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Do you see the beauty or the empty spot?

It took almost a week, but we finished it.  The puzzle was a 1000 piece cityscape of Manhattan that was difficult.  Our visitors are puzzle people too and we all worked together on this project.  It sat on the counter in the kitchen as a focal point.

Initially, the frame came together with scattered small groupings of pieces.  Sometimes when I sat down, I had great success.  I would place a few pieces in a row and feel a sense of accomplishment.  Other times, I couldn’t find any piece that fit.

After a few days, the bottom section of the puzzle was finished and everyone felt an increased sense of urgency to finish it.  More time was spent.  Friends would drop by and see if they could find a piece that fit somewhere.  Both cheers and groans were heard when a long-sought after piece was finally located and put in place.

The experience was at times fantastic and also frustrating.  We had bonding and bickering.  It was life in a nutshell.  We wondered who would place the last piece?  Who would have the experience of completing the puzzle?

As you can see.  No one did.  As in life, this puzzle will not be completed.  A piece was missing.  After a week of placing 999 pieces, we were not able to complete the initial task.  There were a variety of responses as you might imagine.

However, I don’t believe that the final outcome needed to be marred because we didn’t achieve what we thought was our initial goal.  Ultimately the goal of working on the puzzle was to bring us all together over the week.  To have a shared experience that all of us from youngest to oldest could participate in.

That did happen.  And along the way we got to (re)learn a valuable life lesson.   Not everything turns out the way we expect.  There is perfection in the imperfection.

Enjoy the picture of your life, even the incomplete parts.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.