I am one of those people who is extremely glad people like to read — because I like to write. I actually think better with either a pen in my hand or my fingers on a keyboard. True, it looks kind of strange at a party, but you can bet I’m listening to conversations and observing what’s happening because life may be stranger than fiction but that doesn’t mean something very similar could end up in a story.
The first writing I did was on the wallpaper of my parents’ living room, but it did not receive a favorable comment. Mom told me how I came to get her so I could show her what I’d written in scribblese, the common style of early writers, but when I saw her face, I dropped the pencil and slid my chubby little hands behind me just in case the training I was about to receive would smart a bit. Mom usually corrected us with her voice and sitting on a chair was the more frequent form of discipline, but my loving parents thought occasionally a spanking cleared up contrary thinking. Let me rush to say that I never felt unloved or unfairly corrected. I don’t remember anything traumatic happening, and if Mom was hiding her face to not laugh at the predicament meant of her daughter, she did that well. I did quit writing on walls, though.
I wrote a thank you note to Uncle Evert in scribblese, too. He’d been in on giving me a little toy stove with red trim and I asked if I could write him. I remember when I finished, I showed it to Mom. I must have noticed my writing didn’t look exactly like the letter she had ready to send him because I asked, “Do you think he can read the words?” and she said, “Oh, he’ll know exactly what you wrote.” What an encourager she was.
So, I kept writing my thoughts. Both my parents were storytellers. Many evenings we heard original tales, old ‘passed-down’ tales, or we were read to before we went to bed. I remember those times as being cozy and special. I think the desire to become one who crafted stories probably was nurtured by those memorable nights listening to the cadence of Mom reading or of Dad’s voice making a story adventuresome. When our children were small, and when I’ve needed to teach or train other children, I told stories for fun and for making a point.
In school, I liked the classes that required writing on some topic much more than I like the ones that had me figuring out what x and y were to communicate. Why couldn’t those mysterious letters just come right out and tell what they stood for? Teachers encouraged my writing, too. Perhaps I took some of their endorsements with too much confidence. Maybe I’ll blog about my first submission for publication that made me blush with embarrassment when I read the rejection notice a few months later.
I did take jobs that required either building a story or writing reports or, eventually, writing for a couple newspapers. I especially liked writing feature stories because I liked finding the heart of the story after a storm or a disabling accident or the why behind a woman’s quilts or the feelings of our nation’s heroes and heroines as they served in times of war. I had a weekly column with trained me to maintain discipline in writing. In one paper my column was 600 words on the nose, and in the other, I’d not consider it complete until it was exactly 1,000 words. I chose a variety of issues and topics and was occasionally assigned a political side to take on an issue in contrast to another columnist opposing views. Even when one newspaper downsized and I, their oldest employee, lost my office, my editor told me I was the one he would come to for feature stories…and I continued as an appreciated freelancer until we moved from the area.
My first major labor of love required researching Victorian England and the US Civil War. That became my first novel. My Great-grandmother had passed Civil War letters down through the generations from her beloved husband. I put those into the novel... but I wanted to keep writing…so I did. You can find out more about my completed books by exploring this website or going to Amazon. In my blog, I’ll try to tell you more about my thoughts and perhaps let you know what I’m working on. I don’t think I’ll live long enough to finish all the ideas I have, but I’m thankful I can devote some time toward that end.
Paul, of course, spent decades writing his messages for Sunday mornings and other Bible studies. A few years ago, he decided he’d leave the pastoral ministry and do more volunteer work, particularly speaking out for those who courageously live their Christian faith. When he decided to join me in co-authoring a couple devotionals, I was extremely pleased. When he’s not speaking or writing… or doing yard work, he also likes to give first-person presentations, primarily of Biblical characters. He speaks in a few churches when the opportunity arises but he also says since I helped him for the first 40 years of our marriage, he’d help me follow what I believe is my call to write.
I/we also try to encourage other authors of Christian and/or wholesome stories to get theirs published. I’ve held retreats and workshops to help make that happen. I loved that authors much more established offered to come and speak at the retreat. I may get some videos about that, too. Goodness, friend, just look around and see what I have for you to explore.
I’m grateful you stopped by. I hope you come again or sign up for a way to keep in touch. Thank you.