2013 has faded into the sunset and most of the year 2014 still stretches out before us, a clean slate.
I write historical fiction set in the 1800s, a time when one-room schoolhouses were common. Students of varying ages and stages of education would use a school slate, a piece of quarry slate framed with wood, and a slate pencil to form letters of the alphabet and to practice their sums.
The advantage of slates over paper was that they could be wiped clean. The historical novelist in me looks at a new year as a clean slate, which offers a fresh start. The year 2014 is fresh and presents us with an opportunity to write a new chapter in our lives. My novels and novellas celebrate fresh starts and new beginnings. Whether it is the Sinclair Sisters forced by their fathers to go west, the Saint Charles Quilting Circle facing the aftermath of the Civil War without the men they loved, or The Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company traversing The Oregon Trail looking for a better life, my story characters find fresh starts. So do you and I. On a daily basis, because of God’s amazing, renewing grace. (more…)