My Heart Sings When. . .
I write a variety of pieces from novels to memoir, short true stories to poetry, devotionals to family stories. What thread ties these together and makes my heart sing as I work on them? As I considered this, several things came to mind. I reread my mission statement which says, “I am passionate about mentoring and encouraging people of all ages and abilities to find their voice and reach their fullest potential.”
Living out that statement starts with my family and involves my writing projects as well. I tried writing fiction because one of my grandsons, then aged sixteen, challenged me to try. He wouldn’t let me give up and gave me suggestions. My adult niece agreed with him and went one step further by asking for a story about a girl named Karla (her name), another girl named Amee, and a dog named Abby (her dog’s name). How could I say no?
en she requested a second story the next Christmas. She’s received five so far.
The fiction writing grew when I allowed myself permission
to work on the challenge further. But a book needed a cover. One of my
granddaughters, Arianna, pursued her fine art education and painted the cover
of A Home for Susannah based on a
synopsis of the book. She has now done the covers of the second and third books in the series. Then her sister, Kelsi, digitizes them using her graphic design course. Kelsi creates the covers for the devotional books, often using her own photography. She has an
eye to capture a moment, a scene from a different perspective, and a passion for capturing an image. What a blessing to work with these two granddaughters and encourage them to use their God-given talents and gifts. To encourage them and watch them grow in their field makes my heart sing for more reasons than simply the writing project but also helps me engage with enthusiasm as I write.
Technologically illiterate or mostly so, I have another granddaughter, Kathryn, who formats the books for putting on KDP. She finds it so simple and thinks I could learn it. Yet it boggles my mind and makes me nervous. Formatting does not make me feel good at all but I enjoy working with her to take the beautiful cover design and edited words to a place where readers can find them.
Sometimes I write family stories to get printed and bound at Staples to give my children and grandchildren as gifts. It helps me remember experiences I’ve had, lessons learned, and family times from the good to the not as great. Every piece helped shape me and the tough stuff made me turn to God more than the good times. To be able to pass on these stories to the next generation also makes my heart sing.
Finding little gems in everyday moments and life events and then sharing those with others through writing devotionals or as illustrations when I speak encourages me. When others have ‘ah ha’ moments reading them, or something touches them deeply and they begin to get a glimmer of hope of a glimpse of joy, then I thank God for giving me the words to use. I just need to obey and share those words with others.
My heart sings when something I write encourages a reader. But I don’t always know the effect of my words on others so I must trust God to take the words He has given me and touch the lives of those who read them.
My heart sings when I work with the grandchildren to bring the books to completion. There have been lots of opportunities to interact with them, encourage them, be challenged by them, and work together to use our gifts and abilities to the glory of God.
Carol Harrison loves to hang out with family and friends. She feels blessed to have so many people encourage her in her writing and speaking. Her books truly become a family affair.