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Tag Archives: Blessings in India
When I was young, my parents told us kids that Labor Day was a day set aside for families to labor together. Clever spin. Every year, on the first Monday of September, we were awakened early to start a day of cleaning out the garage… or weeding the garden… or scrubbing floors… or canning peaches… or whatever.
Funny thing—even after all these years…
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You gotta love August! It’s the month of sunshine and vacations. The year’s break to kick back and slack off, to eat hot dogs and potato salad off paper plates. The month to go to the fair and eat a frozen banana on a stick, to ride the Ferris Wheel—and whatever they call all those new upside-down-make-certain-your-soul-is-in-God’s-hands rides. It’s the month to pig out on watermelon, and tomatoes still warm from the garden, and zucchini from everyone else’s.
So, what’s with all the writing business in this lazy month? The third and final book of my Blessings in India trilogy, The Love of Divena, released. I finished the sample chapters for another book. I met a great guy who’s interested in pursuing one of my movie scripts (I had to edit it). I got my India visa squared away. Oh, yes, I’m also scrambling to complete the children’s church curriculum I’m writing with a friend.
But August is also the month I’ve finally taken an important step: I’m revamping and moving my blog. (Yep, that’s why I’ve been off-line for a month. That and all the above.) Instead of my two blogs—Kay’s Words and Grace in Africa—and continually struggling to update my website info on a regular basis, I will be doing it all on in one place–on my website! (“It’s about time!” my web-building friend Michael Reynolds says.)
Stay tuned. And feel free to chip in your two cents worth.
Hey, you gotta love August~!
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
~ William Shakespeare~
I don’t do a lot of book signings these days, but when I was invited to sign my soon-to-be-released book The Love of Divena at the American Library Association convention in Anaheim, I couldn’t say no. I mean, librarians would be there. City and county and school librarians. Some of my very favorite people in the world!
The Love of Divena is the third and final book of my Blessings in India trilogy. The series follows two families through 20th century India: one a family of “untouchables,” the other the high caste Christian-in-name family that owns them.
Okay, back to Anaheim (home of Disneyland, for those not in the know). The Anaheim Convention Center is huge! So when I saw that Abingdon Press’ booth was at the far end of the hall, my spirits sank. Books, books everywhere. How many people would keep walking the aisles until they got to me?
Well, as it turned out, lots of folks did. I started signing at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t stop until the last book was gone at 12:10. And people were still in line.
I met library folks from all across theU.S., and from many other countries, too: Ireland, England, the Virgin Islands, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Kenya, India… People were so excited to see that the series was set in India. And everyone asked if I had been there. Fortunately, I have, because many knowledgeable people wanted to engage me in discussions.
Most frequently asked questions:
- How many times have you been to India?
- Answer: Eight. Ninth time this coming October.
- Is this a Christian book?
- Answer: “Yes, but not tacked on Christianity that hits readers over the head.”
- Is it suitable for young people?
- Answer: “Absolutely! Acceptable and also historically accurate.”
“Sign me up for next year!”
Have you ever put on an Indian sari? It’s tricky. If you don’t have the proper paraphernalia, it’s nigh unto impossible. The sari itself is just a 6-foot or so length of beautiful fabric—often decorated along one edge. You do need a blouse top, or it will get mighty drafty, and if you are in India, you may be thrown off the local bus. You also need a petticoat with a drawstring waist. (Don’t be tricked into thinking an elastic waisted slip will do, because it definitely will not. The weight of the tucked-in sari will stretch out the elastic and pull both the slip and the sari right off you!)
I have one simple sari petticoat, but it’s blue, which means I can’t use it under my red sari or my yellow one. Which means whenever I have occasion to wear a sari, I just wear my red one. Always.
Sunday afternoon, I was at my friend Bethel’s house. She brought out several suitcases filled with heirlooms handed down through generations of her family. One piece was an intricately sewn petticoat from the late 1800s, with beautiful details and delicate lace, hand-stitched with loving care.
“Oh,” I blurted. “Just the thing to go under my saris!”
“You can have it,” Bethel said as she handed me the petticoat. “I will never use it.”
Today I carefully hand-washed the lovely garment and hung it out to dry, and to sun bleach the stains. Tonight I stitched up the rips and mended worn seams. Tomorrow I will try it on with my yellow silk sari.
Don’t you love it when joy comes in a totally unexpected package?
“True happiness brings more richness than all the money in the world.”
Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi