Ruthy here! Writing is about the weirdest business known to the planet, a roller coaster of ups and downs, fade-ins, fade-outs and circumstances beyond our control. As writers, we blend, shape, mold, tuck and tarry, determined to make things work.
I saw Gayle's post about her new blog on my Books & Such Literary blog late winter. I went to her blog site and realized that she was making lemonade out of lemons. I love when folks do that. So she's here today now only as a gifted award-winning author, but a person who blends real life with fiction to pen compelling stories of hope and new tomorrows.
Write what you know. That’s the advice given at every writers conference. Write what you know.
Since I write mysteries and romantic suspense, I’ve spent my whole career writing what I don’t know. I’ve never been involved in anything more illegal that a speeding ticket, yet I have murderers and dead bodies in all my novels. The closest I’ve ever come to a criminal is a friend who insists on being a flasher and has spent lots of time in the slammer as a result. Murderers? I’m happy to say I know none. Dead bodies? Funerals.
Until recently, and that’s led me to finally write what I know.
I am a widow.
For more than a year I didn’t write anything about Chuck’s illness and death. I didn’t want to. I know many writers find solace in journaling about the things that affect their lives. Not me. I have always hated journaling. Makes me shudder to think about it. I know. Writers conferences tell you to journal too.
Finally the urge to write my thoughts about losing Chuck struck. But what form? I didn’t want to write a standard devotional. Too restrictive. Too ordinary. I just started writing and ended up with short thought pieces about what it’s really like being a widow. The lost feeling. The empty side of the bed. Eating out alone. The lack of concentration. The emptiness. And the hope in and sustaining power of our great God.
Perfect blog material.
To this point I had resisted writing a blog. I know. They tell you at writers conferences to blog, but I couldn’t think of anything I cared enough about to do so. Now I have something to write about, something to share. And now www.widowsjourney.com exists.
I know from the responses I get that though our situations and circumstances may differ, we widows feel many of the same emotions when two becomes one. I count it a high responsibility to speak for the more than 800,000 new widows this year, for the more than 30% of all women over 55 who have been widowed, for the young widows with their grieving children.
“I have been in love with story all my life,” says Gayle Roper, the award winning author of more than forty-five books. “Give me a story with strong characters and a captivating plot, and I’m one happy reader. Or writer.”
Among Gayle’s awards are the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award, the Carol Award from American Christian Fiction Writers, and three HOLT Medallions. She has been a Christy finalist three times and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times Book Report.
For her work in training Christian writers Gayle has won special recognition from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, St. Davids CWC, Florida CWC, and Greater Philadelphia CWC. She lives in southeastern Pennsylvania. She enjoys reading, spending time at the family’s Canadian cottage, gardening, and eating out every time she can manage it.
Ruthy again! Hey, coffee's on.... We've got strawberry and whipped cream stuffed croissants on the back table and a frittata to die for, rich in sausage, onion, cheese and egg! Grab a cup of joe and feel free to share your life experiences and how they've affected your writing. I've got two copies of my newest release "A Family to Cherish" in the prize box, a warm, evocative story of a widower... and the second chance he doesn't think he deserves...