Stories that Matter

Writing

Happily Ever After…Or Not?

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…” I’m at a crossroads with this story I’m working on. Been here a while. For the first time, probably ever, I’m contemplating not writing a happy ending. I know. I’m shocked myself. Because I love that ‘ah…’  feeling…
Read More

Why Write?

I belong to an awesome online community of brave writers. We encourage, edify and pray for each other. And sometimes we ask hard questions. Why write? Why are we doing this thing? For what purpose? Because a lot of days, it drives us all a little nuts. Know what I mean? If you’re a writer,…
Read More

Be Still

“Be still and know, that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 It’s quoted so often that I’m not sure we get it. The whole be still thing. What does that mean to you? Be still. The noun is defined as “deep silence and calm; stillness. “the still of the night” synonyms: quietness, quiet, quietude, silence, stillness,…
Read More

New Ventures…

Wow. I don’t know where the time goes. If you’re still hanging out here with me, I thank you! I’m definitely not a reliable blogger, am I? Well, things are getting busy in my neck of the woods. I’d like to share a little bit of that with you today. This summer, I will be…
Read More

Freefall

It’s that jolt, the sensation that you’re falling, and it usually happens during deep slumber. The freefall. It sits there, wedged between the box titled Deja vu and Death on the shelf called Things I Can’t Explain. The more it happens, the more terrifying it becomes. You’d think I’d get used to it, but I…
Read More

What Are You Doing For Yourself?

  If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time doing things for other people. Especially if you’re a mom with young kids. Life just buzzes by. You have to-do lists longer than your arm and some days you just don’t know how you’re going to get everything done. I hear you. I…
Read More

Whale Watching

When we built the house on the ocean, people said, “Oh, my goodness, you’ll get to see the whales go by! How lucky are you?” I smiled and thought to myself, yes, that would nice. We got binoculars. And I began to watch for whales. That was five years ago. I have yet to see…
Read More

Into Dark Places…

These past few years, since being published really, I’ve tried to figure out who I am as an author. Who I want to be, where I want to go, and the kind of books I want to write. When I first began writing, a little over a hundred years ago, it was purely for my…
Read More

Shooting For The Moon…Or Somewhere In The General Vicinity.

Do you remember what it was like to dream? Remember laying on your back on a summer star-lit night, a warm wind caressing your cheeks, studying the sky and listening to the sound of your own heartbeat through the excitement charged darkness? Remember staring up at all those small shimmering stars, wondering how many there…
Read More

White Flag, I Give UP!

Okay, so who wants to change the subject? Oh, that would be me. SO…read any good books lately? What’s on your TBR pile? (And if anyone mentions a certain book that begins with an F, I may have to resort to a smack down). This summer I read a ton. Tried to write a ton…
Read More

The Next Best Step

March 25, 2019 | 2 Comments

The one sure thing about life, the one thing you can pretty much count on, is that it won’t always be easy. You know this. You’ve already been through some tough stuff. And you’ve survived. Maybe even triumphed. But then it all comes back for a second round. Or a third. Maybe you’re getting hit…

read more...

Write, Straight Up

May 7, 2018 | 3 Comments

Not on the rocks. Not with a splash. Maybe a twist, that’d be fun. But don’t water it down. Write what you want to say, write from you heart, and write, for the love of everything, like you mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t waste your reader’s time, or yours. After 20 something…

read more...

Family Matters

October 28, 2016 | 9 Comments

I grew up an only child. As much as I was loved and probably (okay, definitely) spoiled by my parents, I think part of me missed not having a sibling. There were times when it was lonely. Times when I had to use my imagination to create the extra people I thought I needed in…

read more...

Fun Friday Five!

June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Answering five questions from my readers today! Want to get in on the fun? Send me a question and I’ll answer it next time!

read more...

So My Mom Wrote A Book…

June 14, 2016 | 15 Comments

Hey, everybody! This is Noah. (I’m the adorably handsome dog in the picture). I’m hijacking my mom’s blog today, because, quite frankly, enough is enough.  I’m used to getting all the attention around here, seriously, and lately? Well, my mom wrote this book. And it’s getting AAAAALLLLLL the attention. That’s my Mom. That’s her book.…

read more...

And This Is Why The Words Matter …

May 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

So I wrote a piece about Guarding The Writer’s Heart – and it’s true. It’s tough out there. You’re going to get criticism no matter what. It’s just a given. Kinda like running for President. But not. And we won’t go there. But you know . . . this year so far . . .…

read more...

Remember When?

April 4, 2016 | 20 Comments

How many conversations start with that question? Probably more than we remember. Yet it’s an immediate pull back into the past, back to an event or shared memory that somehow binds people together, often whether they like it or not. The biggest events in history have turned strangers into friends. V-Day. The assassination of JFK.…

read more...

Conversation in A Coffee Shop

February 18, 2016 | 7 Comments

I see her there. This sad reflection of myself. Sitting. Alone. Alone only with her thoughts and the icon flashing fierce on the blank screen. Cautiously I slide into the seat opposite her. Offer coffee. And a smile of recognition. “Hello, writer.” She looks up, bleary eyed. Befuddled. “How did you know?” The question sighs…

read more...

Why Do The Words Matter?

January 19, 2016 | 23 Comments

There will be those who simply refuse what you’re giving. They will scorn, belittle and reject. And okay, sure, that might hurt. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

read more...

More Coffee … Need

January 11, 2016 | 1 Comment

Yeah, okay. But it’s Monday morning and I just spent two hours working on changing up this blog, and five minutes ago I sat staring at this screen in full out panic mode, thinking I’d just deleted the ENTIRE THING!! So I need more coffee. Because this is pretty much me in the morning. And,…

read more...

Happily Ever After…Or Not?

images-1

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…”

I’m at a crossroads with this story I’m working on. Been here a while. For the first time, probably ever, I’m contemplating not writing a happy ending. I know. I’m shocked myself. Because I love that ‘ah…’  feeling at the end of a great story. All’s well that ends well. And they all lived happily ever after.

Right?

Casablanca did not have a happy ending. Neither does Gone With The Wind. A Walk To Remember. I’m sure you can think of other movies and books you’ve read that don’t provide that “woohoo” feeling once the last line is read or the credits start to roll. I recently read Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. Not a happy ending. At. All. But I still loved the book. Why? Because I was left aching. Wanting. Desperately sad in wishing there had been another way, a different ending, yet knowing in all likelihood, there could not have been.

Real life. Real pain. Real situations that just can’t be worked out no matter how hard you try or how much you want them to. This is why I write. To somehow make sense of things that don’t make sense. But I’m learning, slowly, that even as an author, able to change the course of any story if I really want to, some stories shouldn’t be changed. Because sometimes, a lot of times, there are no happy endings. And sometimes we need to learn to live with that. Accept it. Because we know we can’t change it.

We make choices. Every day. Every hour. With every interaction we engage in. We say and do things we shouldn’t, want things we can’t have, take for granted the things we do and second guess every single move we make.

Real life.

Real struggles.

Just. Real.

So I’m wondering now. Maybe we’re not really meant to be completely happy. If we were, would we not become complacent? Would the fight to live, to endure, to battle through the darkness and come out on the other side…wouldn’t that just leave us? Would we even bother seeking God? I’ve read that more people turn to God through trial and hardship…during war time, illness, flood, fire, famine, death. What would happen to hope if we had no need for it?

Maybe this…longing, this wanting, this seeking after what we think will make us happy…maybe this is how we grow. Maybe we find true peace in accepting the things we can’t have instead of this relentless pursuit after things that were never meant to be ours in the first place.

Star-crossed lovers. A romantic concept, contrived perhaps, yet I’m not sure. Because it’s not just a convenient way to end a book or a movie. It’s…real. The aching, the longing, the wanting and the finality of knowing it can never be. You can’t make that up. People feel it. They live it.

They know.

And maybe they never get over it. Maybe they spend the rest of their lives wondering why or what if…or they find some resolute acceptance and a way to move on. And somehow, some way, eventually over time, it makes them stronger.

So I don’t know. Maybe those happy endings I love so much aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Because sometimes life just deals a bad hand. And you take it.  Stay in the game as long as you can, until it’s safe to fold. Then you go home, count your losses and get ready to do it all over again. Because next time…next time…you might just win.

“Play it again, Sam.”