Then and Now…Complicated Times

This morning as I took some sun, a deer came quite close to me. They’re often passing through our yard, and sometimes I speak to them…usually from more of a distance. This time I was sitting out in the yard, and this little one surprised me.

She didn’t seem to mind my bad hair day, or that I was taking up space near where she wanted to eat.

So I carried on a conversation with her. “Hey, girl. Beautiful morning, isn’t it?”

A sidelight–I’ve been working on a novel, not my usual WWII kind, but a Civil War era story. And my heroine finds comfort during dire distress in the visitations of a doe.

This manuscript, begun probably a dozen or more years back, I’ve almost thrown out. More than once. But something about the characters has kept calling to me.

That means more research, so I’m poring over books about the war and the people of the time. Did you know that the venerable Sam Houston relinquished his Texas governorship when Texas joined the Confederacy and he was forced to sign the Articles of Confederation?

He did–and dismayed thousands of Texans who had voted to secede. He stood on his principles, but they felt they were principled, too. I’m trying to crawl inside their minds to see how their belief in each state having inalienable rights drove their decisions. Such a complicated time–many of the early failures in battle were due largely to politics.

Anyway, I’m learning a lot, which satisfies me. And then this deer shows up. Big black eyes,

dark button nose, and so patient. Willing to simply stand there and stare, listening to me chatter.

One thing I’ve been thinking: today’s evil and hatred loom so large. Seems as if the bottom’s fallen out of our society. Or falling. But I’m certain people felt the same way back in the early 1860’s.

And somehow, they managed to make it through. Most likely, there’s something to be gleaned here as we struggle with sickening news reports and seemingly hopeless conundrums.

14 thoughts on “Then and Now…Complicated Times

  1. Gail, you write so beautifully. You have been blessed with such a powerful gift and are sharing this gift of writing , not only through your books, but also with posts such as this one.
    Reading this piece was such a wonderful beginning to my Sunday. I intend to read this post multiple times!!!
    Thank you, dear Gail for your words and inspiration!

  2. You had a magical morning with the visit from your friendly doe. I believe she was encouraging you to continue writing your Civil War story. Hurry! I wish to still be here to read it.

  3. Did they think the world was ending in 1860, when the drums of war were beating ever louder? We know more were faithful then. Did they envision the end times then? I suspect they did. It was clear that “their world”, the world that they had known, was ending soon. Have you considered what insights God was showing you through your visitor, much like the character in your book?

    Always enjoy your writing and how you share your creative process with us ma’am. God’s blessings to you and Mr. Lance.

    • You’re right, their whole world was turning upside-down. I don’t know if they felt the evil the way we do today. Nobody really wanted a war, but then voila!

      What do you think? Do you see. something more spiritual in the doe coming so close? I like what Leone said, it may have been encouragement to persevere w/this manuscript!

  4. What a beautiful natural event between you and he doe. It does sound/look magical or spiritual. Thinking of you and your work. Love you.

  5. Gail, you encourage me with your going back to another story after finishing with the Texas Christmas stories for this year. After publishing the last of my three- volume Regency series in August, I pulled up a contemporary romantic suspense from a few years ago and am in the process of updating it–smart phones and that sort of stuff. Characters do call us back to them, don’t they!

    • I believe they do! Keep up the good work. I also have another WWII coming out in a couple of weeks–so grateful I can still write.

  6. Your visitation from the doe is a sign, Gail, I believe, that you are on the right track with this once-shelved novel. I pray that it will be a wonderful adventure for you in the writing of it. I’m already looking forward to reading it.

  7. Gail, I loved this post. I agree with other comments that this is a sign from God to keep working on that book! What a blessing to live in a place where you can interact with the animals like that! My neighbors are cows, but there is always a fence between me and them!

    Blessings on your writing. You write excellent books!

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