Friday, July 24

Be Gentle with Your Words... by Liz Flaherty #WordWranglers

“Be gentle with your words, your heart is listening.” ― Carol 'CC' Miller

I need a gentler time. There, I've said it. I guess, getting honest about it, I'm a wuss to end all wusses. I want people to be nice to each other, to care about each other, to laugh together until their stomachs hurt.

No, I'm not going to talk about politics. I would, and I often do, but this is a writing blog. Most Word Wranglers readers don't really care what our politics are. But it's politics that have made me long for the gentler time I mentioned above. It's the stream of hatred and name-calling and let's-offend-or-hurt-anyone-we-can that makes what is unarguably a hard time so much harder even than it has to be.

If you are affected--as I obviously am--by the political climate, how is it influencing your reading and writing? I'll tell you about mine, but I'd love to hear about yours, too.

My writing is already godawful slow. That has come with age for me, and I don't like it, but it's better than stopping, so I live with it and it's not getting any faster as I go along. And I enjoy it in ways I never have before. I don't have a contract (which, yes, I wish I did), so I'm not worried about pleasing an editor. I don't do it for the money--good thing--so speed isn't an issue. So, yeah, I just write. And enjoy. And find comfort. And gentleness. Not everyone wants comfort and gentleness in the stories they tell, but I do.

Then there's the reading. I still read new stories, but I spend more time on old ones. I just downloaded James Herriot's All Things Wise and Wonderful and have listened to Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Anne of Green Gables on audio while I walk each day. I've re-read some Mary Balogh Christmas stories--my favorites--and some Pamela Morsi historicals. I've re-visited Cheryl Reavis, Cheryl St. John, Kathleen Gilles Seidel, and Kristan Higgins.

On the new side, I've gotten lost in Holly Jacobs' Hometown Hearts series and Nan's latest Flaherty Brothers book. While I sew, I watch Hallmark movies for hours at a time.

Although this time in our lives is anything but gentle, its rendering in books is still a wondrous gift from authors to readers. I thank them all for it.

Just a reminder that Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, an anthology of 14 short stories, will be released August 4. Available for pre-order now. Don't forget!


  1. I've been reading and watching comfort movies a lot lately, too, Liz. Although I'll admit a few of my 'comfort watches' are very action-y (Fast & Furious series, for example). I think the key is that I just want to escape the pressures and anger we are seeing so much of right now...

    1. Yes, that word: "escape." I've never liked it, never like that romantic fiction is called escapism, and yet right now...right now, I need it, too.

  2. I don't think escapism is a bad word, even in times not as crazy as these. If a book takes a reader away to someplace sweet or fun or exciting, I say why not? Reality's not all it's cracked up to be.

    1. You're right about that! The word escapism always struck me as one of the denigratory terms applied to romance. Maybe I'm a little too sensitive? :-)

  3. I've been rebinging Star Trek: Discovery because ST always gives me hope. LOL I love the inclusion and Roddenbury's ideal of what our future should look like.

    I just finished Jenn McKinley's Paris is Always a Good Idea and loved, loved it! Total escapism and the closest I'll get to Paris in a long, long time....

  4. I don't have a contract either, Liz. There, I've said it, too. But, it gives us a little breathing room, and, as my dear friend, Kitty Oliver (also a writer) so beautifully put it, "When God empties the vase, it leaves plenty of room for Him to fill it up again." xooxxo