It’s the first week of school in some places! As children head back, even if at the dining room table, it’s never too late to learn something new. New challenges, new ways of learning, new ways of teaching. Many parents have never sat in the head of the class desk before. I used to help in my son’s classes once a week, but our boys didn’t want to home school. They wanted to be around other kids. I did not fit the bill.
When I wrote A Portrait of Marguerite, I had much to learn about writing, for sure. But I dove in, read about writing, attended conferences, and found an agent who sold my manuscript. I had studied art in college and it’s still of great interest to me. Weaving it into the story’s fabric was a natural.
Wishing to write Amish fiction, I read about the Amish every night and visited Lancaster County countless times. We have Mennonite relatives in New Holland in Lancaster County. Getting to know them better was a treat. And I contacted noted Prof. Kraybill emeritus and his assistant Steve Scott of Young Center for Anabaptist & Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. Both men were generous with their time, knowledge, and support. And friendship.
As my bestselling Amish books accumulated, I also wrote other manuscripts. I’m a woman of many interests. Among them are travel, music, and singing. I have traveled by bus through Great Britain a number of times, not counting family trips with my father at the wheel on the wrong side of the road. When I sang with the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society we ventured to a competition in Buxton, England, an area I’d never been to before. I was in the chorus, but we came home the winners! My biggest mistake? Bringing too large a suitcase. Now I travel carry on only. I put everything down as learning experiences.
And now I’m learning how to self-publish, as several of my favorite authors are. An adventure in itself. Writing Stage Fright I experienced the fun of writing about many of the cities and marvelous churches I’ve visited. Not to mention the terrifying auditions I’ve endured. I enjoyed singing on stage and love my vocal coach Marianne Weltmann, but performances kept me up too late. I get my best writing done in the early morning. Of all my pastimes, writing comes in first!
I wonder how you spend your days. Reading is always a delightful option. What would I do without reading? And readers! Thanks to each of you.
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