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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas Countdown: The Ornament Keeper

Eva Marie Everson is the bestselling, multiple award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and the North Georgia Christian Writers Conference.

Eva Marie is a popular speaker at writers conferences and women's groups across the United States.

Award-winning author Eva Marie Everson wraps up a Christmas story of hope, love, and forgiveness just in time for the holidays. 

The Ornament Keeper, a contemporary Christmas novella, features Felicia and Jackson Morgan who are spending their first Christmas apart after twenty years of marriage. But a lifetime of gifted ornaments helps Felicia piece together the story of their marriage and the one mistake of unforgiveness she made before they said, “I do.” 

Can these memory-filled ornaments reunite this family before Christmas? Only time will tell.

Q&A With the Author:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less. I'm southern born and bred and proud of it. I live in Florida and have since 1993 (I say you have to go north to get south of here). I am the president of Word Weavers International, director of two conferences, managing editor of Firefly Southern Fiction. I have nearly 40 books in print. But what I'm proudest of is my family--my husband and kids and grandkids. And our dog. I love traveling to new places (well, I hate traveling, but love being there). I'm a serious coffee consumer and enjoy hiking.

2. What do you love most in the world?
 Besides God--my family.

3. What inspired you to become an Author? 
When I was about 12 I read a really good book.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition? 
That's hard. There are several: Putting up the trees and other decorations. Going to church services and singing Christmas songs. I also treasure going "back home" for the Christmas Eve service in my home church.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer's block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story? 
Just write. My most common advice is "vomit it up now … clean it up later." When I get stuck, I usually read a good book or watch a good movie. Within minutes I'm back at it!

6. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. What's your story?
My mother had three things on her bucket list--going to Disney World was one of them. I lived in Orlando for quite a few years before she told me and then, shortly after, I won two all-day/all-parks passes. I called her immediately and said, "Make plans to come down. I've got passes for us to go to Disney!"

We made plans for her to come a few months later, in October, when the weather here wouldn't be so miserable. We also planned to go on a weekday when the parks were less crowded. I asked her which park she wanted to visit first; she chose Hollywood Studios. We left early that morning, arriving just as the park opened.

"Let's head straight for the back of the park," I told her. "Most people start at the front, but if we go straight to the back and work our way forward, we'll miss a lot of the crowds."

Mother agreed. Our first stop was watching an outdoor display of how stunt cars work in films. Mother, at 72, sat up like a 5-year-old. She clapped and cheered and, after one of the stunts, yelled, "Do it again!" We left there and happened up on a parade. Again, Mother clapped, her smile broad. She watched the dancers; I watched her childlike spirit coming through.

We spent the entire day at Hollywood Studios, laughing and giggling like children. Mother especially enjoyed the production of Beauty and the Beast, which was the only thing we "waited" on. But, as Mother declared, "It was worth every minute of the wait."

We ate a delectable lunch around noon and, around 4:00, we stopped for a slice of cake and a cup of coffee at The Brown Derby. There, I told her about the time I ate lunch at The Brown Derby in the real Hollywood, California. What I remember most about that time was the talking. The laughing. The heading out to do it all again.

We never went to another park. We decided to, instead, enjoy every minute we had there. No rushing. Just being. We didn't arrive back to my home until late … late … late that night. We were exhausted, happy, and Mother had a photo of herself with Fantasia Mickey. I don't know which one of them was cuter.

Mother still had two other bucket list items: flying in a plane and riding a horse. I took care of the first and was planning other for her 75th birthday, which was in November 2010. But in May of that year, as she and I prepared for a writers conference banquet, Mother collapsed in my arms and, a week later, she moved from this world to her new address with Jesus.

I'll always treasure that day with my mother at Disney's Hollywood Studios. When I miss her most, I take myself back to that day and remember her laughter. I picture her sitting so straight and tall, watching the stunt cars and clapping. I see her "dancing" to the music of the parades. I remember her delight at meeting Mickey.

No regrets.

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1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about the memories of your Mother. Was wondering what was the book you read at 12? :)