by Emily Conrad 

If you’ve been waiting for new fiction from me, the wait is over! But first, I owe you an explanation…
I had a dream that I moved away from a garden I’d planted just as the zucchini and cucumber were finally flowering. But only as I moved away did I realize I’d planted the garden without permission on my aunt’s property, where I’d been staying short term.
Why had I planted a garden there at all?
When I woke and tried to recall the fuzzy details, I thought of this blog.

I’ve accumulated some online friends who like flowers and gardening. You tell me, in what I consider high praise, that you think of me when your peonies bloom. You share pictures of your flowers, you tell me what’s growing in your area.
So I wonder if this garden analogy will resonate with you.
I planted this blog years ago and have been tending it ever since. Sometimes, I’ve been a better gardener than others, sometimes more dedicated and inspired, other times less so.
And you all have helped with your encouragement, comments, and shares. I’m so grateful!
There have been times that the blog has felt like a chore and inspiration was in short order. I’ve let fluctuations in numbers get me down.
This isn’t one of those times. I’m not discouraged. I see positive signs, like blooms on plants. And yet, I’m moving away—not from my house or my literal garden, but from consistency on this blog. As you’ve probably already noticed.

Unlike in that dream, there were very good reasons for me to plant and tend this garden.
And also unlike in the dream, I don’t plan to leave this place entirely. There will be occasional new posts, and the blog will stay live for anyone who’d like to dig into old content.
One thing I’ve learned during this pandemic is that the hope we have in Jesus Christ transcends circumstances. What gave us hope on a normal day in 2018 also brims with promise on a rough day in 2020. God is the same yesterday, today, and always, and so I trust that even if some of the content here ages, it’ll remain relevant in the most vital ways. By His grace, this garden will continue to bloom.

But I think I’ve been called to tend a different plot of land more carefully. Fiction has always been my passion, and I want to spend more time there moving forward.

To that end, I’m starting short story email subscription. Those who sign up will get my newsletters and short stories sent out in installments that will take 1-5 minutes each to read.

The idea is that we’re all busy, but maybe 2 minutes of escape into a romance is just the thing some days. (It is, isn’t it? I think so!) 

I’m so excited to tell you I already have the first story written!

 Here’s the blurb:

 The same day a traumatic experience turns Dacey’s sense of security upside-down, she meets Lian, a paramedic whose promise to look after her turns into more than either imagine that day at the scene. But when Lian can’t cure Dacey’s fears, their happily-ever-after depends on trusting a much greater Healer.

Those of you who’ve been following my writing and this blog for some time will still recognize a “faith that flourishes” element in the stories. I’m not getting away from my tagline. I’m just choosing to explore it through fiction.

I’m aiming to average two installments each week when a we’re mid-story. Lian and Dacey’s story will take 10 weeks and come in 20 installments, but some weeks you’ll get just 1 and one week, I believe there’s 5. Just so you know to expect the variation! Also, there may be a break between stories.

One other exciting thing? I plan to send Lian and Dacey’s story in installments on the day/time when the scene happens to the characters. Fun!

Newsletters may come as often as monthly. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The first installment of “The Slow Fall” will come on Tuesday, 9/22/2020.
I’m excited to see what grows on this new garden. God has marked out a pleasant plot for me, a green pasture. A goofy grin hijacks my expression and a flutter fills my lungs when I started telling people about this new plan. I hope it turns out equally fun an uplifting for you, dear readers.
Thank you for all you’ve done to encourage me on this blog and to spread the word about posts here. I’m so grateful! Each note and comment and share is meaningful to me. And I’ll still be around, here and on social media. If you are subscribed to blog posts, you’ll continue to receive them when something new goes up here.
The Lord is good and faithful. Wherever your journey takes you, may your faith flourish.

PS – Want to see what an installment short story is like? I just published one on Instagram. Read Logan and Wren’s story (and the inspiration behind it) by starting with the picture of my “Poetry and Prose” notebook. Then, of course, come back and subscribe to get more stories like it!

One thing I’ve learned during this pandemic is that the hope we have in Jesus Christ transcends circumstances. What gave us hope on a normal day in 2018 also brims with promise on a rough day in 2020. @emilyrconrad

Sign up for free #christianfiction short stories told in installments by @emilyrconrad #christianromance