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The Noel Letters

NOEL LETTERS

A Stand-Alone Novel

Released October 27, 2020

“If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, we made one heck of a road crew.”

THE CAROUSEL

“Sometimes I think all I have ever known are McRelationships.”

THE GIFT

“Love, like for forgiveness, is often found in the confession of it.”

THE GIFT

“If variety is the spice of life, routine is the bread of it.”

THE CAROUSEL

“L’amore è cieco, ma il matrimonio gli rid la vista.”

Love is blind. Marriage restores one’s vision. –Italian Proverb

THE LAST PROMISE

“Il tempo di solito è bello quando si fa l’amore.”

The weather is always fair when people are in love. –Italian Proverb

THE LAST PROMISE

The Looking Glass“Again, I am encompassed by walls of solitude. I believe that Hell must be a confinement of our own contrivance, laid brick by brick, until, by our own cowardice and compromise, we have isolated ourselves from all love. And from all that is lovely.”

THE LOOKING GLASS

“Life, like a good book, often comes full circle.”

THE CAROUSEL

“When we bury someone we love, we must also bury a part of our heart. But we should not bemoan this loss. Our hearts, perhaps, are all they can take with them.”

THE LETTER

“I have fled yet another town. It is a precarious line I walk; one step ahead of the noose and one step behind peace.”

THE LOOKING GLASS

“By some conspiracy of Heaven or Hell (I know not which), a woman has been placed in my keeping. I am reminded of the proverb: A strange woman is a narrow pit.”

THE LOOKING GLASS

Timepiece“Poetry, like life, is its own justification.”

TIMEPIECE

“Even as I withheld my love from MaryAnne, she had never stopped filling me with hers. I had never supposed how cold my world would be without her warmth.”

THE LETTER

“. . . creative causes must be dictated by passion, and without passion we are doomed to mediocrity.”

THE LOCKET

“From our first babblings to our last word, we make but one statement, and that is our life.”

THE LETTER

“MaryAnne will neither enter the parlor nor acknowledge its existence. I cannot fault her for such, as we all have rooms we lock and daren’t visit, lest they bring pain.”

THE LETTER

Timepiece“Such darkness besets me. I craveMaryAnne’s laughter almost as the drunkard craves his bottle. And for much the same reasons.”

TIMEPIECE

“Love is never convenient—and rarely painless.”

THE SUNFLOWER

“I have made a grave mistake. I have carelessly handled a heart entrusted to mine. And in so doing I have broken both.”

THE LOOKING GLASS

“It is an awkward thing for a loved one to retain their breath but lose their faculties. I feel as though my heart has been cheated, as I have lost a friend and am not allowed to grieve his passing.”

THE LETTER

“Still no word from MaryAnne. My feelings cannot be far distant from those of the dustbowl farmer who, looking out over his withered fields to the blanched sky above, wonders why it will not rain.”

THE LETTER

Timepiece“A conspiracy of florists, caterers, and clergy have done too well a job of shrouding the virtues of the elopement.”

TIMEPIECE

“It has been a mistake living my life in the past. One cannot ride a horse backwards and still hold its reins.”

THE LETTER

“The sexton is a peculiar man, enslaved by the dominion of ritual and constancy. His vocation is well chosen as nothing is so reliable as death.”

THE LETTER

“I just want to say thank you for this opportunity. I don’t believe life owes us anything but that.”

THE LOCKET

“I have learned much about loss from their pain. Oftentimes it takes the darkness of another’s grief to shed light on our own.”

THE LOOKING GLASS

Timepiece“What prudery so ritualizes my grief as to press my letters with black sealing wax.”

TIMEPIECE

“Usually life’s greatest gifts come wrapped in adversity.”

FINDING NOEL

“I have made a grave mistake. I have carelessly handled a heart entrusted to mine. And in so doing I have broken both.”

THE LOOKING GLASS

Timepiece“If the heavens were to open and a host of Angels descend, they could not have produced such an effect on my soul as MaryAnne descending the chapel staircase for our wedding.”

TIMEPIECE

“It is folly, I suspect, to commence each morning with a letter to my lost love and conclude it with my diary, thereby bleeding at both ends of the day.”

THE LOCKET

“I do not know why we delude ourselves that life is predictable and safe, when it’s really just a carton of eggs—always just one stumble away from being scrambled.”

THE CAROUSEL

“I came home to find that MaryAnne had returned. She promptly made it clear that she does not intend to stay. My heart, of necessity, has become acrobatic.”

THE LETTER

The Gift“I believe that the difference between Heaven and Hell is not so much the climate as the company. Living in a world populated by people like themselves would, for many, be Heaven. And for others, it would, indeed, be Hell.”

THE GIFT

“I believe it a great irony that I learned of life from one dying, and of love from one so lonely.”

THE LOCKET

“It is folly of our species that we reserve the greatest bouquets for our dead.”

THE LETTER

“A broken heart is always looking for a mend.”

THE LETTER

“How often the course of a life is changed in one pulse of a heart.”

THE LOCKET

Timepiece“. . . if we write but one book in life, let it be our autobiography.”

TIMEPIECE

“All that death requires of us is to forsake the future.”

THE LOCKET

“There comes to each life at least one Betheltown. But it comes only once and we dare not ask for more.”

THE LOCKET

“A handsome young man came this evening to inquire for lodging, his intent being to stay in Betheltown for some while. I must remind myself that sunsets too are beautiful, before they leave you cold, dark, and alone.”

THE LOCKET

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