Monthly Archives: July 2016

CONTEXTS: The Rocks in My Garden

Earlier this year I read a book about the different “love languages.”  My dear husband and I had  already been married 47 years, lived on two continents, and raised four wonderful children to godly, productive adulthoods, but I learned a lot and had one HUGE “Aha!” moment.  My dominant love languages are words and touch.  Gifts came last. I had never thought about it before, but once I did, I realized I wasn’t surprised.  I talk more than people like to listen, and the words that can’t come out of my mouth come out through my fingers to a keyboard. I’ll take a good hug anytime. I get more pleasure from finding and giving gifts than receiving them.

Now, my Brian is a quiet man.  He always has been, but now because of a medical issue, he’s even quieter and more solitary than ever before. I knew that words are NOT his love language! 😀  But then I thought about the gifts he has given me over the years, without words, and saw them in a whole new way. If I were a betting woman, I’d bet his first love language is gifts.

The rest of this post is from my FB post today–but here, I wanted to put it into context.

One afternoon in March Brian took his tractor and me down the creek at the farm to clear some logs. I spotted a huge boulder in the south/east bank and commented in passing that I’d love to have it in my new rock and shade garden. A couple months later Brian came home one night with very badly injured fingers. Whatever happened??? He had been using tractor, truck, and chains to get that boulder for me and it crushed his fingers. But it was here in the city, in the back of his truck, and he wanted me to decide where I wanted it. A few days ago he brought his tractor into town on a flatbed trailer, and this morning he used it to place that boulder and another one exactly where I wanted them–exactly. Today is our 48th wedding anniversary, and the rock he gave me isn’t a diamond on my finger, but it sure is a gift that says “I still love you,” isn’t it?

'A man who knows how to use levers and pry bars and all things tractor to get things done, and this time it was all for me.'


CONTEXT: Writing and Waiting

Time Photo7/14/16 I photographed my calendar and wrote this blog post the second week of  May, and set it aside to wait to see how I should end it– which totally depended upon someone else, and now I know.

In the winter of 1838-39, the 600 or so citizens (records differ) of Quincy and/or Adams County, Illinois, took in 5000 Mormons who had been expelled from Missouri by Executive Order of the Governor. When I learned that a publisher was buying books for a series for adolescent girls in which something historic happened in a specific place and year, I wanted to write about that.  So began a decade of fascinating research on the beginnings of Mormonism.

I finished the book, only to be informed that the last book in the series had just been purchased.  So I used my research to write another one.  A publisher and an agent have seen the first few chapters of it, and said they loved it; but one was afraid it might be too controversial, and the other wants me to develop a “platform” for my writing before she will represent it. Last week another extended an invitation to submit a full proposal for it with a complete manuscript.

I had written, and rewritten, and rewritten again, and saved each edition of each chapter in Word files, but I had never before put all 30 chapters together into a whole book.  Last week I edited each one word-by-word and saved them in one gigantic file, and Saturday night I submitted it.  I feel like I’ve been grieving ever since.  Isn’t that peculiar?

Maybe not.  The research and writing occupied most of my discretionary time for a decade, and now it’s done. The end of the process is a really good thing–I completed it!  But suddenly not having the motivation and the reason to write THAT book feels like a gigantic loss of direction in my life. Many agents and publishers issue the caveat that a writer should wait 60 or 90 days to receive a response, and if none has come by then, the agent isn’t interested. The author doesn’t know if the agent ever saw it, saw it and can’t decide, or loved it and is taking it forward for purchase.

7/14/16 Now 60 days have passed, and I never heard back.