Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Finding My Own Redemption

I started this blog a couple of years ago with a desire to explore my creative writing again after many years of focusing on non-fiction technical writing. I thought it would be a great way to start a dialogue between myself and others and give me a bar of accountability to reach. Well, be careful what you wish for…

As many of you know, I embarked on a creative adventure in 2012. That journey has resulted in the creation of three novels in the last 20 months, with two more slated for release in 2014. What was a fragment of a goal two years ago is now a surprising reality!

I’ve commented many times in the last two years that sometimes we are in a moment of crossroads. It probably occurs more frequently than we realize, but all too often we don’t recognize it. Somewhere deep inside me I knew that I had the ability to write a novel, but there was never that push, that spark to make it happen. There was certainly never a deadline.

Those of you who know me personally know that I really love to help people. I thrive on encouraging others, helping them reach goals. This became part of this miraculous writing journey for me when a casual acquaintance approached me with an interesting challenge. Her dream of wanting a fiction series to honor the history of the historic property that she managed has turned into a creative adventure beyond my wildest dreams. It is amazing what can happen when you start out to help someone else with their dream, you might just create one of your own.

And so began the Legends of Graham Mansion series. We’ve taken a little history, a little mystery and we’ve added a twist in time. Book One, Redemption, was released in September 2012 followed by the next two volumes, Ambition and Deception, in 2013. My fingers are typing away on the fourth installment. Salvation will be released this spring, with the last of the five-part series, Revelation, coming out in the fall.

I swear I didn’t realize I had it in me. The ability to write so much so quickly on nights and weekends. The first book began and by midway, I realized, the title would have a dual meaning. I was finding my own redemption. You see, life has a way sometimes of stifling your dreams. You get caught up in building a life, a home, a career, and you let that flow overtake you. I’ve been blest with all of those things and have worked hard to make them realities, but in doing so I let them overshadow some of what was at the core of me.

Recently, I was on an interview panel to hire a marketing person for a regional position. Of course, you are looking for someone who can think quickly on their feet, who can adapt to whatever is thrown their way. I asked the candidates this question. What is one word or phrase that you would use to describe yourself? After the interview day was over and I was driving home, I thought about that question and how I would answer it. How I would I sum myself up? Of course, there are many ways that others might answer that about me. Their own perspectives and experiences with me would taint their choices. This thought has been mulling in my mind for a couple of weeks now. An assortment of words come to mind as I think about different aspects of my life, but I keep coming back to one word. No matter if it is a work-related situation or a personal project, there’s one adjective that I keep coming back to…creative.

The dictionary defines creative as having the quality or power of creating; resulting from the originality of thought; imaginative…yep, that’s me. Always thinking, always imagining, always looking for another way, another solution, another possibility…the engrained desire to create something new, bigger, different.

And I’d lost a little of that, along the way, as it applied to the core ability that I believe I have—writing. I was constantly writing for work or an occasional freelance project, but I wasn’t creating the characters and the worlds and the stories that lie deep within. I needed a little redemption, and I think I may be finding it.

1 comment:

  1. The word creative fits you to a T but, in my opinion, your creativity has shined in being able to recreate yourself time and time again in your work life. My watching your creativity or growth began when you started working with tourism, going to retail shows and promoting Wytheville, Wythe County and Virginia. You didn't just go and stand behind a counter passing out brochures but drew the crowds by wearing beautiful gowns or goofy costumes and bringing the folks to you. From that to being chosen to run a tiny little Wytheville Tourism Office with, let's see, no staff? Then helpers, probably part time at first, and through your CREATIVITY grew the department into an important component of the town government - because you were EFFECTIVE! Gosh, how I long for more government operations just to be a little effective. As time went on you changed Wytheville from being a "wide spot in the road", "a gas station on the interstate" into a destination where people plan trips to the town and county and STAY multiple days to see all that is available. And now, the wonderful meeting center where folks come for their meetings, celebrations and conferences. And you have made that a strong success. I truly believe that if your successful department had not laid the groundwork the center would not exist today. The tourism money that has flowed into our little town has given us historic museums, walking tracks and many other things that frankly, would not be here otherwise. What a wonderful legacy you are creating. There are few folks in the area who have had as large an impact – positive impact. Thank you
    Did you put your core desires on the back burner? I rather doubt it. This is the culmination of your growth. How much did writing all those justifications for a budget or a grant or help from another organization hone your creative skills? Maybe fate new you needed a project of this magnitude at a point you could devote time to it. I do believe things happen at appropriate times in our lives or we just don’t see them. I am sure this 5 book series (can you imagine that? – a FIVE book series?) will give you a level of experience, confidence and knowledge to do the book you have in your heart. You might not even know it is there yet but if not, it will be revealed. You are one awesome lady and I am so proud to be able to call you my friend.