Christina Cole Romance

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Endings and Beginnings

On Monday I spoke of synchronicity. I wrote that the universe seemed to be leading me in exciting new directions.  Later that day, I sat down in MLWR (my little writing room) and wrote a the set-up for a scene from The Sheriff Wore Skirts. In that scene, the main character, Caleb Bryant, ponders a fact of life:

Willow TreeCaleb leaned against the old willow tree and watched the waters of the nearby creek gurgling past. Not really much of a creek these days, although it had once been deep enough to swim in. Now it would barely come to the top of his boots if he stepped in.

Funny how things in life changed that way.

He shifted his gaze westward toward the glittering peaks of the Rockies, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sunlight. Some folks said even the mighty mountains would one day be gone, eroded away by the ravages of weather and time.

Caleb couldn’t imagine it. He’d once attended a fancy lecture in Denver and had heard some esteemed scholar with a string of letters attached to his name provide a scientific explanation. Water, the professor said, seeped into the cracks, froze, expanded, and broke the rocks down. Gravity then took over to carry the pieces down the slope.

When the spring rains came, more rocks were swept away. Some were even dissolved by the steady forces of nature.

The human eye might not see the changes happening, but they were going on all the same.

Changes were always going on in life, too. No matter how a man might wish things could stay the same once he got himself to a comfortable place, life didn’t work that way.

 

Caleb’s got it right. Changes are always happening in life.

Yesterday, I learned that my publisher — Secret Cravings — will be closing. What this means is that all  Secret Cravings and Sweet Cravings titles are coming down from Amazon and other booksellers, and rights to my stories — including those under contract for 2016 publication — will revert to me.  I can choose whether or not to re-publish the current titles and whether or not to release the upcoming additions to “The Sunset Series”.

In many ways, I think I was prepared for this. The writing/publishing industry has changed drastically in the last few years.  Although I was quite comfortable as an SCP author and hoped to publish many more stories through their imprint, I often found myself exhausted by efforts to keep up with marketing and promotional events and maintain a rigorous writing schedule in order to meet all deadlines.

At times, over the past year, I’ve considered other possibilities for my writing. Times are changing, and authors have to change, too. Accordingly, I choose to view this ending as a fortuitous beginning for my future.

What happens now?

My immediate plans are to take care of the business at hand — purchasing my cover art, putting files in order for possible re-publication, and making sure all legal issues are addressed.

I have many decisions to make involving not only the question of re-publishing my books but also questions involving this blog, my author page on Facebook, and my newly-formed “street team”.

What I don’t have yet is a definite plan…only a vague idea of where I want to go and how I’ll choose to get there. With a lot going on in my personal life, I’m choosing now to take a break from writing and publishing.  I will continue to post to this blog but not on a daily basis. I will also maintain my official author page at Facebook — Christina Cole’s Love Notes — and I will most like make daily posts there.

Of course, I will be keeping up with my friends and readers, although I will be “disbanding” Christina’s Corner. I want to thank each street team member for the love and kindness you’ve shown in the short time the group has been together.

At this time, I’m also choosing to set aside The Sheriff Wore Skirts. The book was scheduled for January release with Secret Cravings. That, of course, won’t happen now.  Instead of completing and publishing the book now, I will be exploring other avenues in my life.

I’m adopting the willow tree now as my symbol for the future. Willows bend; they don’t break. Endings bring opportunities to begin anew, and I’m looking forward to seeing where life leads me now.

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Turn Around

Have you ever made a mistake? Sure you have. We’ve all made more than our share of mistakes. It’s an inevitable part of life.

I’ve been giving mistakes a bit of thought over the last few days as I’ve worked on a video trailer for The Wrong Woman, my western historical about a fellow who sets off to get revenge on his greedy brother but instead gets a woman who changes his life. His plan was to steal his brother’s fiancee and hold her until he got what he was owed, but somehow he managed to steal the wrong woman.

Mistakes are forgivable. Some, of course, are easier to forgive than others.

Are there times, though, when we might be able to make changes in our lives and prevent a lot of needless mistakes from happening? I think so.

Much of the advice we get in life involves keeping on. We’re continually admonished to hang on, to keep going, to stay the course. But, what if that course is wrong? What if we’ve taken a wrong turn or have gotten ourselves stuck in a bad situation? What if we’ve truly come to a dead-end?

kanevapic2The answer should be simple. Turn around.

Although the virtues of patience and persistence are often touted, there’s little virtue in digging in and becoming entrenched in a bad situation.  If the path you’re on now isn’t taking you anywhere — or, worse still, if it’s leading you into danger or discomfort, stop, turn around, and get your life back on the right track.

How?

Willie Nelson offered this advice:

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.

Nick Carter said:

One of the most important things I did to turn my life around was to realize and to accept that from this minute, that’s all we have. Everything that happened behind us, we cannot change so you might as well look to the future.

Whether it’s counting your blessings, letting go of the past, or making any other change in your life, the most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late.

No matter how far we’ve gone down the wrong road, we can always stop and turn around.