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I want to be brave.

I see examples of bravery all around me.  A friend fighting cancer again, others watching loved ones go through difficult things.  Loved ones have passed away or lost their homes to terrible fires.  I wonder in my heart – Could I face that?  Could I have the grace and strength that they exhibit?

I really hope so.  We never do know what we are capable of until we are in the trenches.  Arden and I are often told, “I don’t think I could do what you do.” While this comment is what the speaker truly believes at the time, I don’t believe it.

I have watched my friends and family bravely overcome their trials.  There is a statement in a blog titled, “How to be Brave.” The author Paul Chernyak wrote, “Bravery isn’t something you are born with – you acquire it over time as you gain life experiences.”

These experiences that change us are hard and often we really don’t know what our next steps should be.  We doubt our ability to withstand the pressure as the storm rages around us.  Yet, when we are in the midst of our affliction, suddenly calm can prevail.  Just as in nature, we have entered into the eye of the storm.   It is a region of calmer weather found at the center of strong tropical storms.  Often we do find a place of calm and peace where we have clarity of thought and glimpse a vision of how we can prevail in our current circumstance.  We might even gain the perspective that somehow we are grateful for the personal growth we have realized going through this difficult experience.

The popular christian music song “The Eye of the Storm,” a modern reflection of Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd, reminds us “In the eye of the storm, You remain in control, and in the middle of the war, You guard my soul…Your love surrounds me in the middle of the storm.”

I have felt this.  Although I would never wish any of my loved ones to experience pain of any kind, I do cherish my own eye of the storm episodes.

About five years ago, pop singer Sara Bareilles released the song “Brave” on her album the Blessed Unrest.  The lyrics are great and the song sounds like an anthem, but best of all, I love watching the music video.  It is phenomenal.  Ordinary people begin dancing in unusual public places.   The people watching are unsure of what is happening, and some even make derogatory comments, but a few brave souls join in the dancing.  It inspires me.

To quote Sara – “But I wonder what would happen if you say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out, Honestly I wanna see you be brave.”  Let’s choose to be brave.

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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.