True love story: The Tulips

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 21 January 2015 | 2 Comments

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  It was a day I was tempted to erase from the calendar. Then a trip to the grocery store changed everything.
  My dad had just been taken to hospital, again, in a city just far enough away to be beyond reach. I had just returned home only a few days before, had rescheduled appointments, needed to try and put in a few hours for pay .... and on and on. I attempted to forge on while I awaited news from Emergency, and checked my list., Buy a thank-you bouquet for a local merchant who went above and beyond in supporting our author and her book sales. I scooted into the supermarket, scanned the floral arrays, and settled on a pot of tulips, just barely beginning to open. I hustled to the checkout, one ear to my phone, a hand on my wallet, as if moving quickly would somehow get this chaotic day over with faster.
  "Aren't these lovely!"  the cashier enthused. Alice, her name tag said. A pleasant lady somewhere between my age and my mom's, I'm guessing.
  Drawn in my her warmth, I smiled and agreed.
  "My husband loved tulips. When he passed away, oh, about 12 years ago now," she paused, bag in midair, then tucked the plant inside, "we had tulips at the funeral home. All kinds of them." She tapped the register keys. "Our best man officiated ... he wasn't a full minister when he married us," she chatted as we waited for my debit card to be approved. "There was one big tulip that wasn't open. But when the minister started the service, it opened. Right then. Just like that." 
  I swallowed against the lump in my throat. "That was a beautiful story," I whispered. "What an amazing thing.'
  "Yes, it was," she beamed, handing me my bag. "You have a good day."
  I was now. Even the lump in my throat suddenly became beautiful, a sign that I could be touched by another's words, that I could feel more than resentment and exhaustion.
  That is why we need to share our stories. That is love.

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Mommy, Where Do Novels Come From?

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 20 February 2011 | 0 Comments

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Writing a novel has often been compared to childbirth. Having birthed three children and written one novel, I think the comparison is a bit of a stretch - no pun intended :)
However, as Finding Maria finds her way onto shelves, into stores, and in the hands and discussions of readers, I have to admit that I am considering a sibling. Perhaps it is the thrill of seeing a book come off the press, or maybe it's the great excuse a book launch provides to have a good party. More likely, it is that the characters in Finding Maria have just begun to feel the sun on their faces, and are bursting with more stories to tell.
Whatever the reason, I am excited about the prospect of writing again, but a little timid of entering into the solitary writer's lair that can be the creative process. This time, I I'm going to try writing with the office door open, just a little, in case you'd like to chat, get a glimpse of a work in progress or learn a bit about this process that gets a novel to paper. Snippets of new creation, reflections, or whatever the day brings will be posted here. I invite you to share as well.

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