Beryl Singleton Bissell


From the author

A Fire in the Heart

August 11, 2010

This summer newsletter comes when summer is already on the way out (at least here on Lake Superior it is). So, why the delay? Unlike many of you, I fail miserably at multi-tasking; and that includes writing. That’s why you haven’t seen much of me online lately. My blogs languish, forget Facebook. Gracious, I haven’t even been commenting on my favorite blogs. What have I been doing? Writing books!

Mid July, I signed a contract for, and delivered to the publisher, a manuscript tentatively titled A View of the Lake. Mistakes and mishaps, laughter and learning fill the pages of this tale about my husband and my impetuous move to the northern shores of Lake Superior when we fell in love with a view. If you’ve dreamed of “that special place” this is the book for you. It will be released by Lake Superior Port Cities Inc in May 2011. Finishing that book means I can now devote myself to the sequel to the Scent of God, the book you’ve been waiting for.

While I spend most of my time writing, I start every day with time for “soul” work, which besides prayer and yoga includes reading. One book I read every morning without fail is Robert Ellsberg’s All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets and Witnesses For Our Times. Ellsberg’s Saints are an eclectic, not always canonized, heroic group of seekers and lovers. One of Ellsberg “saints” is Vincent Van Gogh: who we all know as one of the world’s greatest and most beloved artists but who during his lifetime never sold a painting.

Van Gogh was well acquainted with struggle. In a letter to his brother Theo he wrote, “There may be a great fire in our soul, but no one ever comes to warm himself at it.” I felt this way the other day as I struggled to bring my daughter back to life through my writing, I asked myself what was I hoping to achieve by writing the sequel to The Scent of God. Why did I wrestle daily with pages of memories, journal entries, medical records and letters when words to shape them failed me? Why did I write anything for that matter?
The answer was right there in Ellsberg’s portrait of Van Gogh. Writers struggle with words, because there is “a great fire in our soul.” Maya Angelou claims that “there is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” With every word, every paragraph, writers dig their way to the truth underlying that, as yet, untold story.

While Francesca’s inner turmoil led her to places I could not follow, she yearned for the love that I know only God could fulfill. Francesca once remarked that she thought God was a “great mass of goodness.” While the sequel to The Scent of God will be a mother’s story, I want to find the child who believed in that God and to share her with you.

Meanwhile, may you live fully, love deeply, feel mightily, and may God speed you on your every journey.

My Work

The collision of human love and faith
An impetuous move to Lake Superior transforms a life
While writing The Scent of God
"Seven Years in Hell"

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