Nothing Will Happen to Me

It doesn’t seem real. Texas is so far away. So we sit back, watch a city flood, and view the twisted steel remains of what were condos. Knowing it’s not going to have any real effect on our lives other than drive the price of gasoline through the roof, we go about our business, because it’s not tangible when you live a 1000 miles away.

Except the world is growing smaller, thanks to cell phones and places like Facebook and Snapchat. As Harvey is wrecking havoc on Houston, we’re virtually watching it as it happens. Seeing the video of my friend’s son whose street is already flooded and slowly the water is getting closer to the house. His brand new house that they just bought a few months ago. And he’s in an area that wasn’t supposed to flood.

To be honest, I didn’t even know there was a hurricane until late Sunday night. When I discovered it, it was simply just another hurricane in the Gulf. “Uh-oh, here goes Louisiana again.”

But then it was headed into Texas and the storm didn’t look too big, there wasn’t much of an eye. What? A Cat 4? This was no ordinary hurricane. We don’t get many Cat 4’s hitting the USA. Then I watched it. OMG!

The devastation is unreal. Still it’s far away. But when you live in an area where hurricanes hit, you pay attention to them. And when your friend’s young son lives near Houston with his wife and baby… And when another friend lives in the downtown Houston, and the list goes on and includes authors and other friends. The whole thing seems worse with cell phones recording the rising water or the house that has tumbled to the ground. There is no question in my mind what a Cat 4 can do, I know how bad a hurricane can be. I know what a tropical storm can do, and I know how fast a tropical depression can change into a full-fledged hurricane.

Harvey has made me rethink what I would do if the call came to evacuate. Even an early warning to evacuate has made me alter my thinking. Yes, I’m on high ground. And my house has stood for probably 200 years or more. What’s the worse that would happen? That darn pecan tree that is owned by the neighbors that sways over my house could fall and severely damage the back end of my house. Or maybe that illegal aluminum siding that someone managed to put on the house about 40 years ago might be ripped off in a good blast of wind. Certainly I could sustain the force of a hurricane. “Give me that marker because I’m more than willing to write my social security number on my arm. Nothing will happen to me! This house can withstand a storm.”

After watching what has happened in Texas, I’ve decided I’m the biggest chicken to ever live. Want to see how fast I can pack and get out of town? I’ll toss my external hard disk in the car, along with my laptop, a handful of family photos, all the insurance stuff, and other important papers. I’ve seen enough. I’m not going to hang around for anything greater than a Cat 1, and I might not take my chances on that. I’ll be one of the first ones to pull out.

And why are they calling them cyclones? That’s the new word for what, a hurricane or tropical depression? And we have “something” dumping a ton of water on us. What? We’ve got a “cyclone” sitting off our Eastern coastline. When did that happen? I’ve been watching Harvey. I had no idea until this thing was about to dump a ton of water on us!

Okay, who lives where there are no earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, or hurricanes? Because that’s where I want to go!

Writing: Sow the Seeds & Watch it Grow


At some point in time, you’ve probably heard about the four stages of competence. If you haven’t, in a nutshell, it’s the process one goes through while learning a new skill. I first learned about the stages when I left the Pediatric ICU and took a job working in the realm of education. I believe it applies to writing, and the process goes something like this:


Stage 1:  Unconscious Incompetence 

“I don’t know that I don’t know how to do this.”

Stage 2:  Conscious Incompetence

“I know that I don’t know how to do this, yet.”

Stage 3:  Conscious Competence

“I know that I know how to do this.”

Stage 4:  Unconscious Competence

“Yahoo. I know and can do it effortlessly.”


As I think back to the early days when I first sat down to write, I can still remember exactly how it felt to be so blissfully ignorant. It was such a good feeling. (Or so I thought.) Then realization hit. Hard.

Say what? Yup. Poof. There went the bliss.

Now, replacing the euphoria was yet another massive learning curve, one I’d have to muddle through while releasing a rivers worth of blood, sweat, and tears.

Yes, the learning curve is huge. The list of rules seemingly keeps growing longer and longer. It’s no wonder stage two is reportedly the most difficult stage to conquer.

I call this the “mistake and self-judgment” phase. It’s riddled with internalized phrases like…

Why am I bothering? Will I ever catch on? Geez, maybe I should throw in the towel and move on.

Stage two is the phase where people often give up, but it’s also the time when an incredible amount of growth can happen. It’s important to understand that mistakes are a natural part of learning. From them, we make adjustments and eventually find ourselves, on occasion, saying, “Yeah, I think I’ve got this.”

I still see myself existing somewhere between stage two and stage three, which can be rather daunting since I can now find things that are wrong with my writing but still can’t seem to figure out how to fix them.

As a reminder that many things often start from seed, I recently followed the instructions on a packet I picked up at the Grand Canyon and hope to grow my own Joshua Tree. In the beginning, it takes a lot of sunshine, and I have to keep adding water to the bowl. Just like my writing, the seeds I poured onto the soil will either stay dormant or, just maybe, they might grow.

If they don’t, it’s no big deal. I’ll adjust and try again. One day, with a great deal of persistence, I might even find myself enjoying that blissful feeling as I work between stage three and stage four.



See you next month for my post, Christmas is Coming.

Until then, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. This writing gig isn’t ain’t easy!


Found Novel

While going through my files today, I found several novels that are all but completed. Here is one that I particularly like because it involves a child. Stories of children are close to my heart.

I hope you enjoy reading a couple of chapters.


Megan Phillips is an only child, or so she thinks. Estranged from her father for nine years, yet she’s too stubborn to ask why he’d never contacted her.

After her father passed away, she is shocked when she learns she has a half-brother, Adam. A brother she hadn’t known existed, who is now motherless and fatherless. Adam’s future depends on Megan.

But Megan has no intention of accepting the inheritance from her father’s estate, nor the responsibility of his child.

Though Megan has a soft place in her heart for children, will she welcome Adam with open arms, or give up Adam and all rights to her inheritance?

Chapter One

In a couple of hours, life as Megan Phillips knew it, would be forever changed.

She tossed and turned, and at five am, rolled over, popped off the alarm, then burrowed back under the covers. What she wouldn’t give to sleep the morning away, to erase the dreadful memories that floated inside her head. Instead, she kicked back the covers and crawled from the bed’s warmth, tied her hair back, tugged on sweats, then headed out the door for her usual morning run.

The relocation to Helen next week had its drawbacks, but she could do with a fresh start, one without immediate reminders of Brian and Seth that haunted her every thought. At least that’s what several friends had advised. She had yet to believe it herself. How does one simply forget?

No amount of distance could wipe out the memories. She was well aware of that. The house was full of memories. Haunted memories. Everything she touched set off new waves of nausea, or each time she passed by their photos, they reduced her heart to ashes. Still, she wanted those reminders around. Reminders of a kind, loving husband. A priceless gift from God…Her son.

Their deaths had driven her to the edge of collapse, of insanity. She’d lost her reason for living. Nothing or anyone could ever fill the void. Somewhere, and at some time, she’d have to find peace. She couldn’t live this way forever, but finding that peace didn’t seem close enough yet.

Moving forward was her only option, no matter that her mother always said, ‘You can’t run from your problems, sweetheart.’ She wasn’t running, only relocating. She prayed her decision was as it should be, not based on self-seeking needs and one she wouldn’t regret. Megan jogged at a cool down pace, then followed the trail back to the entrance of her apartment a little before six.

At seven sharp she’d applied make-up and paid special attention around the now barely visible scar on the left side of her upper lip. The scar, a reminder of being thrown from the horse her father had bought for her when she was twelve. The phone’s shrill ring whisked her back into reality.

Megan gripped the phone while her pulse soared like a hot-wired sports car.

“Excuse me? Would you repeat that?”

The voice on the other end popped across the lines, stiff and professional. “Bret Evans, Mrs. Phillips. I represent your father.”

Megan’s first reaction was to hang up, instead she fought down the demons, pushing dread deep inside her belly. Instead, curiosity won out. To ignore the call, now that he’d found her, was a waste of time. Mental images of deceit assaulted what contentment she’d found in nine years. Thomas Hall, her father, was about to slip into her life again.

“Mr. Evans, I’m on my way out the door. What can I do for you?” Regardless that the masculine voice on the other end intrigued her, now Megan wished she’d censored the call.

“I’m sorry. I’m not at liberty to discuss this information over the phone. What I can tell you is, it’s urgent that you come to Vail. At once.”

“That’s out of the question.”

“Mr. Hall asked if you’d be kind enough to honor this one request. A number of legalities require your presence.”

After a long pause, she thought they’d been disconnected.

“When can we expect you?”

Megan took offense that a stranger would exude so much control. Still, she reserved the irritation in her voice. “Mr. Evans. Please extend regrets to my father. It’s impossible to get away at this time.”

Or any other time for that matter. Megan despised the day she and her father, Thomas Hall, argued about her future. Their estrangement hadn’t centered on one disagreement though. It seemed they’d always been at odds with each other, especially when it came to his ambitions versus her own goals.

“It’s crucial you be here, Mrs. Phillips.”

Outside, lightning bolted across the sky and rain came quick and hard, giving birth to a vapor rising from the pavement on a cool October morning. Her finger automatically reached to touch the scar on her lip as waves of nausea battered her stomach. She’d felt safe enough, until now.

“I’m sure it is. It always was. You have my answer,” Megan said, then punched the end button on the phone.

Megan leaned against the wall and pressed her fingers into her temples, closeting a moment of despair. She was still dealing with the loss of her husband and son, that was more than enough for any human to endure.

The last person on earth she ever wanted to see again was Thomas Hall.


Chapter Two

Two days later, she stepped off a plane in Vail, Colorado.

Despite the sunlight’s warmth spider-webbing across the gray marble floor, Megan felt a chill cut to her bones. Death hung in the air. She smelled it. Felt it. Her senses alive with familiarity.

Each click of her heels inched her closer to the hissing respirator of room 407.

Megan pressed three fingers against her temples, hoping to rid herself of the blinding headache.

Accommodating the Vail attorney’s request, providing closure to a chain of unhappy incidents in her past was not what she’d had in mind. Still she’d come. Facing the man in the bed would be the hardest thing she’d done since her husband and son’s death.

Uncertain of his feelings, Megan moved into the room and stopped beside his bed. She knew his illness was terminal, but was unprepared for what she saw. It was all she could do to keep from crying.

She was stubborn, and couldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing her tears. With a smile pasted on her face, she walked forward and braved seeing her father again.
Her breath caught at the blue eyes that once tormented her, staring back glazed in impending death. Anger and resentment passed like a storm in the night over their nine years of separation.

He’d been a virile, yet vain man. The salt and peppered hair that he’d cherished had turned to alabaster.

Thin, yellowed skin folded into crevices of his skeletal form and stilled bony fingers, did little to satisfy her need for revenge. What did it matter that he’d not know she’d become successful in spite of him. Looking at her father now, nothing would matter. He was beyond knowing or caring.

Megan recalled her mother’s words. ‘Time waits for no man. Savor every moment.’ There would be no more moments for them. No more time to ease the pain of separation and the precious time they’d spent apart.

A lump rose in her. She felt cheated of the time they’d lost. Had her stubbornness been worth what she knew now to be the last days, maybe the last hours of her father’s life?


Bret sauntered through the hospital suite’s adjoining room, while Megan sat and stared out the hospital’s window. Snow piled high on the window’s ledge and swirled from the winds that had the temperature dropping at an alarming rate.
Unable to get the husky feminine voice out of his head since their phone conversation, he stared at the petite vision before him.

“Ms. Phillips?”

“Yes.” Megan turned. “Mr. Evans?” A shock of sandy hair falling forward on bronzed skin met her scrutiny.

“Bret. Bret Evans.” He smiled, immersed in the scent of her perfume. When he reached to shake hands, he closed his right hand over hers. From photos of her, he’d known she was beautiful but in person, was even more so.

“Please…call me Bret.”

“Thank you. It’s impossible to speak with my father now. He’s beyond speech.” Bret gazed into her eyes and saw a deep hurt inside.

“I’m sorry. If only you could have gotten here sooner.” Bret didn’t know how she felt, but from the look on her face, she was clearly stunned at her father’s condition. “He asked for you.”

Thomas and Bret had discussed that he and his daughter weren’t particularly close, but he’d omitted the details. That had led Bret to wonder about their estrangement. Something was definitely amiss in their relationship.

Bret reached for his briefcase. “Can we talk?”

Megan glanced toward her father and nodded.

Bret rang for the nurse, then led Megan toward the coffee shop. The mirrored elevator gave Bret a perfect view of Megan’s face. She was definitely a beautiful woman.

“To sum it up, Ms. Phillips, your father retained me as your attorney, at least until his estate is settled. Which is quite large, I’m at liberty to say. I’ll act as your attorney until such time you deem no longer necessary.”

Bret waited and watched Megan, while a hint of pain etched her face. “Your father has a request that will no doubt come as a complete surprise. There is a matter of great importance that must be taken care of before we can get on with executing the will. My apologies.”


For all practical purposes, Megan assumed the brief time they spent together would be on a professional level. She stared into his eyes. They reminded her of a stormy blue sea. And, probably just as dangerous, she thought. Suddenly she was angry that he must see her as someone who would only think of money at a time like this.

“Mr. Evans. For the record, I’ve no intention of accepting anything from my father. I have no need for an attorney. I came here to appease my father and you, since you were both so insistent.”


“Mr. Evans. Whatever monies there are, please distribute between charities of your choice. How my father’s estate is executed is of no concern to me.”

“Perhaps you’ll experience a change of heart after hearing provisions of the will. However there is probate court to consider.”

Bret looked as though he tried to read her mind, but she’d thrown a wall around her.

“You’re the only person he trusts.”

Megan had no reason to believe that line, but if she were to get this over with, she would play along. “Tell me. What is this grand honor?”

“I’m not sure if you were aware your father had remarried. From the marriage there is a child…a boy. His name is Adam. Adam Phillips.”

Megan’s eyes flickered but made no move to comment. A brother, her father hadn’t even bothered to tell her he existed.

When Megan made no move to comment, Bret continued.

“Adam is a well mannered, bright child for his age. He loves his father deeply and hasn’t a clue of how to deal with his grief. His mother abandoned him when he was a year old. So, you see the child has no one else to turn to.”

“I’m terribly sorry. I had no way of knowing.” Suddenly the sound of Bret’s voice, his demeanor, made Megan nervous. Why was he talking of this child when all she wanted was to get out of here?

“Look, Ms. Phillips.” Bret stuffed his hands in his pockets, stared out over the coffee shop and continued. “Please, may I call you Megan?”

The conversation wasn’t going in the direction she’d hoped. This was not good. She couldn’t shake the uneasiness.

“If you wish.”

“There’s no way to tell you except to simply ask you outright. Adam needs a mother, or in your case, a sister. It’s pertinent we go before the judge before Thomas passes. Not that it’s impossible afterward, but the procedure is more simple beforehand.”

Megan gasped. “Go before a judge? A mother for Adam? What on earth are you talking about? What does Adam have to do with me? Surely his mother can be found or there is another family option?”

“Well, you are his sister. And according to your father’s wishes, he’s chosen you to take care of Adam.”

“Quite astounding for a man who hasn’t bothered to call, write or acknowledge the fact that I’m alive—in over nine years. I’m sure you’re aware he disowned me when my mother died.”

“We talked, yes. However circumstances, as has the will, have changed since then.”

“I was young and full of ideas for my own future. Not one he’d built for himself. He was never there for me, and now in death he wants to rule my life? I’m sorry. I can’t do it. I won’t. It’s impossible to mother a child I don’t even know. Besides, I know nothing of raising children. Are you certain there are no other family members?”

“None your father wanted to pursue. Adam’s grandparents could assume responsibility for the boy, but…”

“Well, then. You have your answer, don’t you? The boy has grandparents. I’m sure they’ll be ecstatic to have him live with them.”

“Not quite. You see, they haven’t seen Adam since he was a year old. There were objections from her parents. Thomas was twenty years older than Adam’s mother and her parents grew bitter when she’d married him without their approval. Your father has no desire for his only son to be reared by the grandparents. Who, by the way, had no contact with Adam even when his mother left.”

“Is locating the mother out of the question? How do you know the grandparents wouldn’t jump at the chance to raise their grandson?”

“They don’t care about him. If they did, they’d have made provisions to visit him before now. No. The grandparents are not an option. Your father was adamant that they remain nonexistent in Adam’s life.”

“As I said. The child isn’t my problem…or my responsibility. At least they were aware of his birth. Now if there isn’t anything else I can do for you, I’d like to get back home as soon as possible.”

“I wish you’d reconsider.” Bret spread his hands on the table. “Perhaps you’d meet with me at Thomas’ home this afternoon?”

“And why would I do that? We have nothing else to discuss.”
Megan knew how her father worked and saw that Bret suffered at her father’s hand in not making the custody case easy. Why hadn’t Bret suggested he talk to Megan himself? Explain it all to her. Before, it was too late. Maybe he had, but now—it was too late.

“Adam is looking forward to meeting you, Megan. He’ll be home from school at 3:30.”

“So Adam knows about me? This is heartless. Why wasn’t I told about Adam when you called?” But, she knew. She wouldn’t have come. Would’ve refused to come.
Megan’s temple’s throbbed while her insides shook violently from learning she had family this way. She wasn’t so sure she wouldn’t crumble under pressure, but stood firm in her belief that family always came first. She was strong and would remain so.

Adam was her brother, whether she wanted one or not.  

Please check out these links to my books, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and Apple.

I wish you Butterflies, Music and Love…


Quebec City Vacation


Our family vacation this summer was a short trip to Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in North America. Founded in 1608 by French explorer and navigator Samuel de Champlain, the city on the St. Lawrence River is a beautiful place to visit with enough historical ambiance to please any history buff.

With three kids, even a three-day road trip can be exhausting. We made the best of the time we had there. After a long day’s drive from Ottawa, we got to our hotel by suppertime. We grabbed some take-out pizza and ate at the park by the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

IMG_3986This decisive battle between the British and French took place in 1759, when British soldiers climbed the steep cliff under the city in darkness to surprise and defeat the French. With Quebec City in their hands, the British were able to take control of Canada the following year.


The next day, we drove downtown to Old Quebec. Our first stop was La Citadelle, a fortress built between 1820 and 1850 that is still in use by the military. We watched the impressive changing of the guard ceremony and had our picture taken with the regimental mascot, Batisse the goat.

After lunch, ice cream cones in hand, we walked through the city streets toward the river. Old Quebec is enclosed by the only remaining fortified city walls in the Americas north of Mexico. The many heritage buildings along the narrow streets give the area a European feel. We ended up on the boardwalk by the magnificent grand hotel the Château Frontenac, where we had a gorgeous view of the river and watched a street entertainer juggle fire on a unicycle.

After a rest back at our (non-luxury) hotel and an early dinner at Boston Pizza, we took the kids to the Mega Parc, an amusement park within the Galeries de la Capitale mall. This was the highlight of the trip for them!IMG_4051

On our final morning we visited the Montmorency waterfall, a spectacular sight on a gorgeous summer day. The cables in the photo are zip lines – would you be brave enough to glide across?

Another long drive brought us home with many good memories of a beautiful and fascinating city.




~New Release~ A Fun Beach Read by Raine English



Twelve friends from the online group, Romantic Hearts Book Club, decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are diehard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!

It’s been three years and Amy Sheridan has yet to hear that her bottle’s been found, reaffirming her belief that love isn’t in her cards, so when the book club decides to return to the island for a reunion, she’s reluctant to go, until a psychic informs her that she’ll meet a handsome stranger there. Will romance be in her future after all?

Dawson Yates has it all…except a wife. Being a wealthy bachelor hasn’t been a problem until a talk show host questions his single status as CEO of a popular matchmaking service. After that, board members pressure him to give up his playboy lifestyle or step down from his position. Setting up a phony engagement at Enchanted Island seems like the perfect solution, until he learns that his chosen “bride” is already married. While pondering what to do next, he discovers a message in a bottle, wedged between some rocks. Could the author of the note be the answer he’s looking for, or would she steal his heart and break it in two?

Amy: Beach Brides is available at Amazon for $2.99, or Free with Kindle Unlimited!



USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist. To receive information on all her new releases, you can sign up for her newsletter, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Christmas in July

Though, it’s not still July, I thought I’d share the unedited opening chapter of my Christmas novella “Christmas in July” that will be part of our upcoming box set. Hope you enjoy it.




Seven Daily Meditations; Thirty minutes ~ in two fifteen minute morning and evening sessions ~ of personal journaling; one mile walking with the General; no chocolate; introduction of kale to diet.


July in Fish Creek was where joy went to die.

Madelyn Grace was sure of it.

Madelyn grew up in the Door, as Door County, Wisconsin was known to the few locals who populated it year round. Fish Creek in the summer, July in particular, was mostly populated with tourists. Wealthy Illinoisans created a large percentage of the visitors, some of whom had second, sometimes third homes here, as well as boats. Big boats. They subsidized the economy, and they knew it. They drove up home prices, and they didn’t consider what that might mean for everyone else.

The Door was built on service and the tourists demanded and got serviced. Regularly.

Wild horses and a crate filled with colored diamonds couldn’t have gotten Madelyn to move back to Fish Creek. It took her daughter establishing a 6+9 Naturopathic Medical practice here to do the impossible. Now that she was back in a place she’d swore never to return to, her daughter no longer seemed to have the time nor the inclination to be with her.

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go do something productive,” Madelyn said out loud. It was far from her usual morning meditation which was supposed to help her greet the day with joy, hope and the awareness that yes, she did have the power to make her life the wonderful adventure she dreamed it could be.

Madelyn was supposed to be repeating, “In small moments great achievements are built. Success comes in compiling enough small moments.” Since it was 7:30 and all she’d collected so far was the General’s small piles of poo, Madelyn decide it was time to grab the General, stop feeling sorry for herself, and walk a mile before the tourists realized it was time to wake up.



“Hey, Drew, Maddy’s walking that rat terrier of hers again. Right on schedule. Every day since she got back two weeks ago. 7:30 time to walk. How many more weeks are you going to let her walk by without talking to her?” Sam Wittaker, Drew’s deputy, said with a grin.

Drew looked at his watch, 7:32. Maddy was two minutes later than usual, so technically, she wasn’t right on schedule. All he said to Sam was, “Time for coffee. See you in a bit.”

Sam chuckled.

Drew ignored the younger man, reached for his hat, a ball cap he’d insisted the town adopt as part of his uniform, and started walking. He knew Maddy’s route by heart and he still hadn’t approached her. Every time he saw her, his heart thudded painfully in his chest like it used to in High School when she’d walk by. Maddy loved him then. Every bit as much as he’d loved her. Drew was sure of it.

Until she ran away.

Drew still didn’t know what made her leave. He couldn’t fathom why she’d stayed away for twenty-five years. And he didn’t know what brought her back, but he was fairly certain it had something to do with the new medical clinic just outside of town aptly named, Grace Medical. Hard for a police chief worth his salt to miss that connection. Drew wondered what the tag-line, For All Your Naturopathic Needs, meant. He’d find out before he made an appointment for his as yet undiagnosed naturopathic needs, the symptoms of which he started researching online so he could go there more than once if he needed to. He had to come up with something that wasn’t too severe and couldn’t be cured by a simple, drink more green tea and call me in a month. Of course he could just stop in and say ‘hello’, introduce himself, and offer to patrol more regularly in the event the new clinic’s owner needed assistance. But that wouldn’t help him understand the subtleties of how the newest member of the Grace family earned her living.

Grace Medical’s signage also indicated in very small print, Some emergency medical service provided as needed. Drew had no idea what kind of emergency merited naturopathic care and he was in no hurry to find out. Still, it was nice to have a doctor nearby when the closest emergency center was in Sturgeon Bay, miles away with one main road in and out.

Little did Drew Selleck know how manifestly those small seven words printed on Grace Clinic’s front door would forever alter his life.

What Drew Selleck did know was that today Maddy Grace was going to talk to him. Whether or not he had to arrest her to make it happen was totally up to her.


Want to find out what happens? Look for the AoMS Christmas Box Set this fall at your favorite ebook retailer. Now it’s back to my writing.




People Needing People

I wanted to say something about the terrible events in Charlottesville this weekend, but I didn’t know how. I feel like I don’t know enough. Like most of you, all of my information is filtered through the media. This is what I came up with. This is a retelling of a story, it’s not mine. And it can be widely applied.

A band of travelers  set out to cross the desert. Strangers who had nothing in common but their desire to reach a city across the sand, they each carried their own provisions. Not long after they set out, a terrible dust storm arose, darkening the sky and burying the path in silt and debris. Many turned back. Some hunkered down to wait out the storm. A few carried on. They became separated, lost. But two of the group were fortunate and stumbled upon an inn. There they found rest, shelter, food, and water while the storm raged on.

The next day, one of the travelers set out for the city alone. But the storm blew around him, and he was forced to dig a shelter. There a band of thieves found him. They took his supplies and left him without food or water.

The second traveler was also in a hurry to reach the city, but he remembered the others in the desert behind him. He worried they would run out of water and get lost, so he set out to find them. Eventually, he was able to help them to the inn. The wind still blew and clouds obscured the sun. The road still wound through the sometimes deep sand, and thieves were still in the hills. But this time the traveler was not alone. The group was large. When sand blocked the way, work parties were organized to remove it. When some faltered, the strong shouldered the burdens of the weak. When night came, there were watchmen to man the watch. After many days, the second man and his friends arrived safely at their destination.

When they arrived at the city, they gathered around the second traveler and said, “We could not have come to this place without you. What can we do to repay you?”

And the second man replied,  “I have not brought you to this place, we have brought one another.”

This reminds me of the connection between a storyteller and a reader. We often don’t know each other, and yet the storyteller is, essentially, offering to take the reader on a journey. Sometimes we may think we know the destination, but always the reader has to learn to trust the storyteller and the storyteller has to earn the trust of the reader. They need each other. 

This story can also be related to the Indie community. Or any community, family, marriage, classroom, country. People need people. It’s not enough to simply not cause harm, if we’re in a position to do so, we should also help. And not just because it’s good for the helpless–it’s also good, if not necessary, for the helper.

As Ecclesiastes tells us:

Ecclesiastes tells us: ¶ Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

King James Version, Ecclesiastes 4:9-11