My Dream Writer Getaway: Jill Eileen Smith, Author of "The Heart of a King"

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I have always loved to write with a view of nature. My original “office” was what used to be a wet bar off our family room, which we transformed first into a place to hide kids’ toys and later became my office. I could turn my chair and look into our backyard or be interrupted by anyone who needed me. I loved writing in that way.

But as the kids grew up and moved away, my backyard was no longer as full of wildlife as it once was. (And no, I don’t mean the kids!) When we had a pool, the ducks would swim in the winter cover. Bunnies bounced about in the spring, and a variety of birds kept our cats chattering at the windows, while squirrels made nests in our tall trees. Now we see only a few squirrels and the occasional bird.

I have a dream of writing in a completely different setting. My dream writer getaway? I imagine someone lending me their home on the Pacific Ocean with a view of the water, the mountains, and palm trees.

The thing is though, since my family lives in the west, I don’t just imagine this as a getaway. I see it as a dream of actually living there with that view. Can you imagine it? The salt sea foaming and crashing on the shore or lapping in gentle waves along the sand. The mountains in the distance unhindered by smog or fog or anything to mar their beauty. And palm trees swaying in the yard as I sit on the back porch near the sand overlooking it all, laptop on a small table or on my lap and words pouring from my heart. Of course, I would leave out the fires, earthquakes, and floods. Just beauty, thank you!

If I can’t have that dream, which I probably never will, I would still like to work from a place with a view of water or mountains or sprawling open land where wildlife roamed. I’m thinking deer, not wolves or mountain lions! Still, nature gives me such a sense of peace. God feels nearer there where the stars are bright and the sand tickles your feet and the sun kisses your cheek.

I’m inspired by beauty wherever it is found. And there is fun in watching squirrels play even if the birds seem distant now that our neighbor no longer feeds them. So I would love for God to give us a new adventure in a place of peace and nature, minus snakes and bugs, but filled with inspiration.

Perhaps my dreams are too much like heaven for earth to fulfill them, but hey—a girl can dream, can’t she?


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Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. When she isn't writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, "helpful" cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.