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SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Patchwork Of Our Lives

I'm here in Tucson as I write this blog this morning. When I checked into the Arizona Inn Friday night, the first thing to greet me by my courtyard entrance was a blooming orange tree. Have you ever walked under a huge orange bush/tree and smelled those blossoms? Like nothing else on this earth. I robbed a small twig, and put it on the bedside table and let it have its way with my muse all night. They had a good time….

There will be more about this in my next newsletter. And we will be giving the quilt I made away to some lucky reader. I hope it's you. I wish I had the fingers and the time to make all of you one, but perhaps in another lifetime. Right now, I'm only given this snippet of time and I'm making the most of it.

Last week I spent from Sunday night to Wednesday at Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg, California. Healdsburg is important to me because several of my stories take place here. The Monteleone vineyard is here where Marcus and Ann make love in the vineyards and the bloom of their love lasts forever. Hugh Jett combs the bars in downtown Healdsburg doing security for the Monteleones (a book to come later this year). Daniel and Claire walk the square in Heavenly Lover at Christmas time, and Claire, the guardian angel who falls in love with her human charge, joins the angel display in one of the store windows and surprises Daniel. Daniel signs children's books in the book store on the square. Tyler visits Kate at the family winery here, and they stay at a bed and breakfast near downtown, in SEAL Of My Heart. The town is one of my favorites to write.

Bishop's Ranch is a place of retreat and reflection, run by caring staff who are all about the experience of spiritual and personal growth. I'm going to make it a must-do each month, for a self-imposed writing cave. I think better there, just as a change of pace.

The quilting retreat is the second year for me. My friend Jody comes with me, and I'm always amazed at the beautiful pieces others have done. We “stitch and bitch” as they say, but mostly we laugh, listen to music, and just marvel at the beautiful surroundings. I walked the labyrinth, walked under blooming trees, and in general just watched the countryside just begin to lush up with green grasses and see the vineyards beginning to bud. Almost like mother nature takes a big gulp of air and sighs before the frenzy of the wine business takes over. 

We all come together, women from different parts of the state, and share the love of quilting and fellowship. I always learn so much. I bought a craft iron and a seam stick for ironing absolutely flat seams, watched techniques of paper piecing and measuring, learned the power of advanced preparation and planning, and discussed and indulged in all the beautiful colors of the fabric. We are like a quilt of many colors: some red, flowered, striped, patterns of the sunset. The theme for the retreat was the daybreak quilt I show up top, but I had the mission to finish mine so I could do a giveaway on the Newsletter. (Remember, if you're a subscriber, you'll have a chance to get in on the drawing.)

We are the sum total of all our experiences, and like the scenes from my stories, these have either been lived, or imagined. Parts of them are bright, parts sultry and sexy, parts emotional, and some dangerous or fearsome. Homefully all the stories are fearsome! I put myself into experiences so I can call out my treasure trove of many colors and bring them to my books. I'm drawn to the stories of the Underground Railroad and the secret messages contained in the quilts. Even during the Revolutionary War there were messages relayed by the women through quilting, the hanging of laundry beside the house, to give signals to the young patriot army. It is a rich history of this nation. I spoke at length with a woman yesterday who reads mainly black history books, and we discussed these quilts for a few minutes. We doesn't read me, but we have the love of history and the lives of our forefathers in common.

Living a colorful life filled with life experiences is what keeps me young. I hope that as I piece together the fabric of the rest of my life, that my quilt will be as beautiful and colorful as some of these, with stories so compelling, they are difficult to put down. And I'm glad I have you to come along with me. Thank you for that, by the way. Sometimes I don't say it enough.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 15 comments
Eniko - March 15, 2015

I always admire the beauty of quilts, and these shown in the pictures are gorgeous, especially the first one. Like paintings, they bring different emotions from different people.
I am glad I discovered your books a few years ago and looking forward to more. Just like your books, these Sunday blogs show that you have a unique way with words, words that draw me in and keep me in your world, be that the yummy Golden Vampires or the fearless SEALs. Thank you.

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Eniko - March 15, 2015

Oh I forgot! Smooches to Coop 😀

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Karen Henderson - March 15, 2015

I want that quilt so bad. I love quilts. My grandmother quilted and I wish I had let her teach when I was younger. Now she is gone and the quilt she made me is getting older. I am one of those people that actually use my quilts. I know a lot of people don't but as my husband and I don't have children to pass our stuff too I see no reason for me not to use my things.
You always have the best pictures on your blogs. thank you for sharing your week with us every Sunday <3

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julie - March 15, 2015

Lovely post Sharon. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. These quilts are definitely works of art, just like our lives. Bright one minute, dark the next. Keep up the good work you are inspirational woman and author. We love your books no matter what genre you write in

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mjmgma - March 15, 2015

I am looking forward to meeting you in Nashville next month. I have been slowly getting acquainted with your books, starting with your Seal ones. The quilts are beautiful. I wish I had the talent to do one. Thank you for your newsletters and this column which I enjoy reading.

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J.D. Hart - March 15, 2015

We are indeed the sum total of our experiences. I am so thankful that you are a huge part of my quilt in life. Thank you for letting me come along and for all the colors you have added to my quilt.

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Bonnie Hilligoss - March 15, 2015

Your quilts are absolutely beautiful! I wish I had the talent and patience that you do. Enjoy your trip!!

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

Thank you, Eni. I appreciate that more than you know. I'm the fortunate one to have met you, too! My pleasure to continue this journey we have started together! It will be fun!

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

Indeed. He smooches right back!!

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

Ah, thanks! Quilts are meant to be used. In fact, all of these ladies would be offended if we hung their quilts on the wall, or were afraid to wash them. A true quilter feels that way. You are honoring your grandmother by doing so, Karen!

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

Thanks Julie. I think the stories that inspire me cross all genres. I'm that kind of a reader too. Thanks so much for following along!

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

Awesome!!! Love that you are following, and I too am excited about Nashville. Be sure to tell all your friends. They are wanting this to be a big reader event, and any extra promotion you can give is greatly appreciated. Happy Sunday, and thanks for being my new fan!

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

You are so welcome, sweetheart. You add the sugar and the spice and the deep layers of emotion to my stories and do what I cannot do. We are a true enhancement, coming from different ages and times in space, and areas of the country and lifestyles. But we have the same love of words, and of love and falling in love and all the juice that is life. May it be forever and forever, my dear friend.

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Sharon Hamilton - March 15, 2015

Thanks Bonnie! I'm learning a lot and enjoying myself. Meeting new friends, rubbing shoulders with my author buddies, just trying to show up, pay attention, tell the truth, and not get too attached to the outcome. Love that you are following along!

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J.D. Hart - March 16, 2015

Always and forever!

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