June 10, 2012

From Chaos To Clarity -- Sharon Espeseth

A bundle of excitement, overactive nerves, and questions about postcard stories, I slid into class on Monday morning. Our first exercise involved choosing a word or phrase from the cards in front of us. I chose the word “finally” to introduce myself.

After a nine-year hiatus from Women’s Words, I finally made it back to this writing program offered by the Extension Department of the University of Alberta. For several years back when, the courses I took in this program had been valuable to my writing development and good for my soul. Life gets complicated, and I omitted this option from my already-full retirement agenda.

Looking at Jannie Edward’s course, “Crafting the Postcard Story,” I first questioned how it would help me in my devotional and other Christian writing I like to do. A few months back I met Jannie when she, in the role of Writer-in-Residence for Alberta Authors, visited us at a Women Word Weaver’s meeting. I accepted her offer to critique a sample of my work. Her comments were to the point, encouraging, and supportive—something I needed for motivation.

Impressed with Ms. Edward’s teaching, I wanted to take her course and learn more. Then it dawned on me that devotionals are compressed writing that require a wide range of writing techniques. I registered.

I stayed with my niece. Keeping pace with this 39-year-old single working mother and her seven-year-old daughter was no small feat. Billie is also caregiver and only child to her single mother who has recently moved into a care facility. Joan, Billie’s mother, is my sister. Together Billie-Jo and I did final cleaning in Joan’s condo. We moved furniture and fed the moving crew with goodies I had brought from home. We watched Soraya swim and heard friends play flute at a concert.

Leaving the house at 7:00 a.m., we swooped South Edmonton to drop my great-niece at her day home. We said our morning prayers and I read devotions aloud on the way. We parked on the north side by Billie’s work, and I walked to the LRT. Using Jannie’s technique, I wrote on 4 by 6 cards on the LRT, at Edmonton Centre, in Enterprise Square. Evenings were too busy for much writing, but I now have a trunk full of ideas, starts, energy, and enthusiasm for my writing.

During the last day of class, we compiled a potluck anthology of our writing, titled Summer Sisters of the Pen.  Since none of my writings was finished to my satisfaction, I submitted two ready devotionals. No, this wasn’t a Christian writer’s conference, but many of us are Christian from various backgrounds and we are kindred spirits who write. Three of us belong to the Women Word Weavers, an Inscribe Inspiration Group. We twelve women easily formed a cohesive group.

From a hectic, somewhat chaotic week, I managed to regain my clarity, my focus. This short course again lifted my writing out of the doldrums.



  1. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I'm glad you were able to be there. I'd like to hear more details - perhaps an article for FellowScript? :)

  2. Hi Sharon,
    This post-card writing technique sounds really interested. I'd like to know more about it!

  3. Good for you, Sharon! It's wonderful to read of others making their dreams and resolutions come true. All the best as you use your new tools.

  4. Sharon E. Espeseth8:45 pm GMT-7

    Thank you for your encouraging comments, Ruth, Pam, and Violet. As your may realize, I am a newbie in blog writing. I will have to decide how to get more information about post card story writing to you. The challenge might be to get my blog going again. Thanks for the inspiration to surmount my technical challenges.

  5. Anonymous7:21 am GMT-7

    Thanks Sharon,

    That week was packed with many wonderful things it sounds. Good for you.

    Hope we can get together to work on that trunk of stashed ideas soon.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.