dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

Trusting, despite the fog

We’ve had fog. Damp, dreich, grey.

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It matched my mood, where I feel I am in my life, unable to see the way ahead clearly. Like the cat peering through the murk.

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Yet there is something soothing about walking round the garden in the fog. There is beauty here, and I am reminded that so long as we are walking with God, all is well, as Julian of Norwich tells us. All things are well and all things will be well.

And in my perambulation of this December garden, I come across a sudden brightness. Yellow leaves and glistening drops of water. But more powerfully, this little bush is covered in sharp pointy alive buds! Buds that point the way to spring.

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Buds that assure of spring and reassure that what I’m going through now is not everything. There is hope and a future, because God says there is. He has planned it (Jeremiah 29:11). All I have to do — all we have to do — is trust.

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After the storm

Thursday night, the worst sea storm in 60 years hit East Anglia. Friends had to be evacuated from their homes, roads were closed, only opening this afternoon. So I took myself down to Southwold for a walk along the beach to enjoy the sunshine and see the damage.

Storm-damaged beach huts, Southwold, 7/12/13

Storm-damaged beach huts, Southwold, 7/12/13

This is not uncommon. The beach huts are very close to the edge of the promenade and frequently get battered by winter storms. Each year repairs are essential, but it’s sad to see people’s holiday delights so tattered. Especially when you remember the crazy prices these beach huts fetch nowadays: over £60,000 each!

Today there’s still a bit of splash on the sea, catching the afternoon sunshine.

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And when I reach the south end of the beach, the Gun Hill Cafe is open for hot drinks so I can sit outside and sip a black coffee.

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As I walk back along the beach to my car, I spot a gull standing motionless on a post with the waves splashing around him. He’s not bothered. He knows he’s safe and can fly away whenever he wants to.

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And me, walking through this season of storm in my life, I’m reminded there’s a Rock for me to stand on and sheltering wings. And that makes all the difference.

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The novel with no name

This afternoon I completed the last revision of the novel. Last but for a few nit-picky things. Now all I have to do is write the synopsis. I also want to do a back-cover blurb and what I call a ‘Publish me because’ which sets out the case for publishing this book. Oh, and I also need a title.

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When I was a child, I always fancied being a Dame, or being awarded an honorary D.Lit. Dame Dorothy… has a ring about it. But that’s not the kind of title I’m struggling with. My novel needs a title. A handle.

It’s had a few, admittedly rather poor attempts. In fact, some rather dreadful! Here are a few examples:

  • Homeward Bound
  • Encircling Love
  • Send the Fire
  • Under God’s Banner

The book is aimed at the Christian market, mainly female readership, probably aged over 45. People who like a good story, a family story, with heartache and struggles, family secrets, tragedy and romance, with a happy-ever-after, and some laughs as well as tears. It’s meant to be uplifting – to cheer and encourage and strengthen and build up faith.

And it needs a title. It feels so cold to keep calling it ‘the novel’ like a baby languishing for days, weeks, with no name!

It’s set in 1921 and centres on the Fishermen’s Revival in Great Yarmouth in East Anglia and my home town of Wick in the far north of Scotland so it needs a title that gives a taste, a flavour of the salt sea, the herrings, the Scotch fisher lassies, the rough-spoken evangelists and their Lord who called them to be fishers of men. But it’s also the story of one family and a young widowed teacher who finds love when she thought it would never be possible again. A story of hope and redemption, of truth winning out and bringing reconciliation and healing, of steadfast love – human and divine. “Steadfast love” ?

Oh dear! I’m still working on it…..

 

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