Updated: Oct 11
Welcome to our virtual café, where we'll chat about what I've been reading, writing, and doing over the past month. I invite you to have a seat, grab your inspirational beverage of choice, and join me in sharing a leisurely cup of caffeine for the soul.
What I'm Reading
The first sentence of a book is an opportunity to hook the reader, and this novel did just that.
With an inquisitive premise and a diverse cast of characters that complement each other as well as each course in this literary meal, Ms. Serle does a wonderful job of switching between the past and present to weave an engaging tale of forgiveness and love. The nuggets of wisdom sprinkled in add even more spice to an already delicious offering.
Read my full review for The Dinner List on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
Love presents itself in many ways. There's the romantic kind shared with a partner. There's the parental variety where every choice made is aimed at providing a brighter future for the generation that follows. And there's the love of self, which I humbly offer is the most important if we are to give ourselves completely to the other forms of love that greet us.
The New York Times has a column named Tiny Love Stories. It consists of 100 word true to life accounts of love appearing in our daily lives. I recently submitted two such stories and wanted to share one of them with you. It's difficult to trim such a deep story to a mere 100 words, but here it goes...
Taking one step at a time is difficult to fathom when there are 5,000,000 of them before you. Beset with injury and forced to endure the demanding trials posed by Mother Nature, my wife and teenage son are a breathing example of courageous resilience. Subzero temperatures, scorching heatwaves, torrential rains, and gale force winds. Nothing could stop them from hiking all 2,200 miles on the Appalachian Trail. While their journey taught them volumes, it awakened something elemental inside me. When you want something for another more than anything you desire yourself, that's a single and enlightening step toward true love.
Do you have a love story to share?
What I'm Doing
As an unabashed addict of Hallmark Channel movies, I recently watched Winter Love Story, which touched me in an unforgettable way.
Admittedly, it struck an emotional chord because the two main characters, Elliot and Cassie, are both writers at different points in their author career. While each struggled with a different aspect of their chosen path, it's how they chose to share those struggles with each other that resonated with me the most. That, and the endearing love story that is characteristic of all happily-ever-after movies!
Sometimes serendipity intercedes in our daily lives to show us something. What we do with that promising thought is completely up to us. The first thing we need to do is recognize and acknowledge it.
Something inexplicable occurred while I watched this movie. Cassie and Elliot stopped for the evening at a bed and breakfast named Ye Olde Chickadee Inn. Weird part number one is that the B&B's exterior, in my mind's eye, looked exactly how I envisioned the Fly Away Home B&B in my upcoming novel, Between the Lines. Weird part number two is that the couple in my story stays in the Chickadee Room. This has to mean something, right? What do you think?
This occurrence and those transpiring in the movie remind me to always remain open to all the positive possibilities life offers us. There's magic hiding in plain sight... if only we choose to notice it.
Has serendipity visited with you lately? What did it have to say?
The word serendipity is one of my favorites. The way it rolls off the tongue and the meaning behind it are both beautiful, in my eyes. And it complements another word so well...
In its most elemental form, marriage is defined as uniting intimately or by some close bond of connection. That union may be formed between two people, between an idea and a cultivator of said notion, or more universally, between an opportunity and a need.
There is something magical, otherworldly, and surreal about finally finding that missing thing that eludes us. Like a cardboard puzzle piece, we discover it only when we stop trying so hard to find it. Whether it's the love of our life, a passion unrealized, an idea simmering just beneath the surface, or an intangible feeling that has no physical description, we know there is something more waiting for us, if only we could reach out to grab it, pull it toward us, and never let it go.
The thing is... I humbly believe it might be better to try less while accepting more. By immersing ourselves in the experiences surrounding us, fully and completely, serendipity finds a way to work its magic, bringing us closer to that perfect marriage of opportunity with our need.
What do you think? Have you ever immersed yourself so deeply in an experience that it's opened your eyes to something seemingly unrelated, but supremely important?
Until next month, stay inspired! And, as always, I welcome a short (or long) email to say hi or share your thoughts on this month's final sip...
Serendipity always rewards the prepared.
~ Katori Hall ~