My latest book, CHRISTMAS IN ICICLE FALLS, is about people looking for the best in each other. The story kicks off with Muriel Sterling the town's resident wise woman, ordering a tree on line that turns out to be anything but pretty. Muriel decides to give Ugly Tree a chance and try and turn it into a thing of beauty. Of course, having the Martha Steward gene, she succeeds. And soon the story of the transformed tree inspires Muriel and her friends to try and see the best in the people in their lives, those "ugly trees" who irritate them or whose potential they've overlooked. It's a scary and sometimes humorous (at least I hope it is!) journey through the town's forest of ugly trees, and I hope readers are going to enjoy the tale. I certainly enjoyed writing it.
I learned a thing or two, also. As I wrote this book I realized that, like Muriel and her friends, I could take a lesson from the transformed ugly tree as well. At times there have been people in my life who have angered or hurt me, people who irritated me... ugly trees I've wished someone would just haul away. But those trees don't always get hauled away. So, what to do? With the ones in my life, I've decided to try and see their potential, to look for the good in them. This is much easier to do when I remember that I, myself, am not so perfect. I've had my share of ugly tree moments. What if people held those against me? Yikes!
It's the season of peace on earth, goodwill toward men... and women... and ugly trees of all shapes and kinds. I'm hoping that this holiday season, I can see the beauty in others. I'm also hoping I can work on getting more beautiful, myself. On the inside, where it really counts.
My wish for all of you is that you'll be able to enjoy the season, even if you have to walk through an entire forest of ugly trees. Merry Christmas!