April 26, 2011

Preserving our Stories - Karen Toews

In less than three weeks my daughter, her husband and family are moving. Not across town or to the next one either, but back to Canada and to a location and lifestyle they anticipate to be simpler, allowing for less 'stuff'. Packing has been judiciously selective. But as my daughter related in her blog , a perk of the whole purging process has been "discovering treasures of your life's belongings". One of which for her, has been dusting off her Mom's memoir of short stories about pieces of our past.

The reminders of: the writing process (which took me forever); the pleasure of my daughter's appreciation; and the thrill of my grand-daughter declaring to her Mom, "there is just so much about you I don't know!" have been a direct prod.

It's time to do my own sorting - scrolling computer documents with opening paragraphs and sketchy outlines, skimming personal journals, thumbing through the "writing ideas" folder - and to once again start preserving. Without even looking I know those jotted notes include adventure, pain, love, loneliness, humour, thankfulness, uncertainties, challenges. Our narrative, with its joys and pathos, all buffered by our heritage and wrapped in relationship with our God.

Jotting ideas on paper scraps takes as little time and effort as the thoughts that inspired the action. Following through to the polished product, be it a short story or a manuscript, will be the test of my resolve and expression of my passion.

There's much work ahead. It won't get done unless I set time lines (as my best intentions are easily derailed without deadlines), schedule writing time, and begin to write. I'm ready for the challenge, the prompt is on my computer: stories left untold will be gifts I've neglected to give - to my family, to myself and to my God.


  1. Great insight, beautiful writing and valuable prodding for us writers.

  2. You're right about how these stories are gifts for ourselves, our families and for God.
    Pam M.


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