Once upon a time there was a girl who dreamed of writing books. Books were magic carpets that transported her through time and across space. The only problem was her favorite authors simply did not write books fast enough. What was a voracious reader to do? She already haunted the local Christian bookstore, a feat she did with such regularity she’d walk in and the owner would hand the catalogs to her. She did what all intelligent, confident young teens do.
She decided she would write books.
Not only did she decide to write books, she actually started a couple. She wrote short stories. She wrote authors asking for advice. She corresponded with Janette Oke, Madeline L’Engle, Michael Phillips, Frank Peretti, Sandy Dengler and many more. She sent the short stories to one author, and that author breathed hope into her dream when she could have squashed it like a bug.
After all, what young teen knows enough about living or writing to successfully string sentences together?
Today a scrapbook with those letters sits in the hutch on my writing desk.
I am forever grateful that those authors took the time to respond, sometimes more than once, to letters from this girl who wanted to know how to become a writer. I will always be thankful that Sandy Dengler didn’t ignore or laugh at my short stories — though I’m too embarrassed to go back and read them.
I’m grateful that Colleen Coble breathed fresh wind onto these dreams 15 years later when I met her and the desire to write still flowed through my veins. I’m grateful for Tracey Batemen and Tracie Peterson who handled my first words and ideas with such kindness and encouragment. I’m grateful to Tracie and her husband Jim for thinking the idea I pitched to them was worth considering. I’m grateful they pointed that idea out to JoAnne Simmons, and I’m even more grateful that she gave me my first contract at my second ACFW where Liz Curtis Higgs talked about how I must have run out to call my husband. I had. I’ll never forget the surreal experience the rest of that conference was.
I’m grateful for my husband who has endured many late nights when I had to write like the wind. The tired edges of a wife who was pushing through to a deadline or three on top of an already overloaded life.
I’m grateful for my kids who believe I can do more than I do — they’re vision has challenged me often. And they’ve endured the mornings I struggle to climb out of bed, the push to get school done, the angst of hours spent driving them all over tarnation when I just want to write. And they love me anyway.
There are all the folks who help me along the journey. The Grove girls. The Writers Alley cats. The Inspired by Life & Fiction gals. Each community is one that encourages me in different, important ways. Rachel Hauck is a great brainstorm buddy when we’re roomies at ACFW board meetings. And so many more.
There are so many editors, so many readers, so many publishers have joined me against me
Writing is many things, but it is not solitary. And for that I am grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving. And because I’m so grateful for all of my readers, I’ve got a giveaway running below. Today is also the last day you can enter the Grove Girls monster giveaway. You can enter that one by clicking here.