broken hearts, we’ve been betrayed, we’ve lost at love. What we really want – need – is unconditional love. And the older I get, the more disillusioned with the world I am, the more I realize that the only place we’re likely to find true love is in Jesus. John 3:16 talks about a love that is unparalleled:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Now that’s true love.

So it turns out that Tommy Love and I hadn’t only been looking for love in all the wrong places, we’d been looking for hope, joy and peace in the wrong places, too. The world is full of wonderful things, but nothing can and will satisfy our restless souls like God’s gifts to us. Hope, joy, peace, love, gentle blessings from above. So keep looking up – the rainbow bright, the starry night will guide you and remind you that it is He alone who can give us the treasures we seek -hope, joy, peace and love. If you don’t know Him, all you have to do is look in His Word – it’s a lamp unto your feet and a guide to unto your way.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,159 other followers

Daybreak – New Release! (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: