I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from author, Joy Frawley.
How hobbies can enrich your writing
by Joy Frawley
The storyline for my book, Two Worlds, Two Men, literally came to me while walking my dogs. To some people that may sound odd or even unbelievable. But for me it only goes to show that nature offers the most incredible inspiration that a person could hope for. I’ve considered myself an outdoor person my entire adult life and it seems that I find it even more beneficial since I began to write.
It all began when I was in my early twenties and got a dog. A BIG dog whom I named Peko. He was an 85 pound Lab and German Shepard mix who was built like a tank. Anyways, I would take the tank, Peko, for walks twice a day around the neighborhood. His girth occasionally scared small children, but I pursued my goal for both of us to get exercise anyway. However, I came across an added bonus as the years passed whenever I engaged in walking outdoors. I found myself inspired. I was inspired by the colorful flowers or the fluffy clouds. I was inspired by the crystal-like drifts of white snow piled high in front of the neighborhood yards. Sometimes it was the Christmas lights glittering in the dark night. Whatever it was and in whatever season, I realized that walking outside made me reflect and see the good around me.
Today that same reaction glows in me whenever I walk outdoors and appreciate nature. Except now I utilize walking as a release of the mental and physical stresses that go along with writing for long periods of time. As writers, it is not uncommon for us to sit and type for 2-4 hour intervals. Our brains are transposing our brilliant dialect and characters at a pace that can be extremely, if not painfully, fast. Whenever I find my back aching or my brain ready to split open and burn like an egg on a griddle I try to take a walk. The physical movement brings release in my aching muscles and the surrounding nature invigorates my sense of smell and sight. All of this allows me to reengage back into whatever writing project I am working on regardless of what it may be. I feel a sense of appreciation to be doing what I do. I can begin to see my work in a new light. Whatever it may be that the activity of outdoor walking does to me, I can only say I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
The next time you find yourself writing for long periods of time, consider including a walk outside in your writing process. There is more than just the physical benefits in it. It can bring clarity that writers desperately need to pursue onward. Plus, your own tank, or Peko dog, will love you for it!
Two Worlds, Two Men
by Joy Frawley
Jocelyn and Neely are having a perfectly pleasant dinner at the Sheep Heid Inn when it happens: Jocelyn suddenly finds herself sitting across the table, not from Neely, but a strange man dressed in medieval garb. This man is no apparition. His eyes, the deepest brown, clearly look on her in intimacy; his touch causes her pulse to rise. Jocelyn realizes two things: from his clothes, he is clearly an aristocrat, and that she, Jocelyn Stewart, seems to be in some sort of romantic relationship with him! Minutes later Jocelyn returns to Neely, in the present day, weak and terrified.
Together they begin to unravel the forgotten past and find themselves facing the reality of medieval Scotland. A strange world steeped in folklore and superstition; where life begins and often ends with the sword. As Jocelyn travels back to medieval times she learns that the man she keeps seeing is no other than Sir Colin Campbell of the powerful Campbell Clan. When Jocelyn is with Colin, she wants never to leave his side; then she returns to the present and cannot imagine herself with anyone but Neely. Jocelyn struggles with a choice. Which man will gain her heart when both offer such different love? She is in love with two different men in two different worlds.
Jocelyn looked around for the driver who was supposed to be waiting for her arrival with a sign. She had hired someone to pick her up because, as an American and first-time visitor to Scotland, she had figured it would be less stressful.
She didn’t see the driver anywhere; then, just as she started feeling nervous, she saw a man holding a sign with her name on it. And what a man he was! He was broad shouldered, strong and had dark brown hair with reddish tints. He exuded masculinity like some cologne, and even across the airport, she thought she could smell it. Smoothing her unruly hair, she started to walk over to him.
The man, seeing her approach him, took a step toward her. “Are you, Jocelyn?”
When he spoke her name, she found herself frozen in place unable to respond. She’d heard this voice before; she knew this voice. This man spoke her name exactly like the dream she had had all those years ago! She had been stirred awake in bed by a voice of a man, who spoke her name with a Scottish accent. His voice was gentle and low; as if he wanted to gain her attention, but not cause her alarm. Jocelyn had clutched the sheets to her chest and stared out into the darkness of her bedroom almost feeling his intimate presence beside her. She lifted her hand up to her ear having sworn his warm breath had brushed her skin. Jocelyn remembered she had turned her head, anxiously, toward the pillow next to her and almost thought she would be looking into the eyes of a stranger; yet she had not been frightened. This man, his voice, somehow comforted her.
Now, she stood in the airport and caught her breath as she faced the man before her. Her eyes searched his face for something; though what it was she wasn’t sure. Jocelyn felt her heart beating so fast she was certain the man could hear it as memories flooded her mind of that night so long ago when he or someone spoke her name in the darkness. Was that the reason for her vacation to Scotland? Was she unconsciously trying to find the man?
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