Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

IS IT THE BEGINNING OR THE END
2/18/2019 1:00:00 AM by: KATHLEEN NEELY

PLEASE WELCOME

KATHLEEN NEELY

TO

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE

 

 

            Many years ago, my mother said, “I don’t feel any different on the inside, but when I look in the mirror, I know I’m getting old.” When you’re not yet there, comments like that are somewhat incomprehensible. I’m sure she knew there would come a day when I’d fully understand.

Now I look in the mirror and ask myself, “How did this happen?” Thinning hair, crescents beneath my eyes. Pudgy cheeks. Laugh lines that aren’t at all funny. I have to face it. If life were a hockey game, I’m in the third period.

            Earlier this week, I clicked my keyboard with the final line of my new novel. It felt good to bring it to conclusion. But is it the end or the beginning? There’s an obscurity to those terms. The story’s written, but the work begins. When a writer finishes that draft, it’s time to go back to the beginning and re-do. Fix typos, grammatical errors, point of view issues, even plot changes. It’s refreshing to know that it doesn’t have to be done right on the first pass. There’s a chance to make it better.

            Sometimes in life, the end is really the beginning. Graduations are called commencement for that very reason. It’s a new beginning. When the “I do’s” are spoken at the end of the wedding, it’s a whole new start. The end of pregnancy is the beginning of parenthood.

And yet, at some Hallmark moments, there are no do-overs.

            You can’t erase choices from adolescence, decisions in parenting, wedding details. I’d love to have one day with my three little boys, watching them hang ornaments on the lowest branches of the tree or curled up while we read The Best Nest. Thirty years ago I practically had that one memorized. But we don’t get those kinds of do-overs.

            There is a beginning and an ending that trumps all others. Our journey in this life will come to an end—glorious or tragic. A point in time when there are no do-overs.

             Jesus was a storyteller. He used stories to teach. In one such parable, he said, “Therefore keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13. That’s an ominous truth. Thankfully, good news follows.  

            “And this is the testimony; God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:11-13.

Some endings have a glorious beginning.

 

ABOUT KATHLEEN’S NOVEL

 

The Street Singer will be released on February 22, just days away!  Here’s a glimpse.

Trisha Mills, a student in her final semester of law school, has fond memories of listening to the music of Adaline, a once famous recording artist. She learns that Adaline, now Adda
Marsh, is a street singer in Asheville, NC. Adda’s sole means of support in her senior years comes from the donation box. Along with her meager possessions, Adda has a box labeled, “Things to Remember.” Adda agrees to show Trisha the contents. With it comes her story. Adda reveals her journey by sharing a few items at a time, beginning as a sharecropper’s daughter in Mississippi, to fame in Nashville, and to poverty in her old age.

Trisha is busy cleaning out the home of her deceased grandfather, preparing to sit for the bar exam, and planning her wedding to Grant Ramsey. However, she cannot overlook the
injustices that Adda has experienced. Aided by Rusty Bergstrom, an attorney who will work pro bono, Trisha convinces Adda to seek restitution. Will her growing friendship with Rusty Bergstrom affect her engagement to Grant?

ABOUT KATHLEEN NEELY

Kathleen Neely resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading. She is a retired elementary principal. 

Among her writing accomplishments, Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her first novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions.

Kathleen continues to speak to students about writing and publication processes. She is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers.

 

 

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