I rang in 2015 with the flu, an event not penciled into my shiny new planner. This was the year all the different aspects of my life would form into the perfect line like the Rockettes, ready to dazzle the world with their brilliance. Instead, I lay in bed moaning in self-pity, and thinking I was already behind on my plans to organize and finish all the things not accomplished in 2014; drat! Another New Year’s resolution tossed in the trash like so much Kleenex!

Then something unexpected happened. I got so sick I was incapable of caring anymore, feverish, achy, too sick to even read, not able to sleep, and I just…zoned out. I lay there and thought of nothing. I can’t remember how long it had been since I’d done that.

I checked out for two days, and my mind wandered. Bits and pieces of my work-in-progress intersected with distant travel: Ireland’s stone fences and oatmeal with fresh cream and brown sugar, random ideas morphed into bright, flashing nightmares, standing stones in Wales and prehistoric ruins on the windswept Orkney Islands, sunflower fields of Romania drifted in and out of the landscape with my characters like mist. And then a blessed void washed over me.

One morning I woke up, still sick, but refreshed in mind and spirit and free of that niggling anxiety and guilt about all I hadn’t accomplished. I felt enough, just as I was.

Once again, life reminded me about the positives in the negatives. My flu experience was a lesson in self-care. In the frenzy of adjusting to new authorship, life changes, and the happy chaos of family life, I had forgotten to pencil myself in on a daily basis. “Whispers of Paradise,” a song by Irish vocal group Anuna, will be my centering song this year, reminding me to balance mind, body, and spirit. Like always, the music will speak to me in ways mere words cannot.

So, my fellow writers, I invite you to listen to what leads you to that place where creativity and freedom flow within you like a wellspring. Happy New Year.

Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor

Secretary at SSRA
Jennifer Taylor is the award-winning author of the historical romance, Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon series, published by the Wild Rose Press. Jennifer uses music on a daily basis to inspire her heroes and charm her heroines, and can often be found singing at her desk.

She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.

Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.

She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at: JenniferTaylorWrites.com
Jennifer Taylor

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