Strike Out, or Home Run?

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Last week blew in some mighty powerful winds here at the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Hurricane Sandy has tousled branches, blew trashcans off porches and whisked shingles off roofs. These are only minor things compared to the devastation it has caused in the Northeast. In my lifetime I have never seen a storm this powerful and widespread. Sandy will go down in the history books as one of the most detrimental hurricanes of all times.

 

When natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy happen it reminds me that there are very few things that we really have control over. We can exercise and eat right, but that does not guarantee us that an artery won’t clog or a cancer cell won’t flourish inside our body and rob us of life.

 

Another thing we have no control over is people. Sure when our children and grandchildren are young we dictate what goes on in their lives. What about when they go off to college. Can we control them then? No. All we can do is hope and pray that the things we have taught them over ride peer pressure and worldly values.

 

What about fear? Can we control that emotion? Fear of the unknown? Fear of what may or may not be? With the upcoming launch of my new novel, The Color of My Heart, (which by the way was delayed because of the hurricane) I have a certain amount of fear shadowing my every thought. What will you, my reader’s think of this new novel? Will you feel the emotions that went into writing it? Will you understand it’s meaning?

 

Releasing a new novel is sort of like playing softball. You show up for the game. You equip yourself with the tools you’ll need to win, glove, bat, ball, and cleats. You get up to bat and wait for the pitch. Here comes the ball. You grip the bat tightly. Your concentration is intense. You lift your right arm so you can put more power into your swing then whoosh you miss the ball. Not! You hit a line drive down third base line and you sail around first, then second, then third. The base coach is signaling for you to head for home plate. You’re not sure, but go for it anyway.

 

I did everything I could to prepare myself for the release of my new novel. I did the research. I wrote from the heart. I proofread and edited. I found a wonderful publishing company, and now I’m waiting on the pitch. Will The Color of My Heart be a home run? A best seller? It might not make it to the New York Times best sellers list, but as long as it touches lives and changes hearts then I’ve done all I can to make it to home base.

 

Yes, writing is just like getting up to bat. With each pitch or new novel or story you never know what the outcome will be. But one thing is for sure. You’ll never hit that home run unless you get up to bat.

 

Another dream of mine has come true. Tomorrow I will be holding my second published novel in my hand. The Color of My Heart is now available for purchase. You can order it via my website at www.SarahMartinByrd.com or from most online stores like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If your local bookstore doesn’t stock it ask them to please order The Color of My Heart.

 

The last excerpt before the release of The Color of My Heart.

 

A Few Years Later

Lakin also picked up the pen. She wrote a beautiful series of children’s stories. While getting her degree in creative writing, she met a wonderful young man. Love overcame all the hurts from the past. Lakin learned from Laura that love can overcome anything, if there’s forgiveness. Lakin discovered the difference between true love and youthful desires. Yet she could only dream of holding another baby.

In the afternoon on a cold, windy day in late February, Me-maw called everyone to her bedside. Laura, Tam, Lakin and her new husband Ty, and Lila were all there.

“Laura, when I’m gone, make sure you contact the attorney who handled Nelda’s affairs. There should be enough money in my special account to cover publishing all the books you and Lakin want to write.

“Lila, thank you for what you’re going to do for your sister. I don’t understand how it will all happen, but it will, for I’ve seen everything. In my last days ‘the feeling’ has come back to me stronger than ever.”

Me-maw was one hundred and five years old. Her senses had weakened, but she was certain of one thing: Lakin would one day have her very own baby girl to hold and love with her new husband.

Lila had no idea what Me-maw was talking about, not right then, anyway.

“Open the top dresser drawer and bring me the volume,” Inesta said.

Lakin took the black bound book inscribed Volume 10 out from the pile of socks and delivered it to her great-great-grandmother. Inesta took the book and ran her fingers over the binding, the place where the name would someday be engraved.

“Lakin, you will put the name of your baby girl here. She will carry on the tradition. She will tell the world of the miracle of her birth.”

Lakin rolled the book over in her hand, looking at the binder with no name yet imprinted on it. She then looked up at her mother with a blank look on her face, thinking Me-maw had finally lost her sensibilities. Old age had at last stolen her mind.

“Thank you, Me-maw,” Lakin said. It was sad to know that what her me-maw spoke would never happen.

 

 

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