Apricots in Bloom

Spring and new beginnings, how they lift us up and make anything seem possible. Yet here we are in the doldrums of a wet, hot summer. It’s hard to be inspired when the humidity exceeds the temperature.

I’ve been writing most of my adult life. The simple act gives me pleasure and the exercise helps me figure out who I am and come to terms with life’s circumstances, good and bad.

The past few years have been difficult. People I care deeply for have been lost or suffered terribly. This week marks the closing of a chapter in my life. The home where I lived with my dear husband, where we raised our children, sold. It is a bittersweet occasion. I am no longer weighted down by the responsibility of a house too big for one person. Yet, as I sift through the contents, keep this, give up that, I feel a deep loss.

It’s the old photographs that do the healing. They contain our history, tell our story. Though is it faded with age, there is a snapshot of my husband against the backdrop of masses of apricot trees blooming at the peak of their flowering. We were in Pakistan, having traveled from Karachi all the way to the Kyber Pass. It had been an arduous trip, minimal facilities, terrible roads, even a river crossing by fishing boat. As we came around a sharp turn in the road, there they were, the trees loaded with flowers, more abundant than the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. in the spring.

“Well,” my husband said, “was it worth it?”

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It was all worth it. I’ve had a very good life and I know in my heart there is still more to come. The good and the bad. So I’m setting forth with gratitude in my heart and hope in the future. It is time to dedicate myself to my writing. It has been relegated to the back burner for a long time. As my dear, departed, friend Eugene Walter would say, “Life intervened.”

I hope you will join me on my pursuit of something that once again feels fresh and exciting to me. I’ve written a number of books, most of them in boxes deep in the back of the closet. A precious few are available to readers. I write historical fiction (Road’s End), short stories (www.rebeccabarrett.com), post apocalyptic fiction (The Blessing of Hannahunder the pen name Campbell O’Neal), children’s stories, and now I’m writing romantic mysteries.

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Trouble in Dixie is my contribution to the Familiar Legacy series of romantic mysteries. Together with several other fiction writers (Carolyn Haines, Claire Matturro, Susan Tanner, Laura Benedict, to name a few) we are up to all kinds of high jinx featuring Trouble, the black cat detective. Take a trip to Savannah, Georgia with Trouble as he adeptly deals with old money and fresh murder in pursuit of an art thief, a missing insurance adjustor, and love in the air.

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