Please join me in welcoming Emily Sue Harvey to Peeking Between the Pages today. I had the pleasure of reviewing her novel Song of Renewal yesterday and you can see my review here. The book is beautiful and inspirational and I really enjoyed it. Please relax, maybe get a tissue as Emily Sue shares this very heartfelt guest post with us on Song of Renewal…
Renewal. The word rings of positive change. It denotes energy. And power. And life itself. But when I was a child, I’d not yet met its necessity. The very sound of it was tinny and foreign to my ears, definitely not musical. I hadn’t a clue. During those lemony years, after all, the air was always crisp and clear, the world, through perfect 20/20 vision, boasted, in 3D clarity, endless, vibrant colors that danced and twirled and carried me to ecstasy.
Ahhh. If only life remained that way.
Instead, my life flowed seamlessly through strawberry adolescence and into vanilla adulthood, hitting bumps and snags along the way but with the mystical resilience of youth still intact, I managed to emerge relatively unscathed.
Until one January day in my thirtieth year, when I received the news that my eleven-year-old daughter, Angie, had been killed in a tragic accident while visiting church friends. The world dropped from beneath my feet, plunging me into a bottomless dark chasm from which I wasn’t sure I’d ever emerge.
We all face devastation if we walk this earth long enough. Count on it. It will come in some manner and shape, unconcerned about ill timing. Brutal. It will change the most stoical soul. That January introduced me to another me, one chewed up, spit out and stomped into the ground. One who existed in another realm where food and sleep were inconsequential. One who no longer cared to live. One who now had two choices. To succumb to it. Or to refuse to lie down and die. Because I loved my husband and two remaining children, I chose the latter. I would go on. I was needed. Period.
There’s always a lifeline. It varies from person to person but it’s there. We simply have to look for it. In my case, I latched onto the therapy of writing my feelings down. It saved my sanity. In the end, it was my renewal and salvation. Through writing, I found me.
During those earliest, lemony fresh years, if anyone had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, “writer” would have been last on my list. “Nurse” was first because, even then, I keened to help people. Making a difference in others’ lives gives my own life purpose and fulfillment.
In my renewal during those bittersweet years following loss, I began to search for the child inside me, the one who’d been so resilient and who could lose herself in the stunning beauty of God’s creation. The one who giggled spontaneously at goofy happenings before she’d been shamed into reticence and inhibitions. Coaxing her into the open proved difficult but I soon discovered that I could more easily entice her into my writing.
To pen Song of Renewal, my first published mainstream fictional novel, was a finely tuned balancing act. It was not my first completed manuscript by any means. Remember that I wrote for therapy and that meant copiously. I threw away some but others evolved into heartfelt stories. Several of those await publication. But Song of Renewal is very special and during its writing I called upon the child inside me, who loved shaping and fleshing out the story’s characters, capturing the humorous as well as the darkness coexisting in every live, breathing human being. At the same time, the adult, ‘been there, done that’ part of me delved deeper, deeper into the complex pysche of the Wakefields, a family wracked with devastation and loss. Those to whom hope seems unreachable. But each of them, Father, Mother, and comatose daughter, mystically connect to that elusive option of renewal. It inspires one to look beyond the most devastating carnage and see what can be. What must be. And cling to it like a buoy in a raging storm swept sea.
By now, renewal is woven into my texture. My very pores sing of it and often, I dance in it. Innate me, my entire substance offers it up to everyone—just as it was offered up to me. It’s there for the taking. It’s what life, real life is all about.
Making a difference was mine for the taking. Yes, despite the grief and suffering from loss, all things do, in the end, work for the good. Those writing therapy years converged into dozens of published stories that reached out and touched hearts. My own Song of Renewal is that unconditional love and forgiveness is what makes life worth living Enjoy, reader!
Amazing, isn’t it! Thank you so much for that guest post Emily, it’s one of the best I’ve read. I have to say again that I look forward to your next novel a great deal.
I’ve got 2 copies of Song of Renewal to give away. One copy is US & Canada only (no PO boxes) and will be coming directly from the publisher. The second copy is my very own that I’d like to share because I think this book is worth sharing and it will be open to all my readers! What do you need to do…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you please.
- For 2 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.