Monday, September 19, 2016

Lin Wilder Shares Personal Search for Findng the Narrow Path...

Lin Wilder is a former Hospital Director and presently a self-employed writer who works from her home in northern Nevada. She finds peace and channels her creativity in the remote valley that offers her just the right amount of silence, stillness and solitude. She has written throughout her entire adult life but made the switch from non-fiction to fiction in 2006.

“I found, long ago, that the best way for me to understand something is to write about it.” Lin explains. Writing helps her to better comprehend even the most challenging subjects. Lin feels her line of work should be viewed like any other business, advising others, “In the beginning, expect to be in the red.” After years in the industry, she has learned the value of a good editor, finding that editing is far more than proofreading. “Writing is hard work and requires exceptionally thick skin. Once we decide to publish our work, we’re in the public domain where others can criticize, perhaps even in a hurtful way.” Wilder states.

Prior to her decision to switch to fiction, Lin Weeks Wilder had published over 40 articles and book chapters as well as a textbook. She was also written four self-help books. Lin’s first novel, The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, was published in July of 2015. The second edition, The Fragrance Shed by a Violet: Murder in the Medical Center and the sequel, Do You Solemnly Swear are available to purchase on Amazon. When asked why she chose to create a second edition, Lin quotes Chesterton, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly” and explains that the multiple errors in the first edition begged to be fixed. The third in her series, A Price for Genius, was planned for a spring release but has been trumped by a non-fiction account of an “unplanned surprise” story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road; A Love Story. Her series of medical thrillers are situated in Houston, Texas with many references to the local Medical Center where Lin worked for over 23 years.

In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys exercising, hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. She is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

Finding the Narrow Path:
Patterns, Faith and Searching

By Lin Wilder

A bit of serendipity occurred when, upon receiving two requests for reviews, I said yes, without really realizing that both were from just one author. When they were received, I automatically add on my TBR stack, so that, as I read, the first selection was the fiction book. That review will come next. Once I realized that the next book was nonfiction, I approach it differently and check out the credentials on the back, where I realized that this book was from the same author. I decided I wanted to share this review first.

Finding the Narrow Path is a partial memoir and as I read her book, I remembered back to a discussion with a Visiting Professor in Physics with whom I got into a discussion about faith. He proceeded to very competently express his intellectual reasons for being an atheist and I would return with a faith-based response. It was so frustrating to him for it was quite clear that he could not win with his presented argument... I was curious to see what this intellectual scientist would be sharing...

Lin had walked away from religion and had worked hard to move ahead in her professional career and then on into marriage at one point... She broke glass ceilings and successfully received the accolades of others. I'm not going to go into much of that time. Instead, I will comment that this book is an excellent story for those who have worked in academe and/or medical fields where the moves upward and onward are not an easy task--it requires dedication, studying and research to maintain the latest knowledge available. Often that profession becomes the primary thing in your life... If you have been in that situation, even if it was not your choice, as happened to me, and know that something is wrong when the job is what consumes your life, I urge you to read this book.

Yet it was because of her intellectual drive, her love of her professional goals that, I believe, carried into her personal search for something more. She studied and read much about different religions, different options such as meditation, or traveling to Greece to absorb the atmosphere of ancient gods such as Zeus, whose stories still remain with us. It seemed to me that her final choices were based upon her personal life processes, she applied the same drive into finding her place. It happened to be the Catholic Church, but I thought it important to mention that she in no way limits what is possible for you, each and every reader...she simply says this is what happened to me...

The journey to Greece changed me. Not in ways I could readily describe when I returned or even now, looking back...My last night in this breathtaking land of crumbled ruins, mystery, and ancient wisdom was listening to a concert high above the ruins...The music ended and I sat there alone...The miracles of them, the privilege of being here...The moonlight was brilliant and the silence so immense that I was confident I could hear the whispered prayers of the many hundreds of thousands who had worshiped in this place. This sacred place.
A particularly poignant scene was when her mother was dying... She realized that she should have stayed with her at that time, but...she didn't know how to pray... Like Lin did with her professional career, she moved rapidly in her search for faith. 

I must tell you of my own God Incident with the book... In the middle of the night after I had finished the book, I woke up and "The lights" came into my mind... I knew immediately that I was to emphasize that the light came three times to Lin but with no understanding experience, it took her three times to realize exactly what was happening. Immediately an old song came to my mind! She had found the light...I  had been thinking about how to approach the book and simply was told... How many others might be approached by God in some way, and not realize that He is there, ready. How cool! God took Lin exactly where she was in her life and reached out to her in her search...
At our last meeting in the cafeteria of the hospital, it all came back, like a tidal wave of horror. What I had done all those years ago...I begun to sob right there in the cafeteria. Quietly, Clark suggested we go somewhere private and continued in my office for a long time...
I do not remember the words he used during the prayer because of the powerful light that appeared suddenly in my office, filling it. I kept asking Clark why he could not see the bright light which shone so brightly over our heads that I had to squint at him to see him. That light followed us as I walked him to his car, thankful for his loving concern. I asked again if he didn't see that light, pointing up at it. But he could not...

Only much later, after I saw that same light a third time did I figure out I have seen the Holy Spirit.

It is only through reading her entire story will you see the long time period it took for Lin Wilder Finding the Narrow Path. One of her early reviewers questioned the book cover, indicated it was "too preachy." I laughed after I finished the book, because I have never read a less preachy story yet the cover worked perfectly for me. It is open, factual, and, yes, presented as a true intellectual would. She shares her readings, her research, her trips made in her search. But it has been done in what I considered an unemotional manner similar to, I am sure, her other professional writings.

Still, she includes her poetic emotional responses so that we see how "the light" touched her...

St. Benedict's Abbey

Suddenly I was there
On my knees with
Quiet tears coursing down
My cheeks in response
To feelings which were
So long suppressed and
Now foreign and exquisitely
Incisive as they pierced
Through the years of
Protective armor donned so
Long ago when I
Walked away from God
How did I arrive here?
And why was I deserving
Of such pure faith appearing
Without preamble or good works?
And why, God, have you found
Me worthy enough to know you?
Once more forgiving this oh, so
Grateful recipient of unmerited grace.

Lin ends her book telling about how she has come to love the psalms and Gospel passages, so I will end with just one of my favorites done in musical form.

I think that I must add a note about her fiction. Watch for my review. You will experience the results of Lin Wilder's search in her stories... Highly recommended for both those searching as well as those who have found the light, but seek refreshment...


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