A Year of Gifts
Today's blog is going to take a slightly different twist. Back in late 2017, I started writing a weekly post here, using chapter titles taken from my first novel Whispering Pines, and later from the second book in my series, Tangled Beginnings.
When writing my books, I created chapter titles based on the main events of each chapter. I believe we encounter many gifts in life as we go about our everyday existence. Sometimes it's the seemingly inconsequential things that turn out to be true blessings or gifts—a chance meeting, a wrong turn, or even picking up a surprising idea gleaned from something we watch on television. Other times, it's those difficult experiences that lead us down an unexpected path where we would never have gone if not forced to do so. Occasionally we find gold at the end of those paths. Good or bad, life is full of gifts.
Those chapter titles have proven to be fun writing prompts for my blog. But, to be honest, I sometimes wrestle with what to write each week. I struggle to find the time to write another post. My goal is to publish two more books in 2019, and I wonder if I'm making the best use of my time writing in here instead of sketching out another chapter in a book.
The reality is, I like the freedom of creating short posts in here, so I'll continue doing so. If there is a week when I can't get a new post written, I'll try not to stress about it. At this point, I have over sixty previous posts. I'll repost one I found particularly fun to write, or people seemed to enjoy and focus on my novel writing. Don't give up on me if I don't post brand new content every single week. I'll keep showing up as long as people seem to enjoy my posts. Maybe just not every single week. My goal is to enjoy my writing and not crack under the pressure like my poor crock did this winter!
I decided today was the day to finally focus on getting those questions written. I am so appreciative when groups select one of my books for their book club discussions, and I want to help make the process as easy as possible for them. I've been lucky enough to be invited to attend a number of these book clubs in person and I’ve enjoyed every single one.
I scoured the internet for guidance on how to write book club questions. Then I went back and reviewed my chapter summaries for my books. It was a great reminder of the many themes I tried to convey through my storylines. It also made me curious how often readers picked up on these. Did I go deep enough? What more do I want to say on these topics? What life lessons have I experienced that I can pass on, beyond what I was able to incorporate in my books or might have already talked about in my blog posts?
It was like a light bulb turned on. I don't always have to look externally for new things to talk about in my blog. When I'm searching for a topic, another option is to pull one out my books, or even use the reading guides I've now pulled together, and further expand on those topics.
For me, there are five central themes integral to my first novel, Whispering Pines. Fair warning: don't check out my actual Reading Guides I'll be posting on my website until after you've finished each book. They are full of spoilers, meant to spur meaningful discussions. But I did think it would be fun to share the high-level themes with you here (no spoilers). If you've read Whispering Pines, let me know if you think I missed anything. If you haven't yet picked up the book, or if you have it sitting on either your physical or eBook bookshelf, but you haven't gotten around to reading it yet, maybe these will intrigue you enough to want to dive in.
Sound interesting? I throw in some mystery, too.
These are big questions. Big things to ponder that go well beyond the boundaries of what can be touched upon in one book, or even one series. I'll try to dig deeper into these topics in future posts.
If you'd like to check out my new Reading Guide for Whispering Pines, click the button below. Please don't think the guide is only useful for book clubs. If you enjoyed Whispering Pines and you're not quite ready to move on to Tangled Beginnings, check out my new guide and ponder the questions I pose.
My most heartfelt desire is that my books will provide you with inspiring entertainment. I don't write for shock value, but I also don't mind throwing in a few swear words here and there and some intimacy. I like to write about real life, and for me, that doesn't mean whitewashing everything to avoid offending someone. If I can make you think, maybe cause you to tweak something in your own life that will give you a bit more joy, I've accomplished what I set out to do.
And I always like to add that if I keep you reading past your bedtime, that's even better.
Next week I'll share what I see as some of the main themes in my second book, Tangled Beginnings and share the link to that Reading Guide. And in the not too distant future, I'll share more about book 3! Thank you for joining me on this journey! Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!