Friday, December 30, 2016

through the years

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Like a snap of the fingers, another story has closed. Both Merry Little Christmas and the overarching year of 2016. Both were full of ups and downs, and both leave me a little teary-eyed at their departure.

MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

This story. First of all, your comments were the dearest, sweetest flutters of encouragement. Thank you. You made the writing more fun, and I was thrilled to see your words echo my own thoughts toward the story. (Although there were times, I admit, when I'd post a letter and fear that it wasn't up to par. But you all said they were good, and I adored the characters, so in the end, the story brought more smiles than anxious tears.) 

I can say without a doubt that Emily Ann Putzke is by far the best writer to co-author with. Y'all have no idea how many emails were sent during the writing of MLC! The brainstorming was a wild ride, and the writing was even crazier. Everything from ecstasy to despair can be found in those emails, and I swear, I think this little story was harder to write than Ain't We Got Fun. I'm glad Emily was there through it all. We make a good team, Em. I wouldn't want to write fictional letters with anyone else.

Unbeknownst to you, readers, we almost met during the holidays, and we intended to film a vlog together discussing the story. But plans change and things don't always work out, so that did not happen. (It's always the thought that counts, though, right?) All that to say, I wish we had a wonderful ending as with Ain't We Got Fun. Instead, we end with a whispered hint of things to come.

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On the first of the new year, we will remove the letters from our blogs. But things will come. In the meantime, hold these characters close to your heart as we do. They will return to you.

TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN

I laugh at the memes that groan about how cruel 2016 was to us all. I laugh because there is an ounce of truth resonating in the words. 2016 was a curious year. I ended 2015 by declaring it had been full of change. I roll my eyes at that now. I've never experienced a year full of more unexpected twists and turns than 2016. 

In 2016, God took all of the plans I held tightly in my little fists and whispered, "I have something better." He taught me things while I clung to my idea of a future, and He's teaching me things as He shows me His. While I'm tempted to condemn 2016 like many people are doing, I realize 2016 wasn't the disaster it appears on the surface.

2016 was a year of grace. And God is indescribably loving and good. I can only hope to learn to trust Him more.

Bring it on, 2017! I'm ready for a brand spanking new year. A great white page of possibilities. An anticipation for all the adventures to come.

Friday, December 9, 2016

merry little christmas | a story

You read that right! Starting this Monday, the 12th of December, a brand new letter-filled story will be hitting the blogs. Emily Ann and I are pleased to announce a series, titled Merry Little Christmas, that features an entirely new cast of characters and settings.


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Penny Harper and Juliet Moretti come from very different backgrounds. An orphaned New Yorker and a daughter of a large, boisterous Italian family don't exactly have loads in common. But despite their stark differences, they're knitted together in spirit by the marriage of their siblings.

Living in 1943 isn't easy during the holiday season, but somehow these girls manage to have a merry little Christmas after all.

Keeping in time with the old method we used with Ain't We Got Fun, we will post a letter every day, on one or another's blog, until the bells ring out and Christmas arrives.

Thirteen new letters.

Two fresh characters.

One cheery story.

Merry Christmas, dear readers.

(And for a bit of a sneak peek, you are welcome to stalk our Pinterest board!)