I know I’m late posting this today. Long story short: we decided to go back to Nebraska. It’s a long and complicated tale, but it turned out to be better for everyone so we decided we might as well move back sooner rather than later. When you have kids with IEP (individual education plans), it’s just easier to get them back to the old school while those IEPs are fresh and current. Minnesota was nice. I don’t want anyone to get the idea that we were miserable there. The key to contentment is to be happy wherever you are. Home is more than a place where you live; it’s who you also surround yourself around. :D So we are happy wherever we live. I think God just wants us to be in Nebraska.
Enough about all that. I know I have two comments pending for this blog, but since it’s almost 11pm, I’m going to hold off until tomorrow to get to them.
Now for the post I promised to do today…
This was one of the rare stories where the plot was pretty much established during a dream I had. I was writing Bid for a Bride at the time, and one night I had one of those dreams where you know the past of everything that happened up to the scene that you actually dream about. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but suffice it to say that in most of my dreams, I know the background of the people in my dreams.
Anyway, the actual dream was of a man sitting at a kitchen table in the late 1800s. He wore a suit, so I knew he wasn’t a farmer. A woman was washing dishes at the sink, and as he watched her, he struggled with the awareness that he was falling in love with her when he should have stayed devoted to his first wife who had died.
That was the scene. I knew this woman in the dream was the sister of his first wife. I knew the woman married him out of convenience but harbored romantic feelings for him that she refused to acknowledge.
While I was asleep, I thought, “This has the potential to be a pretty good book.” I don’t often have dreams where I know I’m dreaming and manipulate what else happens in the dream. But this particular dream was the kind of dream where I was able to work through various plot points in the story.
(Just so everyone knows, I haven’t had this type of dream since. Most of the time, I dream about three things. My kids are making a mess and no matter how much I clean, the mess only gets bigger. I’m going in for another c-section so it would be my fifth since I had four boys via c-section, and I worry that my body won’t be able to handle another c-section and I’ll never recover from it. And the third dream is usually one where my husband tells me he’s divorcing me. When I wake up from those dreams, I am so relieved. I know they’re all fears I carry around but don’t give thought to during the day.)
Anyway, during this particular dream, I went through different scenarios between the man and woman until I settled on one that made me happy. :D
When I woke up, I brainstormed on where to put the characters and plot I had worked through in my dream. Since I was working on Bid for a Bride and had been wanting to do a book about the child Eliza (from Loving Eliza) had but couldn’t keep. So it was likely the timing of the dream that created the series the idea went to. I wanted to see Eliza reunited with her son. I knew her son would be a preacher (simply to show that his circumstances in being conceived didn’t hinder God’s grace), but I did hesitate to give him that role in Bride of Second Chances. I worried that I’d offend someone by making him a preacher because I’d have to give him a more prominently Christian role than I typically give my characters. But then I thought, “If this is who the character is, then he needs to be a preacher.” Besides, I manage to offend people in many ways when I write books, so why stress over what job a character has? So I let him be what he was meant to be.
For other authors who might be reading this: Write the story as it’s meant to be and let characters be who they are. The pursuit of trying to please everyone is fruitless. You’re much better off following your heart. It’s hard to block out the critic, but it can be done. I find taking time away from the Internet for a few days helps a lot. Sometimes you need time away to get reconnected with your characters. :D