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Break Time is Over

I've been on a break from this blog. A long break. From reality, too.

Now, granted, I took a couple of weeks vacation while I was gone. I took a break from Facebook for the entire month of September, which was quite refreshing. My wife and I cleaned and relaid a couple of tons of river rock that decorates our back deck area. And we removed and then relaid all the concrete pavers in our driveway. All 1,620 of them. By hand. Thank goodness for knee pads.

I've been writing, at least. I finished the manuscript for a new book, The Next Reader, and sent it off to my editor. I'm 9,000 words into the last Willow Brown novel, cleverly titled Willow Brown Book Five, for now anyway. I started an email newsletter, News, Views, and Reviews and sent out the first edition last month. (See the contact page if you're interested in receiving it.)

Sinus surgery in October slowed me down for a bit. Performed outpatient, my activity was still severely restricted for a few weeks. I've only recently been released to lift more than ten pounds.

So it's back to blogging and allowing you a peek into the mind of a writer on a more regular basis. Framing those visits to my gray matter will be my wife Sue's beautiful photographs. The covers of the third and fourth Willow books, plus the two short stories, were all from Sue's camera. (You can see more of Sue's work at her Facebook page Photography By Suela.) She's embarked on a project to post a picture to Facebook every day for a year. Each week or so I'll pick one that evokes some thought or emotion or idea and share it with you.

Here's the first image I want to share, which was shot through our living room window.

My first thought when I saw this picture was "Where's the fairy?" Common fairy lore tells us that when a candle flickers there's a fairy nearby. And when they fly past, there's a good chance they'll blow candles out.

A deeper thought surrounds the fleeting existence of those around us. The candles smoked for only a few seconds after being extinguished. Sue was ready and had to work quickly to capture their beauty. When a heart stops beating, life is likewise extinguished soon after.

Tonight, as I write this, the television and the Internet are filled with images of yet another mass shooting. More hearts stopped. More lives extinguished. In the candle photo, you can guess when it was taken because of the red-leaved tree seen in the background that speaks of Autumn. But you know not when I write, for death by violence has grown too common for one day to be distinguished from another.

Candles, at least, can be rekindled.