We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Great Story: Dark Enough to See the Stars

I love a great story, don't you? Few pastimes offer more pleasure than a mug of hot tea, a cozy blanket, and a riveting story while the wind whooshes through the trees outside and rain pelts shivering windows. There's something special about cuddling a sleepy child in a rocking chair for a bedtime story or reading aloud to the kids under the backyard maple tree on an Indian summer day. "Please, Mom, just one more chapter? Please?"

I'm one of those parents who took my girls to the library and surrounded them with books. Seems we always had a book going. All three of them are still readers.

Stories have the potential to give us new ideas . . . and perspective. Like a magic carpet, they bring us to another time and place, yet we often learn about our present lives and take away courage and inspiration.

Award-winning author, Cindy Noonan, has written a wonderful novel for children, ages 10 to 13. "Dark Enough to See the Stars tells the fictional account of twelve-year-old Moses, who runs away on the Underground Railroad. Bloodhounds chase him as he follows the North Star to Pennsylvania. Before his mother was sold to a plantation in the Deep South, she had taught him to find the star. She had told him, “Never forget, Mose, you is named after Moses in the Bible. Someday you is goin’ to the Promised Land, just like he did.” Fueled by his mother’s hopes for his freedom, Moses is determined to reach Canada." Read more about the book from Cindy's website.

Cindy and I belong to the same writers' group. Our circle of writers read this story chapter by chapter. At every meeting, we couldn't wait to read the next "installment." Cindy has researched the Underground Railroad thoroughly and brought a story to life that any middle grader will love. He or she will take away an appreciation for freedom and for the sacrifices of many good people along the way. 

So, if you're looking for a good read for the family that offers history with a heartbeat, take a look. Dark Enough to See the Stars is available on Amazon.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Making Waves

Dune grasses against a blue sky, kites flapping in the breeze, sand between our toes, and the ever constant waves. Last month we headed up to our favorite vacation spot. "Up North," on the shores of Lake Michigan, we enjoyed wonderful times with family: catching up, reminiscing, taking turns reading stories to the kids, and breathing the fresh air.

One day, all of us struck out for the beach. We slathered on sunscreen, took turns zipping around on the jet ski, and watched the little ones play. Boats of all shapes and sizes glided to and from the marina. I found myself mesmerized by the waves, sometimes gentle, sometimes strong, but ever constant. I discovered that a boat can be gone a long time before its wake splashes up on the beach. And this made me think about influence . . . our influence on others and their influence on us.

We all make waves as we move ahead in our life stories. Those closest to us feel the effects in the moment or soon after. Yet, actions and attitudes cause a ripple effect. Long after, our choices still make waves. Often our waves bring a positive effect. And sometimes our wake, even after many years, brings waves of disappointment and pain.

Makes me wonder what we're leaving behind in our quest for a fulfilling life. Maybe it's a good idea to look behind us once in a while, to pay attention to the influence we have, and to do all we can to make sure we're leaving the right kind of wake . . . waves that bless others . . . for a long, long time.