My daughter is in the process of redesigning my covers for the Bending Willow Trilogy. I’m so excited and love her ideas! This series has been four years in the making (shhh! I know I’m slow, but please don’t taunt me). As I’ve written and revised each volume, my overall vision for this set has transformed as characters have surprised me and done things I haven’t expected. As I watched my characters suffer, this quote became my new theme.
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the…willow survives by bending with the wind.
Life can be hard, and it’s natural to want problems and trials to go away when we experience them. I’m sure the willow tree hates screeching windstorms. I know I do. Winds break branches, sometimes whole large limbs…once a powerful gale snapped my backyard willow in half. Parts of trees–and us–are destroyed by storms in life, but with God’s help and mercy, we become stronger by enduring and bending with the winds, instead of cursing them.
When my willow broke, I almost pulled it out and replanted, but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s now thriving after three years and has filled in broken sections with new, stronger growth. It’s beautiful because of what it had to overcome.
What if I had given up on it after the winds tore it?
I would have missed out on something miraculous.
The characters in my stories are tossed and broken by the winds of life…and there are times they want to give up or think they’re worthless because of how broken they are. Yet the storms that broke them also strengthened them. When their lives seemed shattered, they had to send their roots down deep to survive, they had to question who they really were and what their purpose in life was…and once they did, they flourished…just like my willow.
That’s why I changed the name of the series to the Bending Willow Trilogy. Each book follows three characters through the winds of life. Suvi, Austan, and James are very different, but one thing is the same…they’re all survivors. They bend with the winds and when life breaks them, they get back up and keep living.
Now for my good news! DRUM ROLL, please……………………………!!!
I have a release date for the final book, Hands of Mercy. Yes, I’m serious. You probably think I’m pulling your leg because this has taken so darn long, but I’m serious as a jury summons.
Hands of Mercy will be available for purchase on January 26, 2015!
The book is finished and just waiting to be formatted for eBook and print and get finalized covers. Yippee!!! I can hardly wait! So grab a plate of cookies and fudge and settle in for some fun. In two more days, I’ll start posting extras about my Bending Willow characters–pictures, music, interviews–and the spotlight posts will continue into January to pump you up (even more than your Christmas baking will) about the release of Hands of Mercy.