Hi, my name is Faith. I have a ready smile, a laugh that’s too loud (so my kids say) and stories to share. But not too early in the morning. I like coffee and quiet for the first hour, or two, of morning.
One of the things my friends ask me most often is, “What stories do you have to tell?”
I love to tell stories and ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write stories. I have wanted to create engaging, intriguing characters who make their way through challenging circumstances and along the way they get surprised and learn something true worth sharing. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write these stories, get them published as books and share them with readers.
And when I was in 8th grade English class, the teacher directed students to write a fiction short story. I was so excited about the assignment. I labored over every word and made sure each sentence was just right. The story had metaphor and captivating characters and an impressive plot. Before the due date, I turned it in, certain it would ignite my career as an author and make my teacher suspect that Pearl S. Buck or E.B. White or Anna Sewall or L.M. Montgomery or Charles Dickens was writing incognito in her classroom. Instead, my teacher jotted “B — plot unrealistic” on a corner of title page and handed the assignment back. I don’t have a photographic memory, but I can still see that scrawl.That B was a big disappointment to me.
That day in class, I got up from my desk, carried the only copy of my story to the trashcan and tossed it. Too bad, because I’d give a pile of money and all the books on my bookshelf (there are lots!) to read that story today. If I could have one day in time back, I’d go retrieve that story from the trash.
Unfortunately, I didn’t just lose that story when I tossed that “B” paper. I lost the drive to pursue my dream. I thought, “I guess I can’t be a fiction writer.”
I went on to read. Always. I earned a college degree in literature and then one in education. Over the years, I’ve worked as a journalist, a magazine writer, newspaper columnist and I’ve contributed to a few non-fiction books. For the last 15 years, I’ve taught writing at Penn State University.
However, recently, I’ve determined to get past that eighth grade B and recover my dream to write fiction. But I need clarity…what compelling characters can I create? What stories can I tell that readers will love? What’s my genre?
This blog is a signal that I’m sending into the vast, noisy blogosphere in hopes of discovering the stories I have to tell and the readers who will love them. I’m going to send out a signal once a week in 2017 and see what happens. For now, topics will vary. My approach will vary. But I’m hoping two things will help me determine where to go with fiction writing. I’ll be paying attention the posts I enjoy writing most and those that prompt responses.
In his book “Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC”, one of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner writes, “The place God calls you to is the place where your great gladness and world’s deep hunger meet.”
So let me know if a post resonates with you.
If I find readers, I’ll find a way to tell stories that you’ll love.
Thanks for reading.