Heyday — Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement

Heyday — Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement.

A great read for anyone who desires to know the truth about Japanese families returning home after the interment camps.

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The Journey Worth Taking

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I love Seaside.

If someone had told me when I was a kid growing up in Eastern Washington, that I would someday be a writer living on the Oregon Coast, I would have told them they were crazy. I had never seen the ocean. Besides, what could be better than pine trees, scrub grass, and sub-zero snowy winter days?

1978. Our young family took an 11-day camping trip down the coast of Oregon. I was 28, and in love—again—this time with the mighty Pacific. Nothing speaks the awesomeness of God like waves crashing in perfect rhythm against the endless expanse of sand and rock.

Well . . . maybe it’s me who’s crazy . . . because here I am, so many years later; loving where I live, doing what I am called to do, and sharing it all with the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.

To write the greatest story for my life would be of wasted effort in comparison to the one that God has already written. Is He amazing—or what? To think that God planned the whole of my existence before I ever was—my humbling observation.

Well, enough for now; I think I’ll relax in my room with a view, let my gourmet burger from Sam’s Seaside Café digest, and marvel at all the blessings I don’t deserve given by Almighty God. And why you might ask?

Because he loves me.

P.S. I would love to hear your comments of God’s blessings in your life.

Stories From The Heart

Writing is personal—a baring of the soul. From writer to reader a bond must be formed; whether it be fiction or non-fiction. A heart (emotional) connection must be made with the reader if there is to be a willing investment of time in the story. I am a writer—but just as important—I am a reader, and as a reader this is my expectation.

Exciting yet intimidating; that is the process of honest, transparent writing; leaving a part of yourself on every page. Every character, every scene, every word in description and dialogue carries the writer’s DNA. Every story is unique.

Historical fiction; it had never appealed to me. I write supernatural suspense. But what happens when the past meets the present in the form of a story needing to be told? Not just any story—but my Mother’s story. How personal is that? And how about taking all the dry details (no matter how compelling) and turning them into a fictional tale of redemption rising from the broken pieces of a young child’s life.

It has been said: “Some stories are meant to be written.” I believe this is one of them. I have begun the journey and deeply embedded in the words of the story—in varied measure—you will find my DNA.

Below are the first few paragraphs of chapter one of my Mother’s story.

“SHADES of YELLOW; TAINTED WHITE”

It could have been a day, like any other day—but this day was different.
“She is not your Mother.”
Five words to change Lena’s life forever.
It wasn’t that she loved her life, but it was hers—it’s all she knew—until now. Lena kicked at the dirt along the edge of the tall grass bordering the familiar country road, turning brown with the early August drought.
Tears came hard, but today they moved with ease down Lena’s cheeks, mixing with the dust, leaving a mud stain of brown on her hand as she wiped at her face. The late morning carried the promise of another scorching summer day. She walked—slow—stepping on thirteen years of shattered pieces of the girl she thought she was.
Two hours ago seemed an eternity. The conversation beat at her brain; the words assaulted her senses and she wondered at her limited understanding of what she had heard. Japanese was familiar; English was still so foreign. Had she understood Martha correctly?

The Beautiful Side

There are ways to view a work of art, in whatever form it may come; be it a painting, a sculpture, a hand woven rug, a tapestry . . . First, the backside, the underside, the inside . . . the unexplored side; it is of necessary function to the other side.

We are, each one of us, a work of art, designed by our Creator God. And we are the most loved of all His created things; we are designed to be His masterpiece. How might that be?—one could ask. In the mirror of our mind and consciousness the image presented might seem distorted; a reflective view as from a piece of broken glass—something less than beautiful. We see with human eyes; we see what is. But what does God see?

God sees what can be.

The broken places of our lives, maybe that’s the distorted view—the backside of our tapestry with strings that dangle and crisscross in a jumbled mess of nothingness. We weave, we stitch . . . we labor to create; each string a choice, each thread a moment in time; each a part of what makes up the whole of our lives. God allows; we have free will.

Free will—the will to choose. Do choices matter?

God is perfect; flawless in character and motive—we are human; flawed and broken.

In the hands of a perfect God, the broken places and the twisted strings of our flawed but yielded lives become the beautiful side of the masterpiece. So, why would we choose the backside, the underside, the flawed side?

Choose the beautiful side—choose God’s perfect plan for your life.