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As I walked out the front door this morning, I could hardly believe the air. I turned to take a whiff of a peony as Fannie yanked my arm forward, but I caught the scent.

“I love it,” my neighbor said from the other side of the street as we descended our front steps. “They say to stop to smell the roses and you really do!”

It wasn’t actually a rose I smelled, but I had dreamt about them. In my dream a co-worker I haven’t seen in years put a drop of rose oil on my arm. So it seems I slept smelling the roses!

Just as Todd is walking out the door for work, I say, “Honey,” he stops and waits for me to speak. I mean really, he could have just said ‘I gotta go’ but he didn’t. He stops to look up at me from underneath the overhead cupboards above the butcher block. He stops, but I don’t expect to get both his eyes and ears. He is actually waiting and ready to listen.

“There is this Literary Agent I was reading about yesterday who says if your story is too personal you should write it, but then put it away. He says it’s very healing to write, but even though it probably reveals God’s hand in the situation, it can be very difficult for literary agents to carry all the tragedy and trauma we humans carry around with us, around with them. I can understand that. He said to write it then pack it away. He’s a really good agent and provides great resources for writers.”

Todd nodded. “Yeah? Maybe so.”

I have put it away. Several times. My novel is personal. Honestly, for me, I don’t know how writing can not be personal. But that’s me. Todd started out the door again.

“He also said he knows of one woman who did that and then ended up writing at least four books using all that material she had.”

“Yeah?” Todd said again, still listening and nodding.

“I thought about that, but this morning I realized I just need to revise the manuscript back so I “Hang the Cat” in the first scene.” Why did I change it? I keep second guessing myself. Will I ever get it right?

“Hang the Cat?”

“You’re right…it’s Save the Cat…anyway, that’s movie talk for capturing the audience in the opening scene. You have to grab their attention right away. Remember that movie I was in? They said my scene was the Save the Cat scene that set the story up. It applies to novels too.“

He smiles and now, only now, does he turn to head out the door to go to work.

(Can I just say one more time this week, I married the best. I had to really screw up the first time to know how to do it right the second, but I really did, marry the best.)

Don’t forget to smell the roses!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10. Mold and make us, Lord, what you would have us be. It’s not our circumstances that need to first change, but ourselves, so we focus on You and not our situation. Then as naturally as the blossoms opening up toward the Sunlight change, so too the conditions. May we seek You and Your guidance as we go about this day. In Jesus Name, Amen

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