Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Every Book Can be a Gift




Each day provides its own gifts. ~Marcus Aurelius



One of the daily or weekly gifts I receive are the comments you leave here and on my Facebook author's page. It's fun getting to know you and I really enjoy when you share stories from your lives. Take Joye's comment on my blizzard post Sunday about her dad having to crawl out the attic window to shovel out their door after a blizzard. She can tell us about snow. Others have also left bits about their lives and many of you leave encouraging words for me. You might be surprised to know how often writers need encouraging words. But then I suppose that's true for everybody no matter what work they do. We can all use a kind word and a smile.  I want everything I write whether it's a short Facebook comment, an e-mail, or a 100,000 word story to somehow be an encouragement to whoever reads them.

Cathy left me one of those kind and encouraging comments this week. In case you don't read the comments on posts, here is the part that had me smiling. "Just found a true treasure...one of your older books called "The Gifting". I absolutely LOVE this book. I think you should re-release it. Page 71..."Don't ruin a gifting by measuring it. Just enjoy."

So I am enjoying and remembering too. I don't remember writing those words on page 71, but I'm glad I did. It sounds like very good advice. I wrote that little book for young readers over twenty years ago, but the book lived up to its title for me. A gift. So I'm taking the liberty to change that quote at the beginning of my post a bit to say "Every book provides its own gift."   

You see when I wrote that book my father was dying with pancreatic cancer. During his illness, he became agitated and not himself and it was a very hard time for him and for all of us. The Gifting is about a young girl, Ginny and her recluse neighbor, Miss Nellie. I have to admit I'd forgotten my characters' names until I read the blurb on the cover. A lot of characters through the keyboard since then. But while I might not remember the names, I do remember the story and how thinking about those characters and what they might be going to do next helped me stop obsessively worrying about my dad and about Mom who was taking care of him. Worrying didn't help Dad or Mom either. So when the night pushed in on me and I couldn't sleep, I'd think about Ginny and Miss Nellie. The story was a gift to me.

Since then, I've been "gifted" with many other stories. Some of them have come at other hard times in my life. Right now is a hard time for me with my mother's struggle with dementia. Sometimes I wonder if I'll be able to get the next book written, but then the gift of a story will come. My last Shaker book, The Gifted, has a thread throughout about the blessing of gifts from the Lord and how we use those gifts. Like Jessamine in The Gifted, I think the Lord gave me a gift for words and intended for me to use that gift to tell stories. But at the same time that my books might turn out to be a gift to you, they can also be a gift to me while I'm writing them. But I do think I've probably used all the titles with gift in them that I can. But then you never know? I might be given another "gift" book. The Gift. His Gift. Her Gift. A Thousand Gifts. :)


Thanks for reading. And remember you can leave a comment here or on Jocie's Hollyhill blog to throw your name in the hat for the drawing for an autographed copy of Scent of Lilacs. Each comment on a new post gets you a new entry. I'll draw three winners on March 3 and let Jocie announce the winners on March 4. This drawing is open only to those of you who give me the gift of your comments here on my journals.

13 comments:

  1. Ann,
    I am so excited and happy to see my comment on your blog post today. I just fell in love with your book "The Gifting" and it just stays on my mind.

    I love the special relationship between Miss Nellie and Ginny.

    How great that writing this book helped you through a difficult time dealing with your dad's cancer. I'm sorry you had to go through that, but glad you found peace in your writing.

    You have a true gift Ann and I'm so thankful for your books.

    Blessings to you,
    Cathy

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    1. I'm glad you didn't mind me quoting you, Cathy. I did appreciate you digging out one of my old books to read. I enjoyed writing for young people. Those coming of age type stories were fun and the letters from the young readers were always a joy.

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  2. There have been many times in the last few years that I have won a book that has helped me get by. I love Christian books! I like feeling as God is speaking to me. I'd love to win a copy Scent of Lilacs. Thanks for the chance! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

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    1. Megan, that is great that books you've won have been a blessing to you. Some writers are wondering if it's a good idea to do giveaways, but I've always felt that my books are my best advertisements. If you like one, you might like another. And if you are one of the winners of Scent of Lilacs I hope you'll have fun with the story.

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  3. I love to get Christian books as gifts. I especially like the Christian Historical Fiction. I just finished your book WORDS SPOKEN TRUE. It was a great read. I will be looking to buy both THE GIFTED and THE GIFTING in the new future. Just keep writing your great books. Also,love your status comments on Facebook and often share them with my friends.

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    1. Books are my favorite gifts, Barbara. Right now I have stacks that are waiting for me to get to them. So glad you enjoyed my book, WORDS SPOKEN TRUE. I hope if you get any of my other stories, you might like them too although you have to know I'm a writer who writes a lot of different kinds of stories. My young readers' book, THE GIFTING, has been out of print for years. Cathy must have found a used copy still floating around. But THE GIFTED was my last release, published last summer and should still be easy to find. Thanks so much for reading my blog and sharing my FB posts. Feel free to share anything and pass along the posts here too if you think they will be of interest to your friends.

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  4. I have not met Jocie Brooke and her family. Thank you for reissuing The Scent of Lilacs. Very nice cover. I looked for the first one and like that cover too. Sounds like a story any age would like. Is part of your childhood memories included? Please enter my name in your drawing for this book. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Kathleen, I'm hoping a lot of readers will enjoy meeting Jocie and family and friends. She's quite a character. I didn't include my childhood memories except for the place. I did base my Hollyhill town on my hometown and borrowed a bit from this or that character. But the story is fiction. I'm playing with a second blog written by Jocie to try to get people interested in the Heart of Hollyhill series. www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspot.com. Some of what Jocie writes there will be straight from my memories and some will be made up. But then don't all of us enhance our memories a bit. :)

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  5. Hi Ann, I thought back to losing my dad 39 years ago and how traumatic it was after I read about your dad's battle with pancreatic cancer. Going through a loss is not easy but I always remember God is in control and when I think about how much I loved my daddy God loved him more. My heart hurts for you as you deal with your mom and the diagnosis of dementia. I am very close to my mom and I cannot imagine what you are going through. I'm praying for you and hope you draw strength from that. Have a blessed week...Linda

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    1. I do so appreciate your prayers, Linda. I know they make a difference for me and for Mom. Dementia is something I never thought would affect my mother because she was always so involved and active. But the mind can wear out the same as any of the rest of the body. It is much sadder seeing that happen.

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  6. I would love to read your book Scent of Lilacs. They are my favorite flower. The book sounds like one I would enjoy reading.

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    1. I would love for you to read my look, Jackie. I used lilacs in the story because they are my favorites in the spring too. They let us know spring has surely arrived to stay.

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  7. Ann,
    I sure did find a copy of your book... " The Gifting". It was at one of our library's in my state, Georgia, and I was able to put it on hold and have it delivered to my local library. Felt lucky about that. I have read several of your young adult older books and love them all.
    Blessings my friend,
    Cathy

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.