Let's Talk with Maggie Toussaint
Planting a Flag and Love
In this most romantic month of the year some of us face a quandary. The person or pet we love with all our heart isn’t the typical greeting card kind of love or is no longer around. My feeling is that love is love. It’s putting yourself out there, risking the most personal vulnerability. But, oh, to have loved and be loved! That is pure joy.
Recently, I watched a video on a friend’s social media feed about her son and his partner. I was so moved by their story and the imagery that I told my friend that I could write an essay about it. My friend encouraged me to do that, so I did (the essay is after this post).
The journey of two people learning to share their life and creativity is a poignant thematic look at self and couple, at striving and self-expression. The artistry they create is beautiful. It took my breath away.
Their expression of planting a flag resonated with me on a gut level. One of the first thing explorers do is plant a flag. We planted an American flag on the moon. Who among us did not get misty-eyed looking at that fabled sight? The planted flag indicates our presence, it is a tangible reminder that we are here.
As an author, my books are my flags. I plant each one out there in the foreign soil of publishing, take a chance, and risk vulnerability to make that statement. Will a book be well-received? Will it garner rave reviews or soul-crushing criticism?
If you ask an author which book they love the most, the answer most often is “all of them.” We become entwined with the characters and setting, and that story world is real to us. Some write truly fast, others take their time. For me, it’s a 9-month period from inception to birth, a gestational period the same as for a human baby. No wonder we love our books!
Change happens, and it often pries us out of our comfort zone. I’m creating a new series with a sassy new protagonist and a brave new story world. I’m also using a new pen name, Valona Jones. The Book and Candle Shop Mysteries won’t physically appear until early 2023, but for now it still feels private and my own. Soon it will be planted for all to see.
For a chance to win a copy of Shrimply Dead, book 3 in my Seafood Capers Mysteries, post a sentence that uses PLANT and LOVE in the comments. Shrimply Dead is in print and ebook format, though the print book is only available to a winner with a US mailing address. This winner will be announced on February 10.
While you’re here, check out our Extravaganza WINNER TAKE ALL contest this month! The winner will receive ALL THE BOOKS IN THE VAULT. The contest runs from Feb 1-18. CLICK HERE to enter!
BONUS CONTENT: We are here, An essay by Maggie Toussaint
Where air battles earth, where wind churns the sea, the ocean crests, foams, and crashes on grains of sand. Each wave scours the beach, rewriting the tidal zone, even as seawater percolates through the sand.
The conditions are harsh. Glaring sun. Maximum salinity. Predators and prey circle on sea and shore, and yet the stunning setting has drawn humanity from its beginning. There’s true power here.
Dreams begin as a wisp of the wind and swell as large as imagination and determination permit. Hearts are won here too, as many choose sun and surf to surge and splash…and imagine.
Even the smallest child stomps at the water’s edge, grabs handfuls of sand, and laughs with sheer delight. As children grow, the pleasure of sea and sky is ever close, inscribed in hearts.
And yet, like life, the incoming surf can be harsh, ripping feet from under us without warning, crashing over our heads, or upending us until we don’t know which end is up. That precious and changeable margin of sand and wave challenges us to stand tall before the mighty ocean. We dig our toes into the sand, daring the water to move us. We can stand strong, but the sea and sand erode our strong stances.
It’s a truth that two are stronger than one. Magic happens when a pair creates synergy, so that one plus one is more than two. This is creation at its finest, the ethereal convergence where two become more. Two can stand taller, reach farther, laugh deeper, love more.
Bringing together the action of planting a flag, the changeable dynamic of the seashore, and the power of love is breathtaking and yet timeless in its simplicity. In this case, the multicolored flying flag-ribbons by two talented artists are positively inspired, juxtaposing the fragility of human emotions, the crisp snap of life, and the peace that comes through harmony.
It says “we are here” in all our humanity, standing tall against the elements, and at heart we are ourselves, beautiful and free. A flag furling in the sky, a dream dancing upon the wind, a crystalline moment of joyous expression.
We. Are. Here.
If you’re interested in the video which inspired the essay, the link is given. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG7eCb6Zv9w Fair warning: one scene in the short movie has skinny dipping, albeit tastefully done. You will miss the flags if you bail there, so if that is an issue for you, please skip ahead in the timeline or take a pass.
Posted in 6-Maggie Toussaint, Let's Talk, with Maggie Toussaint • Tags: giveaway, Let's Talk, Maggie Toussaint, Planting a Flag and Love, Shrimply Dead | 23 Comments