Sunday, August 13, 2017
Surprise Attitude Adjustment
Last week’s shopping trip left me feeling elated and deeply satisfied. Now if you know me that is quite a statement! Unlike many women, shopping for anything other than books, is not my favourite thing to do—not even weekly grocery shopping. However last week turned out to be quite different. This week I had an identical experience—all the more exciting because of the two happening barely a week apart.
Last week I had walked past the meat department and had rounded the corner past the laundry detergents. I was headed for the baking goods when the new clerk behind the meat counter came rushing up to me.
“Ruth?” she smiled with delight and assurance.
I wondered how she knew me and what she was so excited about.
“You don’t know me. I am a friend of Mike and Sarah’s and I just started working here. Sarah let me read your book that she bought several years ago and I just love it. I laughed and cried through it and was so sorry when it ended. I could have kept reading if it was twice as long.
Sarah said it was you when you passed by and I wanted to come tell you how much I loved your book.”
“You’ve written more than one book?” she asked with eyes aglow. “I’m sorry, I can’t remember the title. I just know that I almost lived in the story as I was reading it.”
That statement of her inability to remember the title was rather comforting to me, for much as I enjoy stories I read, I often am ashamed to admit that I can’t remember the title either. Sometimes even the author’s name escapes my mind.
Once we had established that it was my first novel, Not Easily Broken, I informed this excited and affirming reader that there was a sequel.
“Oh-hh! Where can I get it?”
“I have one in my van right outside the store. If you’d like one, I’ll bring it in to you when I take my groceries out.”
I finished my shopping and as I promised, brought the book to her. She thanked me profusely.
“I took Not Far from the Tree home last week and I kept reading for a full day and into the night to finish it. Again, I laughed and cried and lived with the characters until the book was finished. You have a way of writing that takes you right into the setting and makes it feel so real. I felt as though I was living right with them. Could I get one of the first books from you so I have a matching set? I just love your books! ”
Somehow the chore of shopping felt much lighter this week. I came out of the store smiling and I’m still basking in the glow of knowing that someone enjoyed what I had written.
Not Far from the Tree was based on Freda, a wonderful woman who became my dear friend when she was in her nineties. Not Easily Broken was based on her mother's life. Freda had a real sense of humour and a genuine interest in people. I feel quite confident that she would have been pleased to know her life story and that of her mother meant so much to this reader and many more. She may even have been pleasantly surprised that her life could be that inspiring to much younger readers. We do not know what influence our lives have on others.
Nor do we, as writers often know what effect our writing has on people . Getting occasional feedback like I received can renew our passion and give us new vision for continuing to tell stories.
Grief is a mysterious monster. It lunges us into deep dark places seeking the once familiar pathway of love. It longs to recapture the ...
Inspiration hardly strikes on an empty stomach. For this, and other reasons, writers must eat. And if you like minced beef (and you...
A phrase I do not remember hearing frequently, has surpized me in the last three days, at least twice, in totally unrelated con...
I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a safe and pleasant Canada Day celebration. My wife and I did. However, instead of writing about ...
Women who came from a variety of cultural backgrounds and languages met together and talked about heat and warmth. If the mothe...
Glen and I were in Quebec City for a fund-raising event. When it finished, we decided to go to one of our favourite restaur...
We bring you greetings from the Solace Retreat House in Kigali, Rwanda. REVOLUTIONARY LOVE (John 3:16) was the theme of the five-day Healin...
I considered making this piece a prologue in my book, but I feel that readers often skip prologues. I would welcome your feedback on th...
A book that should be on every Christian writer's reading list is Shakedown , by Ezra Levant. Here are some critic's comments. In...
By Rev Dr Ed and Janice Hird While recently teaching on marriage in East Africa to tens of thousands, we asked many Africans what ...