You are very busy with writing books and cards! What inspired you to start making your own cards?
I’d always loved cards and gift books, and dreamed of creating my own someday. During the long months of immobility following my accident, my love of words and great visuals merged. I remember the moment of inspiration for the first card. I came across an old slide that held bittersweet memories, a breathtaking sea scene—now on my website—and God breathed new inspiration into my desire to create something beautiful. The words, “We are given one fleeting lifetime to love,” echoed in my mind for days, and I wrote it down. After that, I penned the inside message: “When love appears open the door.” I chose the Scripture from I Corinthians 13:8, “Love never fails.”
I slammed into obstacles at every turn creating Soaring Hearts, but remained obedient to the call to create them. I was even approached by an upscale business to carry my TEA cards, if I would remove the Scripture—each card has Scripture inside—but I refused. This summer God opened a door, and I will know in the next few months if Soaring Hearts Cards will be distributed by a national company. I’m thrilled—and all nerves! I committed these special cards to God in the beginning, and know that His word never returns void. He is faithful to transform painful circumstances into something beautiful.
What an inspiration to stay true to God and your goals!
What project are you currently working on?
In between many months spent in Florida as a caregiver for family over the last couple of years, I’ve had to adapt to interruptions and de-railed projects. I work on historical fiction, albeit slowly; and I’m currently completing a tender gift book for brides. Whether you’re a bride-to-be, or spoke your vows decades ago, I pray LOVE and Everyday Wisdom for Brides will bless women and their marriages. I’m also writing a story for a book with a November deadline.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I enjoy writing at a pretty, white writing desk in the kitchen; but truthfully, I love to write sitting outdoors, especially near the water. Nature ignites my senses and sparks inspiration for ideas. Also, some of my best writing emerges in the car. I know that may sound odd, but many times I’ll be driving by the cows or pond or flower gardens in my pastoral village, and have to pull over, grab paper, and write like thunder to keep up with the flurry of thoughts.
If you could have lunch with one person that has passed on whom would it be and why?
Of course, I’d love to sit with Jesus and share lunch with Him. That would be awesome! However, if I think of a family member I’d love to have lunch with, it would have to be my paternal great grandmother. I never had the pleasure of meeting her. I only know that she died in the epidemic Flu of 1918, as my grandma used to call it. She was a young woman with several children. Winters in the mountains of Virginia could be brutal. I just had the only picture of her (that we know about) professionally restored. I plan to give my dad this striking framed picture of her for his 80th birthday. Her raven hair, crisp white blouse, and crystal blue eyes shine from the old photograph. I wish I knew more about her life. Her death has woven its way into my fiction, and my heart. I pray I meet her in heaven someday.
You speak about a life-changing accident that inspired one of your books. Can you tell us a little about that?
Having been an R.N. for many years, the experience of being airlifted to a trauma hospital for a month, flown home after three months, and then the long uphill climb of rehab, threw my life into a tailspin. Everything changed in an instant. It’s a miracle that I lived to tell about it. And through it all, God blessed me, and gave me a powerful testimony to share. It still moves audiences. People cry, hoot, and holler. God’s wonders excite people. When my church asked me to speak on Pentecost Sunday months after I returned home, I began writing what unfolded into a 5,000 word story called, “At the Speed of Love.” Doors opened from there.
Gratitude is a way of life. I thank God everyday for improving health, and allowing me to fulfill my destiny as a wife and creative. I always wanted to write, so these opportunities are gifts. I’m excited to see where this journey will take me.
The last paragraph of "At the Speed of Love" really captures my story.
Moonlight swept ribbons of silver across the black water as I drove past the pond. I recalled a conversation that Dad told me he’d had with the state trooper at the scene of the accident . . .
She had said, “I hope you know how lucky you are your daughter is alive. Seventy percent of people thrown from vehicles are killed, but after I looked in your truck, I knew why you and your daughter weren’t.”
“Why is that?” he asked.
She motioned, “That book on your dashboard.”
Dad went over to take a look. Miraculously, there on the dashboard was his Bible.
In his words, “It never moved.”
Isn’t it just like God to show up with His unchanging, immovable love in the intersections of life? It wasn’t my faith that was so
amazing—it was His miraculous, redeeming, amazing grace that made all the difference. Celebrate life!
Thank you, Salena, for having me as your guest today. I’m honored to share my heart with your readers. God bless you!
Thank you for coming on today to talk to us. It has been a pleasure to get to know you better!Thank you for being a beacon of God's love! Best of luck to you in all your endeavors!
Barbara has been kind enough to offer a free book to one lucky person. Please leave a comment with your email address to be entered for a chance to win a copy of Hugs: Bible Reflections for Women.
To purchase any of Barbara’s books or other products click here:
A native Ohioan, Barbara fell in love with the South when she attended Warren Wilson College in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Retired from her career as a registered nurse since a life-changing accident in 2003, she devotes late nights to writing fiction, devotions, and poetry.
You’ll find her heartfelt stories in books published by Tyndale House Publishers, Howard Books (Simon and Schuster), The Writing Academy, and others. Devotions appear on Truth Ministries and Christian Devotions.us websites; and poetry on websites for caregivers. Her stories have also been published in medical and charitable nonprofit newsletters.
She’s polishing a tender gift book, Love and Everyday Wisdom for Brides that awakened her mornings last summer. A companion devotional/journal is in progress. She continues to mine, In the Den with Daniel, an historical novel set deep in the mountains of Appalachia.
In quiet moments she creates Soaring Hearts, an inspirational card line available in a quaint tea room in Pinehurst, North Carolina; and a seaside boutique on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Barbara presented her inaugural Living Letters® Seminar and Tea at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, last year. For Living Letters® Seminar and Tea for BRIDES; and “Writing Your Keepsake Letter,” scheduled for 2012, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Guild, a graduate of C.L.A.S.S., North Carolina Poetry Society, and founder of Light of Carolina Christian Writers. Barbara and her husband dream amid bluebirds and hollyhocks in a southern part of heaven. Visit her site: http://www.barbaraparentini.com/