Wednesday, August 9, 2017

If You Ain't Dead You Ain't Done

If You Ain’t Dead, You Ain’t Done


              I know that I’ve been a bit quiet on these blogs lately. I’ve been busy. A few months back, I was trying to figure out something for a book I’ve been working on. The novel, Beauty Thieves is about a woman who discovers that there is more to life than we can see. Meredith Brown; a sociologist turned talk-show host (you have to write what you know,) uncovers an ancient truth; that there are beings who lure you into giving away your most valued asset—your light.

              My brilliant editor, Janet Hill, suggested that I bring in a character like the ones I’d used in Redemption Song and When Love Calls. These characters spoke from the beyond and told the story from that vantage point.

              When I read Janet’s notes, I could see that this was an obvious solution, but I had been too close to see it. 

              Armed with the knowledge of what to do, I had to figure out how. I walked about for days trying to unravel my puzzle. Folks who know me will tell you that when I’m trying to figure out one thing, I work on something else. It’s usually something I’m good at, like solitaire.

              This time though, I decided that I needed something completely new, so I told myself that I should make a dress. I’m laughing as I write this, because until that moment, I hadn’t even repaired my own socks. I knew I needed a pattern, but I didn’t have one, so I’d have to make that too.

              I made the pattern, then cut out the dress and I sat and sewed a completely new garment by hand and when I put it on I was amazed. It was beautiful and it fit me perfectly; better than anything I had ever bought.

The next night I made another dress and another and another. Somewhere in the sewing, I decided that I wanted to design my own fabric and I did that too, and then somewhere in that sewing, I got the answer I was looking for. I used the main character’s mother as the voice from beyond. In this book however, she does not tell the story—she breaks through and speaks directly to the reader.

              In the midst of all of that sewing, I remembered my mother’s diaries; the ones I found after she passed away. She had been writing to me the last two years of her life. In those diaries, she told me what I needed to know now.

              I have finally finished the book, and I have learned a lot more as well.

If you ain’t dead you ain’t done and as Miss Hattie Mae Brown says, “When you live a life that leaves a memory; dead ain’t done either.”

Be you, Be well, be better than you are today.
Bertice Berry, PhD.