Siblings in Fiction (and Life)

IMG_0699Do you like reading fiction that has a protagonist with siblings? Well, I do probably because I have three sisters who are now my best friends. I’m sure some people who do not have siblings have friends or cousins who are as close as sisters or brothers. Anyway, I love reading and writing about the dynamics of family. Siblings expand the depth of the characters. I know my siblings have added levels of purpose and blessings to my life.

I have a motto for my siblings–From cradle to grave. I read that somewhere years ago and have found it to be so very true. We shared our nursery years, and we are in this life together until death. Our journey is forever linked. My sisters have added other sayings that appear on my shelves. Here are two: “Back off! I have a sister and I’m not afraid to use her.” “Sister love isn’t made out of cupcakes and glitter. More like steel and a set of snow tires. It went the extra mile a long while back, and it’s not going to quit. Not tomorrow, not ever.”

IMG_3691Therefore, in my novels I like to throw in a few siblings to spice things up a bit. In the Revolutionary Faith series, Elizabeth has an older sister Anne and a younger brother George. Can you guess which one gives her more trouble? I won’t tell. She also has a best friend Sarah who steps in as a sister, sharing the bond as sisters do.

Louis, in the same series, has two brothers in France. Being the middle child, he finds an ocean apart is the best way to exist with his brothers. Only through time will the rifts begin to mend.

little womenIn fiction my favorite sisters are the March girls from Little Women–four sisters facing the world. I can relate. And I wouldn’t change a thing about my own sisters! True darlings with extremely loving and forgiving hearts.

Join my characters on a journey with their families–siblings, parents, children, friends. The four books continue to emphasize the importance of the bonds of love. Hold Me Close, Surround Me, Bring Me Near, and now Draw Me to Your Side.

Do you have siblings or friends as close as siblings?

 

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Draw Me To Your Side

 

 

Importance of Community: Family and Friends

This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”               John 15: 12-13

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I have always been surrounded by family: a house full of sisters, grandparents not far away, then my own children and husband. With three sisters now married with children, our gatherings at special occasions consist of lots of relatives. I love it! For the majority of my adult life, I’ve lived a few hours away from my parents and siblings. The time together seemed so short but packed full of memories. I’ve been blessed with my large family. Today, I’m still hours from my sisters, yet I’m only a few hundred yards from my parents. I love it!

IMG_0699Family, and friends, form an important circle around my life, encouraging me with love and support. The bond is firm, strong, and unwavering, one I can’t imagine living without. Through the years friends have come and gone, leaving me now with the ones to see me through the rest of my life.

I enjoy my community of family and friends. Even when I am alone, I know I have the love of many who challenge me not to give up, to face my days with hope and courage.  Even though blessed with a close family and a few dedicated friends, I know God is always with me giving me my community of family and friends.

070.JPGI hope you have your own community of family and friends. God’s blessings!

 

Delays or Cancellations–It’s okay!

IMG_8707Happy Summer! Since I am a teacher, I’m enjoying every moment, storing up energy for the school year that is only seven weeks away. I started my summer vacation with a sisters’ trip to Charleston, South Carolina. The four of us spent four days eating, laughing, crying, sharing, walking, movie watching, eating more, shopping–forming memories that can never be taken away.

 

After my sisters returned to their homes, I stayed  three extra days to research, read, walk the streets, and make new “research” friends. So relaxing and so productive.

Then, the inevitable day arrived when I turned in my car and proceeded to my gate at the airport for a 10:06 departure to Atlanta. Let me offer a caveat here–I was traveling alone, no husband, no group, no children. Alone. My perspective will be a bit ashew with those perimeters. Anyway, I have traveled enough with children, family, and students enough to have experienced a few set backs.

This day ended up being one that I will remember as an eventful travel situation. Storms in Atlanta brought the flight world to a standstill. The 10:06 departure turned to 11:15, then 12:15, then a canceled flight and no departure time. For me, I knew there was nothing I could do. This was a weather condition that did not fall under the fault of the airport, the airline, the pilot, or the attendants.

 

Besides having the passengers from the Charleston cancelled flights, the airport had redirected flights that could not land in Atlanta. This small airport was packed. Luckily, I love airports and travel, most aspects of the journey. I read and finished a great book, The Girl on Legare Street by Karen White.  And I had to buy another book, The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis.

With eight hours in the airport, I had time to walk, snack, watch people, and read. I loved it especially since I knew I could do nothing about it. It was sad to see couples fight and children, tired children, act up. The attendants did their best to pacify the passengers.

IMG_9643Once I left Charleston at 6:00 p.m. for Atlanta, I still had that monstrosity of an airport to maneuver and a ticket to secure. The attendant was very proud that he found a seat for me on the 12:17 a.m. to Jackson.

All fine, right? The plane carried 300 very tired and frustrated people, especially the parents and children. I was determined to make it through with a smile on my fatigued face.

You probably have guessed what happened once in Jackson. Right you are. The luggage had not followed all of us since none of us had this flight as our original connection. Once in my car with no luggage, I drove to my sister’s house thirty minutes away and crawled into bed for five hours sleep.

IMG_9663Twenty-four hours late, I arrived home (without my bag) and praised God for a safe journey, one with a few delays and cancellations. No harsh words or annoyed facial expressions. This is part of traveling.

Do you have a delayed or canceled travel story? How did you handle it?