June’s Blogs

Where Do The Characters Go?

After the book’s been read, where do the characters go? As the Author of The Estate Sale, I’ve lived with Emily, Seth, Rita, and the rest of the characters within the pages. After months of watching them interact, go through trials and experience God’s work in their lives, I’ve come to love them all.

They have lived with me daily. I’ve spent some sleepless nights because of decisions they made and I’ve gone through the consequences with them. They’ve caused me to laugh, cry and celebrate as each one turned a corner according to God’s plan for them.

Now that the book has been out almost six months (hard to believe), I wonder, for my readers, where the characters have gone. Do you simply put them on the shelf and forget about them? Are certain characters still roaming around in your mind or heart? I wonder about things like this.

For me, since I’m now about half done writing Book Two in this Legacy Series (which, by the way, has been named, “Legacy’s Path,), I still live with my original characters. A fun part of this is, I created new characters to join them. They live with us too so we’re one big happy family.

I can’t wait for you to meet Greta Thumburg, she’s really quite a character. Sometimes she says things which baffle but make me laugh. I shake my head and wonder if I should step in, but she has a mind of her own. Actually, all my characters do, and that’s why I can’t get them out of my head. When I’m not actually writing scenes, I’m wondering what they’re up to (like when a mom doesn’t hear her little one for a while and knows silence can’t be good). I must check in at the computer regularly just to make sure things are moving along.

I don’t think I’ll ever lose touch with my characters. They are special, heartwarming, and sometimes provoking, but they live with me. I can’t evict them so I’ll give them room. I may have to get my carpenter hubby to add on to the house, but that’s okay.

Where have my characters gone after YOU finished reading the book? Do they still come to mind? Are they roaming around your heart? I hope so. Please leave a comment and share which of the characters you can’t get to move out, and why.

Full Flavor

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I love black tea. I enjoy the full-flavor it yields. My tea pantry contains many brands and varieties, some mellow, others robust, and a couple just so-so. It’s fun to explore the fragrance, taste, and blends of each adventure in a teacup. Some flavors live up to my expectations, some disappoint and then there are those that totally take me by surprise.

The flavor pictured above had me at porch sippin’. Immediately, I was transported to some cottage or cabin by a stream, watching wildlife scamper through the trees, pausing occasionally to stare at me. After brewing a pot, and experiencing the aroma of pecan in the swirls of steam rising from my cup, I wasn’t disappointed. The right tea can do that. Transport you. It’s a state of mind, body, and soul.

When I write, I feel transported into the world I’ve created. I can live temporarily in a place I’ve never been, interact with people I developed, and express myself in ways I never dreamed of. My characters sometimes surprise me and I know then, I’ve written something I’ll be pleased to share with my readers.

One flavor of tea I tried, Sherlock Holmes Smoked English Breakfast Tea, definitely surprised me, but not in a good way. I may introduce one of my male characters to it. There have been times when, after reading out loud, a scene I’ve written, I wonder where my muse disappeared to or what new flavor of tea I drank.

That’s the adventure of the world of tea and writing. I love them both and enjoy the full-flavored satisfaction from a well-brewed cup.

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Letting Go!

January 18, 2019

I have worked hard getting my tiny tearoom rearranged and set up so I can actually invite a friend for tea. There was excess which made it feel cluttered, so I began boxing things up and creating space. I had to let go of some cute things but it wasn’t easy as a keystroke. When I first started this project, I would move an item to a different place. Then, when I worked my way to that place, I’d move it somewhere else. It finally dawned on me…I was not making progress because I refused to let go of things. I had to change if I wanted this room to serve as a place of solice, friendship and fun.

I prepared a delicious cuppa and sat in the rocker in the corner. I surveyed the room and made notes as I sipped. God joined me. I put down the note pad, leaned back and listened as He reminded me of other things I had to let go of. Things we all have stuffed within us. Unforgiveness, anger, impatience, along with a few snippy words at times. He said those things didn’t belong in any room in my heart, and He would help me let go of them if I would simply trust Him.

I finished my tea, tackled the room again, this time boxing up what needed to be eliminated. I still have more to do but I’m making progress (as you can see in this photo). The same is true with the heart things, I’m making progress, only because God’s Holy Spirt quickens my spirit when I fall back into old attitudes. As I sit in “June’s Tearoom,” this evening, I feel peace. The room seems a place of peace, and so does my heart, simply by Letting go!

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Exciting Changes

January 11, 2019

I finally, a little sadly, took down the tea tree in my tearoom. I always have mixed emotions when it’s time to pack Christmas away. This year is no exception. Once the tree was denuded of tiny teapots, teacups and meaningful ornaments from friends, I recovered. I discovered I had room to rearrange and create new cozy nooks for enjoying tea. To do this, I first had to move things out and then bring in tables and what-nots to complete my vision.

The room began to change, I tired at times, but the more I did, the more excited I became. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m enjoying the transformation. I want to give you a peek at one area I completed (although some minor changes could still happen).
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Our lives are a work in progress just like my tearoom, except God is the designer. Sometimes areas of our life get moved around, while things in another area must be removed. The good news is that God knows how he desires our life to be and what must be done to achieve it. The best part is that God never gets tired or discouraged. I get excited thinking about what God has in store for me this year and look forward to opportunities He brings my way.

Please come back to visit as I post more photos as the tearoom changes and comes together.

Opportunities

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Another year has begun and here in San Antonio, it is wet and cold with the high today and tomorrow in the low 40’s. Yes, 40’s…this is Texas and 40 is cold here. So stop laughing if you’re inundated with 6 foot snow banks. In any case, I am curled up with warm socks and a cup of English Breakfast tea. Warm feet and hot, delicious tea helps my muse.

I received a fantastic journal this Christmas (thank you, Hal), and on the cover it says, “You Are A Woman of Wonders.” It’s a blue hard cover journal with a few gold stars next to the words, but the inside of the cover is filled with tiny stars. When I opened the book it took my breath away. Immediately a word came to mind, Opportunities! That is my word for the year. Actually, I’m claiming it for every single day of the year.

Think about this word. Opportunities! What does it speak to you? For me, I see myself accomplishing things, creating, serving, being, and growing. Keeping this awesome word before me each day, I will be looking for the opportunities God brings across my path. I plan to keep a record of all the opportunities I discover and write about them in my new journal. I may use different art forms as I go along…photos, sketches, bits and pieces of nature, or simply words.

God provides many opportunities for each of us to move along the path He has provided. That path may not always be easy. We may go into a valley, encounter storms, get stuck in a season we dislike, or feel lost in a fog. Sometimes we will ascend to the mountaintop. The important thing for me is to grab hold of each opportunity and see where it takes me. Tomorrow it might be a chance encounter (I call them divine appointments), with someone who needs encouragement, or someone who can provide me with encouragement. Next month the opportunity to travel may appear…a rare thing for me which could result in book signings. An opportunity to learn something new might get my attention…new recipe, new writing techniques, new make-up product that works, or a new perspective after reading a Scripture passage I’ve read a hundred times. A new book published is certainly on the horizon and opportunities to promote it are sure to come.

I don’t like to miss out on things. If something’s going on, I want to be there. That won’t happen unless I’m willing to step out and walk into the opportunities presented to me. I feel you’re about to ask a question…”How will I know if the opportunity is from God?” Nothing…I repeat, nothing, comes into our lives without first getting God’s approval. I stay close to God, ask Him for discernment, and fully trust Him with my life. When I see an opportunity which doesn’t conflict with God’s Word, I will seek Him in prayer and follow His guidance. God knows the desire of my heart is to please, honor and praise Him.

I’m excited about this new year and all the opportunities ahead. I will share some of them here, so please come back and discover what God has in store for me in 2019.

How about you? Do you have a word for the year? Let me hear from you.
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Time at the Tea Lounge – December 22, 2018

Today I spent a good deal of time at The Garden Tea Lounge in an antique mall, in the hope of getting my book, The Estate Sale, into the hands of many new readers. I set my table up attractively, ordered my cuppa, and took my place at the table. But where were the people? I brought plenty of books but few people were making their way to the back of the mall.

A gentleman and his wife arrived to set up for him to play his guitar. They took their place and he began playing in a classical guitar/flamingo style and it made the sparse line of customers more bearable. His wife was sweet and attentive to her husband…they were both elderly. I put some money in the “tip jar,” she had set on a nearby table.

I began making eye contact with women passing by, then engaged them in conversation (do you enjoy reading, are you an estate sale junkie, etc.). That resulted in some sales, but far fewer than I hoped for.

Finally I packed up, as did the musician, bid farewell to them and tea Lounge staff. On the way home I began praying for each person for whom I signed a book. I remembered each name. I included the musician and his wife, along with the staff, in my prayer. My spirit was lifted and I realized God put me where I would reach the ones He wanted to read my book. I’m thankful for the opportunities He provides.7D5B7A20-6766-487B-AD13-127E6D7585F6