Thursday, March 12, 2015

Out of the Ordinary comes Out of the Box Ruth Smith Meyer

Today I approached a stack of boxes that arrived on my door step.  With a knife I cut through the tape of the top box, opened the flaps and on removing the paper covering the contents, four identical pictures of my much younger face peered out from underneath. Gently I lifted the first copy of Out of the Ordinary and leafed through it. Yes, my books had arrived! 

The writing has been done by bits and pieces for probably forty years.  My story began first to be jotted down in a journal when childhood memories surfaced.  Later they were typed in some semblance of order and stored in a file.  When I overcame my fear of computers, over time, they were put in an electronic file.  Additions could then, much more easily be slotted in the right time frame. 

 My children kept urging me to fill in the blanks so they could each have a copy, but you know how it goes—sometime never quite does come.  When I started using little incidents to compose a story to share with the Ready Writers, (my writers’ group) I got a lot of encouragement to indeed do something with those memories. 

At Write Canada, I took several workshops on writing memoirs but still it didn’t seem clear as to how to put it all together, so I just started!  It got revised many times!  Just when I thought I had it all together, I’d get discouraged, leave it for a while then get another insight which made me start all over again, rearranging, adding and deleting. I still struggled with how to make it all tie together with some semblance of a theme.  Last year as my seventy-fifth year was hastening on, I decided I’d better get serious about it if it ever was to be done.  Forty years sounds like a long time to be toiling over something, but actually the material within the covers took 75 years in the making. One day while reading another author’s book, a few lines popped out and cinched the theme of my life. 

As any author knows, when the book is written, then comes the editing. I got professional help with this book, and still the more I read it the more mistakes I found, the more places where it could flow better to make smoother transitions. I wonder if there ever has been a book written where the author was completely satisfied that it was indeed done.  It seems to me you could go on revising forever!  However, now, for better or for worse, it is finished.

As I leafed through this book, the story of my life, I thought it somehow representative of how life is.  Sometimes life does get messy, sometimes it doesn’t flow as smoothly as we’d like, there are always parts that we think we could do better if we could live it over again. But as we age, there comes a time when we realize that our life is what it is.  I am thankful that I trust in One who can take my life as a whole and take even the less than perfect parts of my life and make it something that can be used to encourage others and perhaps urge them to put their trust, too, in Him. I hope that when my life is taken out of the box, perused and examined, it can do just that. 

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Find my book at any bookstore by ISBN#978-1-4866-0829-4  or at


Belinda Burston said...

How exciting to be at this point at last! Congratulations Ruth.

Peter Black said...

Congratulations Ruth! The journey towards a life story's becoming encapsulated in a book is truly a fascinating thing and a long process, and I especially sense that from what you've shared. May "Out of the Ordinary" be used, where the need exists, to lift readers out of the confining box of dull ordinariness and limited vision for living, to see the goodness and grace of God day by day, and to find hope in Him.~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Congratulations, Ruth. May your story give hope to many who need it.

David Kitz said...

Congratulations, Ruth. What an accomplishment! May your stories, your thoughts and your life impact more than you can imagine.

fudge4ever said...

I like how you compare memoir writing to our lives. They are never going to be perfect, but somebody will always be blessed by them.
Pam Mytroen

Kathleen Gibson said...

Ruth, this blesses me. With your long labour of love, you have secured the family jewels, and allowed others to enjoy them also. Well done.

Glynis said...

Such a lesson on perseverance in this, Ruth. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on a job well done. I can't wait to read this next book of yours. And what a treasure it is for your family, I am sure.

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

Thanks so much for all your affirmation! From fellow writers who I've admired, it means a lot. Thanks for joining me in the prayer that lives may be blessed by God's doings in my life.

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