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
I recently received a gracious review for Between the Lines, where my writing style was likened to a combination of Nicholas Sparks and Robert James Waller.
As a romantic fiction author, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I never read this book. After doing so, however, my faith in the romance genre and a return to nostalgic love stories has been bolstered through this heartwarming and heart-wrenching story.
Read my full (and emotional) review for The Bridges of Madison County on Goodreads.
What I'm Writing
After February saw the publication of Between the Lines, my first novel in the Pigeon Grove series, I'm excited to revisit with my creative muse as I begin formulating characters and ideas for book number two in the series. And I have some exclusive news to share with you, my cherished community members!
My working title for book two in the Pigeon Grove series will be Splendid Chaos. It will continue the story of Pigeon Grove coffee shop owner, Maria Caldwell, alongside the introduction of a new character, Andrew Stratton, an aspiring lawyer from Texas.
The secrets we keep often hide the most important part of ourselves...
Seeking truth in the Lone Star State has always been a motivation for 29-year-old Andrew Stratton's foray into law, but the secret desire to earn his father's approval through a landmark case may be quashed as quickly as the opportunity arises. Compelled to evacuate his estranged mother from a hurricane approaching the East Coast, Andrew's unanticipated route causes him to cross paths with Pigeon Grove coffee shop owner, Maria Caldwell. The impending storm could obliterate the Carolina coastline, but it's the unpredictable weather hiding inside that threatens to wash away something much more important.
I'll continue to share an exclusive peek behind the scenes with you as I develop this story and flesh out the characters, so stay tuned!
What I'm Doing
When an animator conveys emotion through nothing more than facial expressions and mannerisms, I pay close attention.
The bond formed between Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon was one such emotional experience. After watching this movie for the umpteenth time with my family, one line from Gobber screamed out to me near the beginning of the story.
Look, the point is, stop trying so hard to be something you're not.
How many of us do this? I'm raising my hand, in case you can't see it. As an author, I tried early on to fit in to where I should be. Should is the operative and misleading word. We should go wherever our heart leads us, not where society or anyone else suggests, no matter how noble the intentions might be. Although I'm in the minority as a guy who longs to write timeless love stories, it's where my heart and soul is guiding me. Thank you for that reminder, Hiccup.
The third movie sharing Hiccup's story is in theaters now, and our family is looking forward to flying on the backs of magical dragons once again through the land of Berk!
What is you heart calling you to be?
There's a time and place to think about the past. But, I've often found that it's when we dwell upon it, as opposed to glancing in the rear view mirror, that we become blinded by what's right in front of us.
Our focus becomes so narrow that we only see the slats on a fence and how they keep us from pursuing and realizing our dreams. But if we take the time to step back, look at the bigger picture, and recognize all the beauty that surrounds us, we discover possibilities and opportunities that the mind can't fathom. No amount of thinking will bring them into focus. They can only be seen with the heart.
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...
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~