In Harmony

In Harmony by Emma Scott

I always say “OMG, I have no time! How will I get this done? My schedule is so crazy!” And that’s fine if it were just ME for whom my schedule is crazy. It’s my responsibility to meet my deadlines, and my insanity should remain contained, except for the small fact that I cannot edit, proofread, format or beta my own book. I can write a book by deadline, but there is a team of extraordinary women who allow it to exist in the world. They go above and beyond to share with me their time, artistry, and feedback, taking on my massive crunch time with good cheer, support and unending generosity. In Harmony would have fallen to “my crazy schedule” if not for the following amazing women in this community:

Robin Renee Hill, Suanne Laqueur, Melissa Panio-Petersen, Grey Ditto, Joy Kriebel-Sadowski, Angela Shockley, Sarah Torpey, Kennedy Ryan, and Amy Burke Mastin.

To you ladies, I cannot thank you enough, from the bottom of my heart.

To my husband, who poured more time and love and support into our household so that I could finish this book; who never complained at the late nights or the time I spent eating dinner at my desk instead of with the kids; who took our girls on outings “to give Mommy time to write” when he had his own work to contend with; and who never, ever faltered in the belief that I could do this…I could not ask for better partner in this life. Thank you, honey. All my love.

And to the readers and bloggers, all of whom also fall under the cloak of “extraordinary women in this community,” I extend my deepest gratitude to all of you. Your support, encouragement and friendship is the fuel by which I live (that and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.) This book is, in part, a story of women supporting women, of best friends, of hands reached out to say I’m here if you need me. This community is my inspiration. Thank you.

Violet, Hole

Best Friend, Sofi Tukker

Legendary, Welshly Arms

I Feel Like I’m Drowning, Two Feet

Til It Happens to You, Lady Gaga

Imagination, Shawn Mendes

World Gone Mad, Bastille

Ophelia, Tori Amos

&Burn, Billie Eilish

Feeling Good, Nina Simone

There is a town in Indiana called New Harmony. That is not where this story takes place. The Harmony, Indiana of my book is purely fictional, as is the town of Braxton. But New Harmony was so inspirational, so beautiful, and so ingrained in my heart after a visit, I could hardly bear to change the name or move it to a different state. To the residents of New Harmony, Indiana, please consider my Harmony, with all its faults, a loving homage to yours.

To every woman who has whispered, shouted, screamed, or said to a friend the words me too; and to every woman who has not yet said the words aloud, but will someday, and be heard, this book is for you.

For Suanne, for all the things. Let’s always be us.

“Words, words, words.”


“Tell me a story.”

Grandma smiled through a nest of wrinkles and brushed a lock of wavy blonde hair off my brow. “Another? Three books weren’t enough?”

“Not a book story. One of your stories.”

“It’s late…”

Downstairs, my parents’ voices rose as they argued about Daddy’s job. Again. Grandma sat back down on the edge of the bed. The quilt was one she had stitched herself, with pink and red flowers. My favorite colors.

“How can I resist?” She touched a finger to the dimple in my left cheek. “Just a short one.”

I beamed and settled deeper into my pillow.

“Once upon a time, there was a Little Light. She was born on the wick of a tall white candle and lived among a thousand other flames. Her world was filled with gold and warmth and good things. The Light danced and flickered, practiced stretching herself tall. And she was happy…”


Grandma’s stories always had an ‘until.’ The problem that messed everything up but showed the characters what they needed or wanted most.

“Until,” Grandma said, “a fierce wind gusted and blew out all the other candles. Alone in the dark, Little Light clung to her wick and survived.”

“I don’t know if I like this story,” I said, pulling the covers up to my chin. “I don’t like being alone in the dark.”

“The Little Light was scared, too. But she learned to grow tall again and shine.”

“Alone? She was alone in the dark forever?”

“Not forever. But long enough.”

“Long enough for what?”

“To discover that she may have been one light among many, but she had her own fire.”

“I don’t understand. She was happier with the other lights.”

“Yes. But among them, she couldn’t see herself, nor know how brightly she shone. She had to be cast into darkness in order to see her own brilliance.”

I frowned, only a glimmer of understanding touching my eight-year-old awareness.

Grandma cupped my cheek. Her hand was strong. It hadn’t yet begun to wither under the pall of cancer that would take her a year later.

“Someday, Willow, you might find yourself cast into darkness too. I hope that day never comes. If it does, it will be scary at first. But you will see your own brilliance. Your own strength. And you will shine.”

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