Of course, my family, friends, and relatives, especially my parents, could be prejudiced about my writing. Did I mention I got paid for this story?
Then there was Janice, a business owner in our small town, who grabbed me and hugged me enthusiastically on Main Street. She was excited because I had a story published in the Edmonton
|Bear Hug on Main Street|
I had taught three of Janice's kids, so that's pretty close to home, but the Edmonton Journal paid
for their columns in those days.
I kept on writing in my dog-eared, coffee-stained notebooks. My words weren't yet worthy of acid-free ink or acid-free journals. Big, thick notebooks, aka scribblers, were filling up with recipes, to-do lists, garden diagrams, anecdotes of our genius children, shopping lists, and the occasional thought. Did I mention prayers? Time to write was in those prayers. Life had its stumbling blocks, and I wrote about them too.
My sister held the burn-them-when-I'm-gone order. Heaven forbid that anyone should know what actually went on in my head.
My story, "A Holy Night to Remember" was published in Chicken Soup for The Canadian Soul. This seemed like another step toward becoming a writer. Congratulation calls and letters ensued. I too was excited about that and the fact that I also got paid for the story.
I didn't quit my day job.
To believe in myself as a writer in those days, I needed reassurance that I did have something to say and that I could say it well enough to resonate with readers beyond the concentric circles that cradled me. I needed God's help on this one. Sure enough, I started receiving phone call or letters from people I knew, even from people I didn't know, telling me how I had connected with them.
That was the sign I needed to know I was a writer. Eureka!
Fortunately, my "fan mail" still fit in our mailbox and I didn't need a secretary. My head didn't swell beyond recognition, but I came to realize these unexpected contacts as a sign that my "messages in a bottle" could bring joy, hope, comfort, peace, or anything else God put in my heart to others. God has said that his word will not return to him empty.
|Some of the places my writing has appeared|
I pray that through my writing, I will influence my small part of the world to be a more tolerant, loving, and peaceful place.
G. K. Chesterton says, "Our confidence lies in our message and not in ourselves." Eureka!