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From Lynne:  I have met some of my most influential friends and mentors among the pages of well-worn books. When chaos reigns in life I pull out PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, and Conan Doyle – in need of laughter and methodical order. In moments when I feel all alone in the universe, I think of George Macdonald’s The Princess and the Goblin and the sustaining images of journeying in the land of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. In the stories of Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory and John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row I meet earthy characters infused with dignity and I give way to celebration. Leo Tolstoy’s Resurrection and his collections of short stories have called me back into their pages time and time again. And when sun shines in at the edge of morning I often turn to the poetic prayers of John Philip Newell in Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer.

Books have a way of breathing life into our spirits and weaving their messages into the pages of our lives. As with any art form, writing is an exploration of life, within and without. It offers an opportunity to listen, to record, and to create. Reading the writing of others is a subjective endeavor. Sometimes when a feeling resonates or a thought echoes your own, a connection is made and a journey ensues. Although our outward lives differ significantly, I think that our inner journeys are more similar than we realize. I hope that in sharing a bit of my own story that others may be encouraged to never give up no matter how messy life gets, to celebrate the gift of life in all its colors and to look for life-giving strength in the details along the way.

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