Archive for June, 2016

It Isn’t Personal

By Kathy NickersonJune 27th, 2016happy endings, Marriage, mercy, writing4 Comments

 

My husband is a long-suffering saint when it comes to my writing career. He gave me a classy office in his clinic where I get to write between tasks at the day job.

He even put the furniture together.

And, he keeps hoping the writing will do something besides cost him money. He remains generous, supportive, and encouraging even when that ship just keeps sailing further from shore.  One thing is bothering him about my novels, though. He mentioned it the other day.

“You are always killing off the husbands,” he said. “Should I be worried?”

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It is true that my books have a high percentage of widows among the supporting characters. Okay, and among the lead characters. But that is simply a matter of statistics. Statistically, women live longer than men, so there are more Glory Circle Sisters than brethren in most towns, real or fictional. But, I didn’t spout statistics at him. Instead, I held up my latest book and protested.

“I’m not the widow in Rose Hill Cottage,” I said, “I’m more of Flora-the-Librarian, which makes you Deke, her ever-lovin’ husband. Look, here you are on page 75 sneaking a kiss at the Fourth of July picnic.”

I’m not sure he was convinced. And, since I have at least two more books planned for the Glory Circle Series, we aren’t quite done with widows. Maybe I better take Flora’s advice and go bake my man a pie.

Or, in our case, I’d better get it from the bakery. I don’t have Flora’s skills.

 

 

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No husbands or bears were injured in the making of this blog post.

 

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You are Welcome

By Kathy NickersonJune 20th, 2016family, happy endings, mercy3 Comments

Here is a little story for those of you who are considering something today that doesn’t add up in the pro’s and con’s balance sheet. A job change. A move. A leap at love. Or an artistic endeavor that may never be seen by anyone but you. Maybe you should do it anyway …

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I remember how desperately I wanted that fourth baby. The urge hit me about the same time our toddler son left footprints in cornstarch on the kitchen counter before breakfast. It was probably one of the same days I couldn’t figure out how to get his two sisters to pre-school and still operate our home daycare. And, did I mention their father was in the middle of medical school?

My husband, saint though he is, explained that my timing was poor.

One afternoon, I snatched a few minutes for prayer and asked God to please take this desire away from me or show me how to cope with the emotion. Instead, I got one of those strong, clear thoughts that I knew didn’t come from me. These days I’m careful not to label very many things as a “God said”. But, that day, He did. I suddenly understood I wasn’t just experiencing Baby Fever. I was homesick for one of our children the same way I would be if Felicity, Serenity, or Joseph were miles away and I could not reach them.

I can’t remember anything about the conversation Wendell and I had when he came home from school. I’m pretty sure it was short and sweet. All I remember is that I was my typical, whiny self during the pregancy. Toward the last, I ended up in the hospital for a few days and then was ordered to bedrest. We celebrated our anniversary with burgers and fries and three kids on the bed. Friends cleaned our house. And both grandmothers pitched in on a regular basis. All those reasons not to have another baby had been true.

And then, the grandmothers stood in the hallway outside the delivery room while sweet Charity was birthed. And do you know what she did after I begged to conceive her, carried her for nine months and two weeks, and labored for hours to bring her forth? She grinned at her father. A huge, gorgeous, real grin at her dad.

“You’re welcome!” I wanted to yell. But I was grinning, too.

And, I’ve pretty much wanted to say, “You’re welcome” to the world ever since. You’re welcome for this fourth child who came at a time when we could not afford her, when I was too tired to carry her, and when we were too busy to take enough pictures to record her.

Because I’m pretty sure that is what God says to me every day when I thank Him for sending her.

Happy Birthday, Charity.

You are welcome Ryan, Nola, Violet, Roman, Remington, Lifegate Worship, and the Rest of the World.12144811_10153089015011516_3951295267294137910_n

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Some Things Still Surprise Me

By Kathy NickersonJune 13th, 2016family, mercy, writing4 Comments

 

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Camels in our cornfield. I can go weeks at a time without thinking about the fact that our small town has an exotic animal park right next to the cornfield. Then, one day, I’ll stop to get the mail, and I’m completely overcome by the pure elegance of a camel strolling by. This is not a normal sight in rural Missouri. And, I love it.

 

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Grandsons smiling down at me. (Happy birthday, Andrew.) He is among the handful who now loop their arms over my shoulder when we stand side-by-side and smile down at me with their handsome grins. I’m so proud of these guys. They frequently make me catch my breath, surprised not only by their height but by the men who are emerging. I like them. Quite a lot. (This is a preview of our After-the-Tonys pose in a few years. I’ll wear a fancier dress.)

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Books with my name on the cover. This one comes out in July. You might think I’d get used to the idea by Book Three. But, no. I still find myself surprised every time I catch a glimpse of the cover. And thanks to the amazing work of artist Becky West, that glimpse always makes me smile!

 

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Amazing Grace. All these things – camels, grandsons, stories-I-made-up, are actually products of a Creator who reached down when I was thirteen years old and said, “Come on, I’ve made a Way for you. He rescued me from myself and from the enemy of my soul, and He continues to show me more of my place in the Greatest Story Ever Told.

You, Dear Reader, may not have camels, or grandsons, or books with your name on the cover. But, please look around and find at least one good surprise in your life today. And, if you haven’t discovered the Greatest One of All,  please contact me. I’ll be happy to help.

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Welcome to Our Circle

By Kathy NickersonJune 6th, 2016family, writing2 Comments

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Don’t you love to find an actual letter in your mail box? One addressed to you by name, in beautiful script, with a real stamp peeling away on one corner. Not something with advertising splashed across the envelope and a pre-sorted, bulk-mail, postage meter imprint giving away the low-class value of the information inside.

I love letters. Yet, I rarely write or receive one. Until this summer, of course. Now, I’m getting two or three per week from the wonderful granddaughters in my Serendipity Circle. Now, Dear Reader, I’ll let you in on our game, and even tell you how to play if you want.

After I wrote The Secret of Serendipity, I wanted to gather all our granddaughters in a room and have a book club with them each week to discuss the story, the characters, the conflicts that arose. I wondered what their amazing minds would dream up from what they had read.

One problem: We live more than five hours apart, and I have day job. Or two.

Thus was born the Serendipity Circle. It is a long-distance book club we do through letters. I created a set of discussion questions, had stationary desgined, and put together a kit that even includes pretty stamps. Each girl answers one question and mails me a letter. I respond with my thoughts on the same question. And around we go. Of course, I’m answering each question several times, but that is perfectly fine with me!

And their answers are dazzling. They see things in my characters I had not expected, and they reveal things about themselves at the same time. I’m not sure we would have gotten to this same place sitting in a room together or talking over Google Chat. There is something about pencil on paper that allows one’s thoughts to flow in a deeper way sometimes.

If you would like to start a Serendipity Circle with a child you love, I’m happy to help. I can mail you a full kit including the book, questions, stationary, and stamps. Or I can just send you the questions. I can even send an electronic copy if you are reading on Kindle.

You can contact me in the comment sections below or send me an email at kathy@kathynick.com to talk about details. Or find me on any of my social media sites.

You can also just make up your own questions and start writing letters! Any child you love will be happy to hear from you this week. I guarantee it.

 

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