tea cup with steam against orange backdrop

It’s steamy!

I have this theory that the highest use of every thing is hinted at, even when it’s not being put to that use. That’s why I like washing china tea cups by hand. All that rises is plain, unscented steam, but, oh, to watch it rise gives me joy.

I see a similar action in people when they act in the direction of their best selves. Maybe their joy is not complete, but it’s there. I try to look for the little places where even broken persons act a little like they would at their best. Malice has tells, but goodness has even more. It just takes extra care to find the hints of higher purpose.

Here’s how it works in writing: I try to show the “steam” in antagonists. In my current work in progress, the villain is a very damaged and very gifted man. Unfortunately, he uses his gift of seeing right to the heart of a person to try to seduce the married protagonist, but still! There’s very real beauty in his soul, and taking care to let the reader see it leaves open a path for that character’s redemption.

These days have been full up with editing, gathering, connecting, and planning as we prepare for the launch of Can’t Buy Me Love, but today I am pressing the pause button. It’s the first day of Lent, and I’m going to try to treat the people around me at least as well as I treat my teacups.

What about you? Do you have a seasonal commitment you’d like to share?