by Laurel Hawkes, guest blogger
I collect horses, dishes, music, books, and other things. They’re not huge collections. The house is only so big, and my attention span… squirrel!
As a child, I collected model Breyer Horses. I admire a horse’s grace and power. I still own the black ones, a teak one from Thailand, a carved pecan shell one, spun glass, ceramic, and a few small plastic ones. My attempt to be space conscious. I gave most of the others to one of my nieces who’s horse crazy, like me. Blessedly, her parents are supportive.
How many times would I pass dish displays and wish I owned them? I chose plain, white Corelle, practical, inexpensive. I watched the movie “The Man from Snowy River,” and decided to buy a few Longchamp crystal glasses. The store displayed it with a beautiful place setting. I succumbed and bought the China. Not practical or inexpensive. I could use it when I married. I didn’t marry. I stopped waiting to use it and broke one of the bowls. I’d bought the last eight place settings of the pattern. Now what? The local grocery store featured stoneware that reminded me of a dear friend’s home. I bought a single place setting. One thing led to another. If a pattern only comes in a box of four, I use the others as gifts, giving away plates and bowls of cookies and cups full of homemade jam. The receiver may keep the piece or pass it along.
Music sooths and stirs my soul. Christian, like Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, and MercyMe, is my go-to choice. I grew up listening to everything from classical to heavy metal, Beethoven to Iron Butterfly. I settled into mainstream in Pop, Rock, Country, Instrumental, Jazz, Classical, Operettas, and Movie scores.
Books. Ah, my passion. It must be. I’m dyslexic, and I’ve battled it every step of the way. I’ve read up on tricks and learned to use them. I’ve practiced, practiced, practiced. I own hundreds of books, and that’s after purging books I only liked not loved. I own single books and series. If I love an author, I collect all their books. I own a Kindle and love it for trying new authors, as ebooks are usually less expensive than paperbacks. If the author is a favorite, I prefer paperback.
Knowing this love of collecting resides within me, I should have anticipated the direction my writing would take. I’ve written stories for school and “Lord of the Rings” fanfiction. Nine years ago, a fanfiction fan suggested I write a Christian Regency romance. I accepted the challenge. “A Promise of Possibilities” started out as a standalone. An avid collector writing a standalone? What was I thinking? I should have known better. It expanded into the four-book Endless Possibilities series, with a short story prequel, and a four-book spinoff, the Endless Knights series. I wrote a Vintage series, The Silver Locket Sisterhood, and created the contemporary Holiday, USA novella series.
What do you love to collect?
Turning my life over to God sounded so easy, but it so isn’t. My hope is for my readers to experience what I do in my favorite books: Inspiration and a sense of visiting with dear friends. I’m a survivor, and a sense of humor is a must.
Desert Breeze books are available in ebook format and paperback, wherever online books are sold. Holiday, USA series is available on Kindle and in 4-novella anthologies in paperback, at Amazon.