September 08, 2015

Strong Women Who Inspire the Fire by Karma Pratt

I have always been a lover of words. Looking back, I realize I've had many strong female role models in my life that have guided me along the way, and inspired the creative fire within me.

My mom tells me I could recite the alphabet from memory at 18 months. She showed me the beauty of words using a wooden alphabet magnet puzzle. Together we explored the sounds and shapes of letters. I wanted to speak them, write them, and read them without ceasing. Words offered entry into other worlds, and were the catalyst for my imagination to run wild.

From a very young age, I was requesting books on writing and teaching myself how to write letters in block print and cursive. Our first elementary school hand writing assignment was to provide the teacher with a sample of our penmanship. I offered her three options: printed letters, "proper" handwriting (as taught in the books I had filled up at home in the summertime), and my handwriting (adapted to suit my creative style). She just stared at me.
the joy of the handwritten word
My future writing career was also shaped by the matriarch of the Pratt family, my grandmother. We used to sit at her kitchen table playing Scrabble. My favourite part was the sound the letters made as I shook them vigorously in the case. Her favourite part was challenging me to look past the obvious three letter answers. 

My grandmother was also one of my first spiritual advisers, though I didn't realize it at the time. A devout Catholic, she took us to Mass on the days she babysat us, and taught us about the power of prayer. I still remember watching her pray as we drove to church in her tiny brown hatchback (the Peanut). I believe she was fully trusting God to make the corners on the South Taylor Hill for her as we made our way to town and she moved through her daily devotions.

After she passed, my family found dozens of journals, all filled with her thoughts and prayers. She took great care of each of us through her words, her belief in the Word, and her faith.
with my grandmother, July 2008
In school I discovered libraries, a new kind of heaven. When other young girls were playing house, I was playing "library". My library checkout cards were painstakingly hand drawn, cut out on small papers and inserted into each book between the front cover and first page. Out of reverence, I couldn't bring myself to ever deface a book, or I would have glued the checkout cards right into those books. As it was, they were always falling out, floating to the floor whenever I moved my collection.

As I got older, I continued to explore new worlds through school libraries. In high school, through the enthusiasm and genius approach of my Grade 11 English teacher, Ms. Mitchell, I came to know and love Shakespeare. His use of language transcended the realm of “normal” and brought a new appreciation for eloquent descriptions. My passion for words took on new forms, through theatre, singing, and learning other languages as well. In university I studied English and Spanish language and literature, and eventually took my love of language to a new level with a Master of Arts in Professional Communication.

words and music onstage, Cabaret, October 2011
As I've moved through these ages and stages in my life, words have always been a constant. My faith has meandered over the years. Sometimes I've gotten lost in this big, loud world. I haven't always turned to God first. It's only as an adult that I've finally made my way back to God's hearth, to sit at His feet and learn from His Word. 

Now I find myself steeped in the call to write, and my faith in God has become the launch point for my work and words. I am ever thankful for the opportunities God's given me to learn from so many strong women over the years. They saw the spark within me, and fanned the flames, allowing me to grow into the writer I am becoming today.


Karma Pratt is a faith-driven mom of twins, a communicator, a writer, and an encourager from way back. She loves words, art, creativity, God, and people, although not necessarily in that order. 

You can find her online at or connect on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn


  1. What a wonderful post, Karma. Picturing the little Karma playing library was delightful, and of course, as a lover of Shakespeare and theatre myself, I certainly understand those connections. Keep on writing, my friend!

  2. Karma, Thanks for this glimpse into your earlier years and how God used them to make you the writer you are today. I'm glad you're coming to conference and look forward to meeting you in person :)

  3. Karma--It is easy to get lost in the big, loud world, isn't it? I'm so glad you found your way back to "God's hearth." I too LOVE everything about Shakespeare and his genius use of language. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  4. I played library, too! No better foundation for our writing than faith in God. I enjoyed this post.

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  6. What a lovely story, Karma, and this is your life! We are fortunate to have strong people in our lives. I love the snapshot of your mom playing with you while you learned letters and words and writing. I love that grandmother of yours being your faithful spiritual mentor. Iim alsohappy that you found your way back to sitting at God's hearth and learning from him. Blessings!


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