Several years ago I wrote a novel entitled Finding Grace. I’d always wanted to write a novel and am quite pleased and proud to have written the type of book I love to read. One of the major characters is an older woman who serves as a life-long mentor to a much younger Grace. I named the elder woman Mrs. Pettermint, with a few quirks to make her interesting. Throughout the book, this wise woman offers her perspective on everything from love, to life, and to healing. And while she didn’t specifically mention Christmas or any of the other holidays celebrated this season, I can easily imagine what she might suggest. Here are five pieces of advice I can almost hear her say to Grace and anyone else who wants to listen. [Read more…]
One of my daily practices is to remember to look for the good no matter what is going on in my life. It helps a great deal that I’m married to someone who does his best to remind me of this on a regular basis. It also helps that I am a naturally optimistic person, in good health, with many other lifestyle advantages. But even then, I still need to be reminded on a regular basis to stay focused on what’s good, rather than its opposite. That’s why nearly all my writing here on SMART Living 365 serves to re-enforce the positive over and over. Still, what I seldom acknowledge is the huge helping of grace that makes it all possible.
I don’t use the word grace much in my writing. I’m aware that it is a trigger for some people like my husband Thom, to a former religious perspective that created pain and skepticism rather than comfort. I certainly never intended to use the word in the title of my first work of fiction, Finding Grace. But after the main character ended up naming herself, and as her journey unfolded, no other title came even close to fitting as well. That’s how grace often works. When we follow the trail of what seems to be good, we end up with the grace of unexpected gifts. [Read more…]
I wish I knew someone like Grace Martin, the main character in my novel Finding Grace—A Transformational Journey. In some ways maybe I do, because Grace is the combination of several women I have met in my life that I admire, respect and love. Does she have all the answers—no. Does she always do the right or best thing—not hardly. But Grace continues to keep going in spite of what she comes up against. She does it by questioning and learning from every experience she faces, and strives to be authentically true to herself. Like her, I consider my life to be a quest to discover my true nature, and seek to follow her example. Not only is that a big reason why I wrote this novel, but more importantly, it is exactly the kind of story that I like to read myself. For that reason, I would like to offer one of you a free print copy of my book to see if you too are interested in finding Grace. [Read more…]
Last week I published my first eBook novel to Amazon Kindle. I actually wrote the book about ten years ago and when I could not find a publisher for it at the time, I saved it to the archives of my computer and pretty much forgot about it. Then about a year ago Thom and I began reading about the new explosion of ebooks and how that process is revolutionizing the publishing world. Then I remembered my novel and thought—why not? Why not publish it myself? I had everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose. Although it took a while to get it ready to publish, (that’s another blog post subject!) it’s finally done and available. (*) What struck me the most the morning after the book went “live” on Amazon was the euphoria I got from the uncertainty/possibility of the experience. And that got me wondering—why don’t we all seek uncertainty on a regular basis to capture that feeling? In fact, why do we chase stuff or even experiences when one of the greatest highs around is just a tiny bit beyond what we think, know and expect during the course of a regular day? [Read more…]