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#NaNoWriMo Sneak Peek #2!

Don’t worry, never fear–no spoilers here, just little sneak peeks of my NaNoWriMo project, The Soldier’s Wife. If you missed the first one, you can hop over and read the prologue here. Here’s a sneak peek from Chapter 1.

The sound of a slamming door reverberated in Barbara Ann Seward’s spine, and she leaned forward and grabbed the edge of the kitchen sink. Tinkling glass echoed from the foyer–he’d knocked one of the pictures off the wall. Again. She fought the urge to pluck one of the glass tumblers from the soapy water and toss it out the window at the retreating black Jeep.

Hot, angry tears stung her eyelids as she blinked them back. She would not cry. She would not give him that satisfaction, even if he wasn’t here to see it.

Bile bubbled in her throat, and she swallowed hard. Things with Ryan had been tense since he came back from his tour in Afghanistan, but this morning–well, this morning was different.

For a brief second there, Barbara was sure Ryan was going to hit her. She saw it in his eyes, just the slightest flicker of uncontrolled rage before he slammed a fist into the wall and stomped out of the house.

She stepped away from the sink and walked over to the wall. Slowly, she traced a finger on the indentation his clenched fist had made in the fussy wallpaper she’d always hated anyway. He’d come home later, flowers or something like that in hand, and they’d make up, sort of.

They never completely made up anymore.

 

#NaNoWriMo Sneak Peek! (The Soldier’s Wife)

Hey there, fellow readers and Wrimos! I’m working on a new project this year that I’m really excited about. It’s called The Soldier’s Wife, and I’m going to share a preview below!

Before we get in to the preview, though, I have to take the opportunity to remind you of a previous work I wrote during a NaNoWriMo–Don’t Ask Me to Leave, which is available on Amazon and in select stores (and other online retailers, but I prefer Amazon).

And now, without further adieu…your preview. 🙂

An ominous rumble of thunder rolled through the hills, but he did not move. A fat raindrop landed squarely in the center of his brow, but he did not lift a hand to brush it away. Instead, he watched.

She was young. He could tell that, even though the falling rain and waving leaves obscured her face from his view. Pretty, too, from his best guess. Her honey-blonde hair was pulled back in one of those intricate plaits that made his fingers hurt just thinking about the time it would take, and her figure was shapely in her jeans and damp long-sleeved tee shirt.

They were alone on the mountain. The remnants of Hurricane Whosits practically assured that. He paused, straining his ears against the sounds of the approaching storm, and could hear the faint sounds of sniffling.

The blonde beauty was crying, he realized, and paying little attention to the slippery trail. As it sloped upward, he watched her footing slip and she pitched forward, arms outstretched to catch herself.

But he did not move.

He stayed in his hiding place off the edge of the trail and simply watched as she pushed herself to a kneeling position and brushed her hands clean on her jeans, now sporting a few snags. She turned her face to the sky and let out an anguished wail.

He cocked his head to one side. She wasn’t injured, but she was clearly upset. Distracted, and alone on the mountain in a storm. Interesting.

She got to her feet and staggered forward, her crying more audible now. Around them, the raindrops increased their attack. The sky was splintered with lightning, and he made his decision.

Slowly, he uncurled his legs and slipped from the rock. The storm masked what little sound he made as he crept forward through the brush toward the trail. She never looked back as he fell into step behind her retreating form.

A House Divided

Not too long ago, my husband and I “cut the cord” and cancelled our cable subscription. It seemed like pretty good timing in one sense–we missed a lot of disturbing news coverage. Of course, you can never really escape such things, and therefore, even without watching the news, I knew all about Charlottesville. And then last week, about Hurricane Harvey. One of the things I definitely knew–no matter what was going on, people weren’t agreeing. 

A few weeks ago at church, we were discussing unity in our morning Bible class, and I shared a thought that struck me. We often tend to look back on the past with rose-colored glasses–that while now is a time of discontent, surely things were better “then”. You know, “then”? Continue reading “A House Divided”

Through the Looking Glass

A few days ago, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for awhile, and we were chatting about a mutual acquaintance of ours from several years ago. I was very surprised to find that our memories of this person were dramatically different–a person that I had always seen as good, kind, and thoughtful was viewed by my friend as spiteful and vindictive.

I’ve taken some time to reflect on how our visions of the same person can be so dramatically different, and what I keep coming back to is a verse from the Bible–I Corinthians 13:12.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. King James Version

In ancient times, mirrors were very different from ours. In fact, not so very long ago at all, mirrors were simply shiny pieces of metal. When the metal became tarnished, the reflection was a shadow of the truth.

Unfortunately, that’s often the reality of how we see others. We are looking through darkened, soiled, or even broken glass, preventing us from seeing each other clearly. What we perceive to be truth is merely a shadow of the reality.

Even more unfortunate is the tendency to hide behind that broken or cloudy mirror, presenting only a portion of ourselves to others and hoping that they’ll never see the darkness below the surface.

The more I thought about my friend and our mutual acquaintance, the more I wondered how others view me. What reflection is it that I present to the world? Am I hoping that a dirty mirror will hide my weaknesses, my shames, and my inadequacies from others, or am I ready to be known?

More modern versions of the Bible help us to interpret the verse as meaning that while we cannot always see things clearly, there is a One who can. We may not see the truth in others (or ourselves) just yet, but there will come a time when all is made known.

The fact is that we can only somewhat influence how we are seen by others. Some people will intentionally view us through a “funhouse mirror”, distorting the reality to meet their own perceptions. No matter how pure an image they project, they will always see what they wish.

So, does that mean it’s okay to just give up?

Nope. Luke tells us differently in Luke 6:31.

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. King James Version

The best way to ensure that others are not seeing us through the glass “darkly” is to be a light unto the world. If I want to be seen by others in a certain way, then I must be that way. It doesn’t work to present a shadow and hope that everyone will see only that dim reflection–because somewhere, there’s someone who is seeing you clearly.

By the same token, I need to stop holding up my magnifying glass or funhouse mirror when I am regarding others, subjecting them to scrutiny that I would never be able to withstand myself.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve never been guilty of that–of looking at others through that dirty or distorted glass–but I think you see me clearly enough to know that I’d be lying to you.

I’m not sure why as humans we make so many assumptions that we know what lurks under the surface. The Bible’s pretty clear that no man is able to know another in that way (I Corinthians 2:11):

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

One of our favorite worldly traditions is setting resolutions for ourselves, particularly in January for New Year’s. As I am a teacher, my personal “New Year” is about to begin, and this year, I am making my own set of resolutions:

  • I will stop assuming that the reflection I see is the summary of the whole. Just as we only see the tip of an iceberg emerging from the water, I must remember that I am not able to see and know the whole of another person. It takes time for the reflection to be made clear.
  • I will do a better job working to ensure that the image others see of me is not merely a reflection, but a representation of truth. We all fall short of the glory of God, of course, but that’s no excuse not to take a little extra effort to ensure that what we see in that mirror is pleasing to the eye.

And what about you? What do others see when they peer over your shoulder into your mirror? What do you need to do about that reflection?


MICKI CLARK is the author of Don’t Ask Me to Leave, a modern retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. The novel is available in both digital and print form on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X6J7QLZ

Thank You!

What a great day it’s been. I am so appreciative of the fabulous article in the Madisonville Messenger, and thank you to everyone who came by to speak to me at today’s book signing and/or purchased a copy of Don’t Ask Me to Leave! It’s been a really fun journey and I’m so glad to have you all along with me.

If you didn’t get a chance to come to the book signing today and would like to have a signed copy, please email me. If you are local, we can meet, although I will also ship books to you. Mount Sterling folks–stay tuned for details of book signings in your area!

Again, thank you so much for your love and support! It means a great deal!