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Hi all,

I'm sure sorry for my extended absence. It's been a busy month. but I finally have a bit of time to breathe and write. One of the things on my mind lately has been whether or not my characters seem too, um, perfect. Some of that is normal in fiction, most authors make their characters a bit larger than life, especially their heroes. I mean think of Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, or James Bond the suave British spy, or even King David from the Bible. Yes, they had their bad days, but mostly they are who we'd like to be when faced with crises. (My name is Harding...Joy Harding).

So what about the main characters in the Boundary Waters Search and Rescue saga? Are they formed of pie in the sky, cotton candy dreams? Could anyone really react they way they do when they are in crisis? I say yes, real people could respond as they do, could heal as they do and could be educated they way they are, especially given the classification of these books as fiction.

I just wrote about the chronic illness and past baggage issues that are a part of the characters in my books. You can find that article on my Facebook page.

( ) I authored that piece because someone asked me if Liz could really do some of the things she does, given her health. The answer is a qualified yes, based on my own experience. I will not presume to speak for others. Fibromyalgia, in particular, is a wicked disease that impacts people in many different ways. In my world, there are days that Fibro allows me to do many different things. Other days not so much.

As for living with the past, I honestly believe that you either make peace with your past or your past consumes you. We all, to one degree or another, live with experiences that could consume us if we never move beyond them. One of the keys to moving on in victory is to understand that we give them the power over us that they have. I believe that the only way to fully let them go is to give them to God. To hoard bitterness in our spirits will only poison us, not the parties who harmed us. God is faithful and just and our pain can be trusted to Him so that we can move on in forgiveness. This is also a theme of my books---the ability to forgive and let go.

Beyond illness and baggage, I have a couple of other quasi-rules that are a part of my writing. We live in a very dark world. If you want to read dark fiction that exposes the worst in humanity, there are many choices out there. It has become vogue to create anti-heroes or even to let darkness win. These are not going to be found in my writing. I believe in true heroes, that true goodness still exists in the world and in the power of family (engaged parents, solid God-centered marriages, and life-long commitments, as well as strong family units even when pain has destroyed what God intended to be perfect. ) Don't let anybody convince you that these things don't exist in our world, they do. It seems that it's popular to focus on the evil and on the wrong, but good and right still carry on, quietly perhaps, but in the end, I believe they will overcome.

My books are patterned after my faith that God is still on His throne and loves us with a passion we can never fully grasp. If that's not your thing, then my writing might seem like pie in the ski, cotton candy nonsense. I'm sorry, but I've seen too many miracles of grace to write anything other than good triumphing over evil. Will bad things happen? Most certainly. Do I enjoy them? No, but those times in the valley will teach powerful lessons if we let them. I believe that it is our response to bad things that determines whether or not joy comes in the morning and whether or not we will dance on the mountaintops with the agility and joy of the deer. I say with Habakkuk the prophet:

Though the fig tree should not blossom

And there be no fruit on the vines,

Though the yield of the olive should fail

And the fields produce no food,

Though the flock should be cut off from the fold

And there be no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will exult in the Lord,

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength,

And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,

And makes me walk on my high places. (Hab. 3: 17-29, NASB)

In Love, Joy and Hope,


Cotton candy photo courtesy of: <a href="">Heart vector created by upklyak -</a>

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