Who is this woman who is attempting to fill your hearts and minds with memories of her past and hopes for a future?
I am the everyday woman. I am one, like many others, who has led a life of love and loss. I am not alone in my hopes and dreams of a wonderful life for my children. I am not alone with the hopes of a better life for myself.
The fact that I have been able to put my journey into words comes after many years of shifting from coasting along still waters to feeling like I was trapped in the rapids of a fierce river.
Positive, significant events in my life encouraged me to put a pen to paper after having set that pen down for many years. It wasn’t before I spent many dark days pondering this life. Losing a child will do that to you. I began in order to sort out forgotten feelings, it soon became something more.
I began by simply noting the weather or writing about my two very furry cats. I began to add daily happenings, and eventually ventured into memories, some of which had been buried for many years. Thinking of my surviving children, I thought it might be good for them to recall their happy childhood memories, and that encouraged me to continue.
Believing that this was a story to be told, and that, just maybe, someone else was at the oars of my boat, I trusted my instincts. Delving into the past wasn’t always easy. It took tenacity to look at some events fully head on. It took compassion to change my view of some of the instances in order to grow and allow happiness into my life once again.
I began my life in central Illinois, the youngest of twelve. Spending my earliest years being raised on farms with a variety of animals around, I managed to find alone time despite so many siblings. I was always a creative type. Drawing, reading, writing and later painting was how I expressed myself. I had taken creative writing classes, however, as happens on occasion, my path took a turn.
As a single mom, and with my children either in their teens or nearing them, I put myself through school earning a degree in advertising, design, and illustration. With a love for drawing and painting, I stayed on this creative path for many years. Beginning a decorative painting business and working at it successfully for many years gave me an opportunity to not only express myself, but it also allowed me to meet many wonderful families and work in beautiful homes and businesses.
My personal life went through tumultuous times on several levels. The deepest one was life altering. It took me to a very dark place where I remained for a long time. It changed me. I like to believe for the better. It led me to pick up a pen again after many years.
When I began journaling after being away from writing for so long, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I decided that I would trust my instincts and write from my heart. As I continued to write I began to add memories of the son I had lost. It was at this time I realized that I would like to give my writing in book form to my oldest son and daughter. I reconnected with an old classmate, Diane Ferguson, who wrote her memoir, Undertow, and decided to discuss the process with her. She was kind enough to connect me with her editor, Jennifer Sweete, who agreed to edit my book after my having sent a rough draft to her. Her help has been invaluable on a number of levels.
With my editor’s input, the journey I had begun grew, and as it grew, so did I. She helped me find humor in some places where I hadn’t found any. That has been a blessing. I have gone through many changes over the course of this year of editing, rewriting, formatting, and revisions. I believe I have come out on the other side a more whole human being.
As I think of the future now, a future much brighter than it was when I started, I look forward to the next book. I look forward to the challenges of marketing through social media. I feel I am on a brighter path now and continuing this journey is a positive process.