Stories are like artwork. As an artist dips his brush, mixing blue with gold, red with green, creating innumerable hues on the canvas, an author paints with words. Each, on its own, only a portion of what it could be, but when blended together in the perfect array, creating a magnificent display of knowledge and imagination.
Stories are like flowers. They unfold one petal at a time, revealing a hint of what’s to come at the center. Of pistils and stamens, glowing in full sun, the culmination of wind and rain, spring or summer. Of time. They are the finished garden, buzzing with insects, bent on pollination. One seeds another and another and another.
And, again, stories are like pot roast. They’re better when left to stew, for then the juices meld together with spice and seasoning to create the perfect bite, one savory and satisfying, which you hold in your mouth and wish for again when its gone. They are the perfect dessert at the end of the day. Rested, relaxed, your feet up, you dive into their sugary sweetness, your thoughts on nothing but cleaning your plate. Satiated. Appeased.
They are windows to another age, lives you haven’t lived, places you haven’t gone, people you will never meet. And yet you have. You’re the girl in her best dress, cheeks warm, eyes wide, chin suspended in the palm of the man in the black frock coat. He brushes his lips with yours and you sigh, your heart lovesick at the sight of him.
You’re the sheriff on horseback, a day’s ride from the next town. The wind blows strong in your face, swirling dust in your eyes. Your saddle creaks, leather rubbing on leather in the ever-present heat.
You’re a soldier, your gaze searching the early morning fog for the end of a barrel aimed at your chest. Your life flashes before you, pictures of family you wish to see again. Children, their arms about your neck, sweet kisses on your cheeks. You desire to live, but must face death to do so.
In reality, the clock ticks, the air-conditioning hums, or, perhaps, a fire crackles in the grate. Your dog rises from his bed to scratch, a foot to his ear, toenails thumping on the floor. Yet your vision focuses on cobbled streets, wet from a sudden rain or flower-strewn hillsides rushing past the window of a train or the blackness of midnight, gravestones glimmering silver in the moonlight.
You travel these places on a sea of words in a ship made of paper or plastic or glass, floating along on the wind of the author’s fantasy, on his or her ability to cut fantastic shapes from plain cloth and stitch them together to become a wedding gown, a little black dress, blue jeans hugging voluptuous curves. A man with a knife, wearing a hood; another in a suit, flowers in his hand.
The story snares you, and it feeds you. It carries you skyward without you ever having to go anywhere at all, and at the end, you are better for it. You are smarter, taller, and more self-assured. You’ve become the story, and the story has become part of you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.
She took his hand and pressed it over her heart. “I won’t say it,” she said, “but you feel that beating? That’s your name written on my heart.”
Fashion model, Whitney Hobart snuck off to Florida to solve her Christmas blues. A bad, extremely public breakup combined with endless rounds of holiday cheer seems like simply too much to endure. She’ll hide out at a small hotel on the coast, soak in the winter sunshine, and no one will be the wiser.
But when her secret gets out, the problems she’s tried to escape, multiply, and what’s supposed to be relaxing isn’t anymore. The only good thing remaining is hotel manager, Fletcher Collins.
She finds in him a listening ear, a gentle hand, and maybe, just maybe, the greatest gift of all – love.
A sweet Christmas story of two souls finding hope again by best-selling author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS.