Archive for January, 2016

The Intimidating World of Children’s Books

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 24th, 2016happy endings, writing6 Comments

castle scratch4

My publisher is releasing two of my novels this year. Coming this summer is Rose Hill Cottage, the second in my Glory Circle Sisters series. And coming in March is my first children’s novel, The Secret of Serendipity. Kind of ambitious, I know. I spent much of last week working on marketing plans for Serendipity. And, to be perfectly honest with you, I got a little intimidated.

The world of children’s literature is a whole other place. It is guarded by passionate teachers, parents, and librarians who see authors of badly written books as some kind of troll interlopers who should be banished from the The Land.

That is good, of course. Children should not have to read badly-written books. But, alas, the intimidation. I don’t know whether mine shall be welcomed with banners flying high or slain like a foul dragon while the village folks all cheer.

One morning, I was thinking on these things and the dozens of other questions that plague my writing career. Should I write more freelance articles? Does anyone read my blog? Will the plot line of the next novel actually work? Is it too early for a piece of chocolate?

Then, I came across this passage from the psalms.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life” 32:8NLT

And, I stopped jabbering at myself. I quieted my soul. I remembered Who is ultimately in charge of both my destiny and my design. I relaxed. And, I ate the chocolate. But not out of a need for solace this time.

I ate it in celebration of life. And story. And endless possibilities. Because, in the larger scheme of things, even trolls have a chance for a happy ending.

 

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Why I Love the Senior Discount

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 21st, 2016happy endings, Marriage, mercy, writing3 Comments

Movies Word On Stage Shows Cinema And Hollywood

The hubs and I went to a movie theater last night, which is rather a rare occurrence for us. As a writer, I love going to movies. I always come away feeling inspired to make art. I think story is the universal language of the soul, and a good story can move a person in the way nothing else possibly can.

We saw a good story. But that isn’t the point of this post. The point is this: We got the senior discount. This is the second time in a few months we’ve been out on the town in a distant city and have dropped in at a theater and announced, “Two seniors for the 6:30 showing.”

It gave me a thrill both times. I know it sounds weird. But it feels a bit like a teenager who just got a driver’s license. “Hey, look! We are grownups! Over sixty and out on a date. No babysitters to worry about. No curfew except the one our tired bodies impose. We could go for ice cream after the show if we want. Or shopping at the mall. We could even walk out, buy another ticket, and turn around to see a second show!” (Oh, yes. We have.)

The guy buying a ticket in front of us last night had whiter hair than ours. His face held lots more lines. The younger-looking lady with him cracked a few jokes about the fact that he might qualify for the senior discount. When he got to the window, the ticket-taker asked if he was military. He did have the look. But, no, he didn’t qualify for that discount. Student? Not that one, either? Theater rewards card? Nope. The guy pulled out his wallet and paid full price. He could not bring himself to say the words. Then he squared his shoulders and tried to walk into the theater looking as young and hip as the lady beside him. And I felt sad for him. Because he didn’t seem to be having nearly as much fun on his date as we were having on ours.

We stepped up to the counter and announced, “Two seniors, please.” I did sort of expect the lady to card us. But, when she didn’t, I just grabbed my hubby’s arm and smiled. Let the fun begin!

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Long Mid-winter Day

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 13th, 2016mercy6 Comments

shopping cart in snow

I find it strange that the beginning of winter actually marks the turn toward days with more hours of sunshine. December 21st was our darkest day of the year. And, we could take it, Dear Reader, because Christmas was just around the corner. At least that is the way it felt for me.

And I remember thinking distinctly on that day, “This is the last of it. From now on, every day will get brighter.” Even though we are officially in winter now and the months will bring us ice and wind and brrrr, every daytime will be longer and every dark night will be shorter.

Isn’t life the same way? Even in the darkest nights of our soul or the most despairing hour of our disease, those of us who belong to God are always walking one step closer to His light.

It certainly doesn’t feel that way some days. Facebook flashed up a memory from five years ago last week, and I saw our daughter in the middle of her chemo war. I thought that winter would never end. I thought we might die just from holding her up as she battled through it.

But she made it to the light. And, the truth is, she would have made it there either way. One way would have been glory for her and sorrow for us. This way bought us a lot more days of happy here on earth.

I don’t know what your winter is right now. But I hope you have found the Light. I hope you are holding onto it. I hope you know the promise is true, and that it will never fail.

I hope you can see that every day is growing just a little brighter now. Whatever you are fighting, fight through. The spring will be so beautiful this year.

 

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The Secret of Serendipity

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 9th, 2016mercy, slider1 Comment

Serendipity Summer - Cover

Once Upon a Time, I read an advice column that said if I wrote 250 words per day, I could finish a short novel in one year. So, I did. I can still remember the light coming through the bedroom window and falling on the desk where I sat when I started that project. And, I remember the children, who inspired much of the story, running in and out of the room in the afternoons.

A few other things came along in the decades that followed, and I tucked the story away. The children grew. Other books were published. Then the children married and had children. I puttered with the little novel now and then. One day, when I was thinking of my seven granddaughters, I pulled out the manuscript made up of many days of words. I wondered if it still held a story. Since it is nearly impossible for a writer to judge such things on her own, I shipped it off to a publisher and said, “Do you think this is a story?”

And the publisher said, “Indeed! All it lacks is a gorgeous cover and some lovely drawings on the inside.”

So, we searched until we found the perfect artist to supply those things. And now, today, the story is almost ready to be told. Here is the gorgeous cover. (Our marvelous illustrator’s name shall appear on the final version. Thank you, Vanita.)

If you wait only a few more weeks, you can hold it in your hand and read it yourself. And then, you can tell me, Dear Reader, if you think it is true that you can actually write a book by writing only 250 words a day.

And then re-writing them for the next thirty years.

************

P.S. You may pre-order a copy at CrossRiver Media

Or, you could plan to drop in at our garden party in March and pick up a copy in person. Email me if you want us to save you a seat.

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