Grist for the Mill



Though we were told for days our power would take up to six weeks to restore, it came back yesterday here at the house, thanks to the valiant efforts of the utility crews. My phone popped up about the same time, so I have DSL as well for the moment.

Joni's still off-grid, but since we have a laundry pact, she'll be over this PM to wash and hop on my wireless connection. Unless rolling blackouts happen, a distinct possibility.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about gristmills. Or more specifically, how even life's crises can provide grist for our creative mills. For many of us, writing
offers a way to refine life's injustices, tragedies, and hardships, to transform them into flour to nourish not only our own but our readers' spirits. In processing our personal stresses, we offer others a means of escape from their own hardships. It's always an honor to hear from readers who write to let me know my books have helped them through situations from ranging from a root canal to childbirth to the long vigil at the bedside of a dying family member. It gives me faith that novels have a real, enduring value even in our modern world.

I've wanted to write another storm book* for a few years, since Tropical Storm Allison causes such massive flooding in the Houston area. But a friend died far too young in that ordeal, and I couldn't handle it at the time. But finally, that event's been ground done by my subconcious.

I'm ready to bake bread now. Or at least give it a shot.


*My second historical romance, Night Winds (Zebra, 2000), was based on the 1900 storm that destroyed much of Galveston and cost approximately 5000 lives. I've been thinking of it a great deal this week, and my heart goes out to all those on the island and the hard hit coastal and bay communities.

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