Tuesday, May 8

Genevieve Graham: Guest Post

Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters. Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, Under the Same Sky. The companion novel, Sound of the Heart, will be in stores May 1, 2012.

My Version of Hope, Love, and Happy Endings

There are times when life sucks. Demands on you are too much, and no one understands. Sometimes you have to question the point of the whole thing.

Well, imagine surviving a horrible battle back in the 1700’s in Scotland, only to be shackled by your sworn enemies and marched barefoot for hours, then being dumped in a cold stone prison along with hundreds of similarly suffering prisoners. Your captors don’t feed you for a couple of days and moaning, stinking people are dying around you. Every day is like the worst day you can imagine. There have to be times you think there might be a better alternative, like death. If one quick musket ball had hit your heart on the battlefield, you’d never have to deal with this hell. Maybe that might have been a better option.

But you don’t die. Let’s say you survive there for a few months, then escape. Life’s looking up, right? Good thing you didn’t die back there. Even better, you fall in love. The two of you live a life of bliss until one day, while out hunting, you witness your lover being murdered. You are taken prisoner again and shipped to a wild land across the sea and sold as a slave.

Could you possibly live that way again? Shackled, fed scraps, treated little better than the vermin that crawl around the prison? Really, what’s the point in living? Why not make a break for it? You’d probably get caught. If so, maybe they’d kill you right away, maybe they’d take their time and hang you, but wouldn’t dying be better than all this?

Except there’s always hope. There’s a reason you’re in this world, even if you never find out what that reason is. Maybe you give someone passing advice that changes or even saves their life. Maybe you rescue someone from danger. Maybe by giving one person a smile or a compliment, you give them hope enough that it pulls them out of their own version of hell.

But what if you do find out the reason, and it’s the most magical thing of all?
You survive the prison, the ship, the enslavement, though it all comes at a horrible price. You slog through your days, still questioning the reason why you bother living this way. Then one day someone mentions the man you had once loved. He is alive. He is near. He needs you.

This is the reason. Something wonderful, something you never expected could be right there, waiting. If you’d taken the easy way out, you never would have known. But if you stick it out a little longer, you never know what might happen. So even when everything around you is falling apart, when you feel you can’t deal with it anymore, close your eyes, grit your teeth, and move on.

There is always Hope for Love and a Happy Ending.

Coming up soon my review of Sound of the Heart.