Celebrating at Shaker Village

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

— One of the nice things about getting older – and there are some nice things – is that if you want to celebrate a week after your actual birthday that’s just as much fun as celebrating on the actual day. My sister and I have birthdays a week apart. A few years apart originally, but now we often celebrate both our birthdays on the same day. We used to do them separately, but then we got older and busier. My sister was just saying the other day that she thought she was going to have to re-retire. There just wasn’t time to do all she wanted to do and keep the part time jobs she’s held down since her first retirement. Me, I don’t want to retire. I just want to work faster and better. That means I want the words to flow out of my brain onto my computer screen like water out of a water hose turned on full blast. But I have to admit that sometimes it seems like my creative hose has a few kinks that shut off the creative juices. So I’ll just keep muddling along, digging stories out of my head one word and one sentence at a time. That’s how even the most famous writers do it. One letter at a time. It’s just how those letters and words are put together that make the difference.
–Anyway, I went to Shaker Village for lunch with my sisters and my mom Tuesday to celebrate two of us getting to start out a new year of life. I hadn’t been to Shaker Village to eat at the restaurant for years and now I’ve been there twice in the last couple of months. Last time I was there I gave the workers a copy of my new book, The Believer. It was fun to hear from one of the workers Tuesday that a couple of them had already read the book and found it hard to put down. Those words are always music to a writer’s ears. And it was good to hear that a couple of the people who worked there and so are immersed in Shaker history each day thought the story hit the mark.
–I did get the good news that The Believer was on a couple of bestseller lists, both the CBA (Christian Book Association) and ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publisher Association). Number 20 on the CBA list and number 15 on the ECPA fiction list and number 49 on the top 50 book list. What a blessing and a great birthday present besides!
–I’ve been trying to settle back into a working routine after the NQC and then my houseful of company for the renunion Sunday. And trying to get over a sinus infection. I finally gave up and went to the doctor yesterday. In between coughing and sneezing, I’ve been enjoying reworking one of my old novels set in Louisville during the 1850’s, but meanwhile, my new Shaker character is beginning to talk to me. So I’m anxious to get going and figure out her story. I’m sure Lacey is going to give me an ear full.
–The picture above is the Shaker meeting house at Pleasant Hill, the Shaker community I used as a model for my Harmony Hill Shaker Village. Note the two front doors. The one on the west is for the women and the east for the men. I think. I knew I should have written that down. Maybe I did. I just have to remember where. Anyway this is where the Shakers labored their songs and went forth to exercise their dances to bring down glory. The Ministry, the Shaker men and women who made the rules for the village, lived upstairs and spent their time in prayer and studying Shaker writings. And making sure the brothers and sisters in the village were living the Shaker way. The building had peepholes built in for the purpose of watching. It was a strange way to live.
–Thanks for dropping by. Talk to you next Sunday. No birthdays to celebrate then, but there’s always something to celebrate. Maybe sunshine after all the rain.