June 08, 2014

Romancing the Word(s) — Janelle M. Baldwin

We are pleased to have Janelle Baldwin, InScribe's webmaster, join us once again as our Guest Blogger.

Words stir in me a vigorous passion to learn, explore, feel, and inspire. Books are among my dearest friends, glad to take me on whichever adventure I choose. I can run with Anne in Prince Edward Island, dive into justice issues with Atticus Finch, explore a Pet Sematary, or investigate the boundaries of lands that do not exist (but should)—like Middle Earth, Narnia and Og. I appreciate story in all its forms, whether it’s expressed through music, art, poetry, theatre or books. Story exposes us to worlds that we may not see otherwise.

I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, concocting stories of my own long before I could print them on paper. I’d line up dolls and stuffed animals and speak my tales to them. When my little sister couldn’t sleep at night, I’d put socks on my hands, turning them into a pair of striped Brontosaurus who would spin a cheerful yarn until she fell asleep.

I was hardly more than a baby when I first discovered my love of words. One of the first books my mother read to me was a book about birds. She read it to me everyday. By the time I was two years old, I was identifying birds like the blue heron at the Calgary Zoo, much to the surprise of the other patrons. Fiction books, like The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Scuffy the Tugboat and the Poky Little Puppy soon captured my imagination, further developing my delight with the written word. I was fortunate, my mother read to me a lot. Soon I took over the reins myself, exploring fanciful fables about Frog and Toad, Dorrie the little witch, a curious monkey named George, a magical chocolate factory, a giant peach, and a pig with a friend named Charlotte.

When I was a little older, I discovered stories that incorporated faith and the works of God. I read heartbreaking tales of prostitutes and addicts who were given a second chance, through the grace of God and the Walter Hoving Home in upstate New York. I experienced the power of redemption in Nicky Cruz’s Run Baby Run and pastor David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade. I was entranced by the warm love that flowed through Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series and captivated by His presence in Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I met my Father through story and now, as I write my own books, I choose to serve Him the same way.

Writing takes me up magnificent mountain peaks, so high I feel like I could embrace the sun, and through dark vales so shadowy and deep that the light nearly becomes a memory. Through it all, He is with me, encouraging me to take another step when I think I can go no further. His Words are the inspiration for so many of mine. In His book, He reveals the truth of His presence and His great and abiding love. He tells us that He rejoices over us with singing. He says He is coming, and reminds us to keep our lamp lit and not hide it under a bushel. I wish to do the same in my books, revealing His light and love to readers that I may never personally meet. I give thanks to my Father for His many blessings, and for placing in me a love for words—especially His. He’s the greatest Author of them all. And the perfecter of our faith.


  1. Thank you for sharing all those title, Janelle. It was like a walk down memory lane for me!

    You know, it never occurred to me before, but the written word is something else that sets us apart from the animal kingdom, isn't it? God created it just for us, so we could communicate with him. We're utterly spoiled by our Father!

  2. I echo Bobbi's sentiments. I, too, enjoyed many of those same titles.

  3. Yes, I love how Story exposes us to worlds we would not see otherwise. Such a beautiful gift that God has given us...to share in each others' imaginations.

  4. Run, Baby, Run, and The Cross and the Switchblade, Hiding Place, - Oh so many good ones you named! I am with you Janelle. What a wonderful way to serve our Father - through the written word. Thanks for your thoughts!
    Pam Mytroen

  5. Janelle Baldwin2:16 pm GMT-7

    Writing this post made me want to re-read some of those old titles! It's been years since I've done so, but they came so readily to mind. :) Thanks everyone for your comments!

  6. First of all, Janelle, that is an adorable picture. And second of all -- I am SO honored to be working with you on your novel. You have the passion and the magic and the faith. It's all there. Blessings! Nancy Rue

  7. Janelle Baldwin8:53 am GMT-7

    Nancy, I have no words except 'thank you'. :)

  8. Hey Janelle:
    How great to have such a love of words and books from such a young age.
    Clearly god's gift to you. God bless your continued writing.

  9. Thank you so much, Bryan! :)

  10. Janelle
    The line that sticks out for me is "His Words are the inspiration for so many of mine." That's my desire.


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