“I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming… suddenly you find – at the age of 50, say – that a whole new life has opened before you.” ~ Agatha Christie
The main character, Mary Lunsford, in Mary in Color is younger than what Agatha Christie speaks of, but she experiences that second blooming. I was not a widow when I wrote the story, nor even when it first published in ebook. Yet, this morning as I read the beginning pages, I found that I had captured so much of what I have experienced in my own life.
While I’m a whole lot older than the age of 50, I am experiencing that second blooming in a way I could not have imagined even two years ago. In the past year, my interest and delight in writing has returned in a way more vibrant and confident that before. I finished my novel, According to Carley Love, first writing it as a lifeline and with stubbornness to finish and ending with savoring the process. That was all the way back in May 2022. The novel has undergone a number of my edits and beta reader critiques and the resulting changes. In the past months I have prayed and dithered as I have sought the best path to publication. I’m excited to say that the target date for publication is June! And to my amazement, I find new story ideas blooming for future books, as well as the desire to have backlist books republished in paper and ebook. Publishing Mary in Color in paper this year is in the plan.
To say that publishing in this day and age has changed starkly from what it was twelve years ago, when my last Valentine novel, Little Town, Great Big Life, was first published, is an enormous understatement. I heard the term publishing revolution–that’s a more apt description of what has gone on in the past ten years. When I look at all that is involved with writing and publishing today, I wonder at myself. Have I lost my mind? Why don’t I just go camping?
There’s a voice inside that keeps asking: “Isn’t it a bit late for all this? It’s a lot of work you’re embarking on. Aren’t you too old?”
Recently someone reminded me that God made me a writer and has me in his hands, that he knows exactly what I need, and that I would not be able to put aside writing and be happy. As I have continually sought the Lord’s direction, the desire to write and publish has not gone away, but has only grown. I find myself fascinated with writing and all parts of publishing today.
My age and skills, or lack thereof, are no surprise to God. And certainly I know that few things in my life have gone according to my time schedule. I prayed for nine years to have a child; I was an ‘old’ first-time mother at the age of 26, far beyond the age of any first-time mothers that I knew. Then I began writing–my first book sat for over a year in an New York City editor’s desk before being bought for publication. I didn’t learn to ride a horse until I was 35. And then there’s my ripe age of first-time RVing. Now that I look at it, I could say that I’m a second bloomer from way back, always seeking and learning something new.
There’s a line in Lost Highways— the old patriarch Winston, loving his daughter and wanting to help her, says, “Rainey, don’t you worry about not knowin’ where you’re going. I imagine you’ll know when you get there.”
Rainey is a character with a lot of broken dreams but irrepressible hope. Rainey is a second bloomer.
When I think of my novels, I realize that second blooming in life is what I write about. I’m an expert in it. I think when each of us look at our lives, we find second blooming is what we humans are programed to do.
Grace and peace,