Saturday, May 14, 2016

Deciding for Joy

I was cutting flowers to bring inside to decorate the house when the thought intruded. Why bother? Yes, they’ll look pretty for a few days; then they’ll shrivel up and die and I’ll have to go out and get some more. Why do all that work for something that won’t last?

Flowers fresh from the garden
But I do. And each time I bring in a fresh set of flowers I remember why I do it.  I love the way they look and smell, the way they bring a bit of color and beauty from outside into the house. It brings me joy to look at them. And those moments of joy are a rare and beautiful thing.
We need those moments, but they don’t always just happen. Sometimes you have to decide to make them happen. Decide it’s worth the effort to cut and arrange some fresh flowers even though they’ll be sagging and brown in a few days.

I’ve come to believe that it’s not just nice but necessary to allow ourselves some time to appreciate beauty even if it takes a bit of work to achieve it. Our souls need to be fed just as our bodies do, and beauty, things that delight our senses, are its nourishment.
Sometimes I have the same feeling about my books.  I put a huge amount of blood, sweat, and love into writing them, editing, rewriting, and formatting them.  Then I send them out into the world and…?  Well, it depends where I send them.  If to a publisher, under contract, they get edited again and finally released into the world, where they’ll sit on a shelf for a few weeks, then get remaindered.  These days they’ll continue to be available online where they’ll sell maybe a few copies a month for the next year or so. If they go to an agent or editor after a query, then most likely they'll be returned with a "Thanks, but no thanks," response.

Sigh. Is it worth it?  I hope so.

Now I’m venturing down a new highway. Since Five Star ended its mystery line before the second in my Market Center Mysteries series was published, I’m publishing it myself.  I’ve paid for editing, have a new cover for the first book (A Gift for Murder) and one for this one (Wired for Murder) that share a new look, and I’m working on the formatting.

I can’t help but wonder if I’ll sell enough copies to make it worth all the work and expense. But I love this series and writing it has brought me joy. A joy I want to share with everyone.  So even if it only sells ten copies, it will be worth the effort.

And now Wired for Murder is available for pre-sale at Amazon.  I'm fearful and excited to see how this venture will work out.


  1. Karen, I loved your post. I remember cutting sweet peas from my mother's garden, putting them in a vase, and then loving the wonderful smell they produced. I don't have blooming flowers in my yard (what a pity) but I do buy arrangements from the supermarket. Certainly not the same, but at least the color is still there. Good luck with your new book.

  2. So true. Those fleeting moments last longer in our memories than some of the "big" ones. I love having flowers in the house, but, alas, my cat thinks they are for her to eat.

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  4. Wishing you great success with the Market Center Mysteries, Karen!

  5. Congrats and best of luck, Karen. Seize your joy, no matter how brief. It's what makes life worth living.

  6. Hi Karen--
    So true about bringing beauty into our lives. Your vase of flowers look lovely! Wishing you all the best with your mystery series. How exciting for you.