The Best of Times, volume one of the Dickens Inn Series
Featured song: “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
It’s one of the most famous quotes from classic literature. As simple as this opening line of a great novel may be, it also expresses the typical contradiction of life. This statement can be applied to any span of time in our own lives. No matter how challenging or difficult a stretch of life might be, we can always look around and find much to be grateful for, much evidence that it is still the best of times.
Having previously confessed to my obsession with Charles Dickens, I must now confess that the very concept of this book (and the subsequent books that comprise the series) were undeniably inspired. For many years I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a story about a woman who runs a bed-and-breakfast. Then, somewhere in the middle of studying the life of Dickens, the two concepts crossed, and the story came to life in my mind very suddenly. With the Dickensian Inn being themed around Dickens’s stories, and the characters having been strongly influenced by the same, it was the perfect way to weave in some of the things I’d been learning.
The real miracle behind this story, however, is the speed in which it was written. It wasn’t the first time something like this has happened to me, but it still may have broken a record. (Since I don’t keep records of my records, I can’t say for sure.) I certainly haven’t been able to duplicate the experience since. Anyway . . . drum roll . . . the novel “The Best of Times” was written in thirteen (count them) writing days. Then it took a few days to read it through and polish it up, and it was done. Voila! Might I point out that such writing is not humanly possible. It is only through my own acknowledgment that my writing is a God-given gift that I can even begin to explain or understand how such a thing is possible. In my own humble opinion, the results were marvelous. This is a great book! I’m not sure how Charles Dickens feels about having his name on the same book cover as mine, but I’m rather fond of the idea.