Can you stand one more?

Yep. One more coincidence having to do with my forthcoming novel, Bend in the High Road (a crime mystery that’s definitely off the beaten track!). This coincidence happened on Sunday, July 5.

Our sweet friend Joan Solka, the aunt of another sweet friend, Laura Troutman (it obviously runs in their family), called out to Jeff and me as we walked past her at the entrance to the retirement home where both she and my mother-in-law live.

Asking about my mother-in-law’s health, Joan called herself “curious,” jokingly adding, “Curious sounds nicer than nosy!” How is this related to my new novel? Joan is my protagonist’s name, and the character Joan Ryan is repeatedly described as curious.

As I have said before, the Joan in my book is not patterned after any known person, and certainly not after any Joan that I know. In fact, the other day I pondered the name and no Joans came to mind at all. (Except, possibly, Joan Rivers, because that name is famous.) If you’re reading this, and you’re my friend, and your name is Joan, please don’t be slighted. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately!

Joan Solka we met about two years ago when my mother-in-law became a resident of the same retirement home, living two or three doors down, on the third floor. My character’s name had been decided well before that. But, our friend and my fictional Joan do share this one trait at least (in addition to being curious): they are eager to help others.

Ah, it has been a fun several weeks, experiencing these remarkable run-ins with names and details out of my novel. (Read my other posts about these “coincidences.”)

I need your prayers as I tread the sidewalk called “working to get my book published.” It’s a busy sidewalk, and I hope I’m wearing sturdy shoes. (And remembering to take my vitamins and calcium. I don’t mind at all bending my back and shoulders to autograph books; I just want to be able to straighten up again afterward!)

I’ve chosen 1 Peter 4:10 as a verse to share with today’s post. I found it here. No, not all of us are entrepreneurs, nor hoping to sell a book manuscript. But we all need reminders from God’s word about confidence, serving others, forgiving, and being encouraged. And, as I have said elsewhere, good business advice is generally good life advice. Check the link; it’s a short, good article.

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