Sunday, February 05, 2017

I Write to Discover by Pamela Mytroen


I highlighted the middle of my story and clicked cut. I could not relate to what the girl was going through. I wanted answers for my own problems. So I asked myself, “What kind of novels would help me right now?”


The more I work with refugees and immigrants, the more I turn to historical fiction to understand how various people groups survived drought and storm, genocide and hatred; to discover what resources they leaned on for endurance. The more the media proclaims the wonders of euthanasia, the more I search for stories that give me enough courage and wisdom to face this national deception. The more I struggle with a wayward child, the more I need to read novels that help me navigate these mysterious waters. And the more I wonder why I married a guy that is completely opposite – he was sure that I would love to drive truck and haul grain while I was sure that I would love to drive a Dodge charger and haul clothes home from The Bay; he was sure that I would enjoy Rogue One, and I was sure that I would enjoy the popcorn  – the more I need to read stories of how married couples achieve harmony in their relationships. I read stories to discover truth and to see where I fit into the big picture.   

While novels must never replace God’s Word as the source of truth, stories – whether in book or movie form – embody the potential to teach truth. And they enrapture me! I take courage from the characters. Liesel (The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak) showed me how to use stories to face down fear. Bella Rossi reminds me not to take life too seriously (Janice Thompson); Brock and Bodie Thoene’s characters have taught me that in the sweep of history, even in the holocaust, there can be deep joy, romance, humour, and the very real presence of God; and Leslie challenged me in my relationship with my husband in the Only Best Place (Carolyne Aarsen). After walking with these characters, I feel stronger and more hopeful. I can fly again.

So I’m going back to that story with the empty middle. I see a girl strapping on her shield and I hear the scrape of her sword against a stone. She reminds me of myself. She is whispering about her child and praying for her. She is silent about something else, but I can see it in her eyes – she is struggling with depression as she deals with the deception in our media, our laws, and how it is affecting our schools. She is even laughing a little – wait – her husband has asked her to another movie night. I wonder what it is this time. She turns and nods; she is waiting for me to take her on a journey. It might start out with a bang, but get deep and discouraging in the middle. There will be some deep cuts and revisions, but at the end I see a changed girl. She has broken through the enemy line and is standing on the mountain. She is free. 
 
I will write her story; and I will discover how to live.

Pamela Mytroen




Pam writes short stories, devotional, and human interest for various anthologies and publications. She's figured out how to drive her Dodge Charger, and shop at the Bay, but she's still grinds the odd gear in that grain truck.  

2 comments:

Peter Black said...

Thanks, Pam, for this enjoyable and insightful piece. Yes, it is interesting how our own creative writing teaches us and we learn about life and gain insight into our own lives from the characters and situations we create. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

So well written and so much fun. Love your take on life - fictional or otherwise, popcorn girl! You made me laugh out loud and cry inside as I nodded throughout this post. Nicely said and what a wonderful story you will write as you discover 'how to live'. Well done! :)

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