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For the Second Time


Photo from Amazon.com

For the second time in my life, a book has brought me to tears. I don’t cry easily.

The only other time this happened, George Bush (41) was President and the Simpsons was in its first season. I was sixteen (or maybe seventeen) in third year French class. As the only third year student int the class, it was study hall with credits. I’d finished whatever independent study Mme. H threw my way and was caught up on trigonometry, so I immersed myself into early 1900s P.E.I. and wept ugly tears over L.M. Montgomery’s last Anne book, Rilla of Ingleside.

This time the tears were different. Not teen girl dramatic weeping but a quiet leak as I finished James Rubart’s The Five Times I Met Myself.  I first read (or rather listened to) James Rubart’s The Chair as I was traveling to and from Realm Makers. That’s all it took for him to cement himself as one of my all-time favorite authors. He writes the books I love to read, and the stories I want to write.

The way I describe this type of speculative fiction is “real-world setting with a supernatural twist”. The first movie I saw in the theater was Freaky Friday. One of my all-time favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ll read or watch about any time-travel book or movie. The first three manuscripts I completed were a series centered around water with supernatural healing powers.

Couple my love of time travel and alternate timelines with a book solidly grounded in Christian faith, it’s no surprise that I would love The Five Times I met Myself. In a lot of ways, I didn’t so much put off reading this book as wait for the right time to read it.

And no time but now could have been more perfect. I’ve mentioned the two-year leadership training I’m doing through my church. Well, this month’s assignment is to write a letter to my younger self. It’s not something new to me. I once blogged about meeting college me as part of a series on The Scriblerians. In that case, it was the crazy tale of how I met one of my professors at a writing conference.

This assignment will be different. Not a humorous time-travel story, but one of how God is with us on our journey. About how we may or may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change our attitudes and priorities. And God knew that there was no better time than these past few days for me to read this book. It’s one of the things He’s showing me right now.

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

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