When I count my blessings, I count you twice.
I love that Irish Proverb. It brings to mind our Seekerville blog and the wonderful folks who visit each day. You are all so special. Without your support and involvement, this blog would be words thrown into cyberspace that fail to find a home. By joining together, the 13 Seekers and the hundreds—if not thousands—of Villagers become a force for good as we encourage and uplift one another. We’ve forged a bond of friendship that unites us into a loving, prayerful community for which I’m so very grateful.
Writers often talk about the joy of “The Call” and the thrill of seeing their stories in print, but today, I want to focus on some of the unexpected blessings that have come from my writing journey. I’m not trying to draw attention to my efforts, but rather to show the opportunities that have presented themselves solely because of my writing. I hope all of you, whether published or not, will share the positive fruit from your own journeys, either as writers working toward publication or readers with a love for story and the written word.
Friends ‘Round the World
As I mentioned, joining together with you through Seekerville is an amazing blessing. We’ve logged in more than two million page views. Our blog family includes folks from the US, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Slovakia, the Ukraine and even Russia so we truly are a global community.
Writer and Reader Events
No one understands a writer better than another writer. That’s probably why we enjoy getting together at conferences. We’re also lifetime learners so the workshops and programs are an added benefit. Attending conferences across the nation allows me to reconnect with old friends as well as meet new folks who share a love for writing. Taking time to tour the various parts of the US where the conferences are held helps me appreciate the beauty and grandeur of our country as well as its history and its people.
Similarly, reader events provide a delightful way to mix and mingle with folks who share a love for story. That commonality brings us together and forges an instant connection, which brings joy to my heart. Meeting readers has always been a special blessing that comes from my writing journey.
Encouraging writers at any stage of their careers brings me joy. I had a long and rocky road to publication so I understand the disappointments and sense of failure that are inherent to this profession. My more-than-a-decade-long pre-pubbed stint is proof that perseverance and determination pay off. A hefty dose of prayer helps as well.
Last month, I talked about the writing group I host bi-monthly at my church. I started the group after a number of promptings from the Lord. What I didn’t realize was how the classes would bless me. Sharing what I’ve learned about writing and seeing the excitement when folks grasp a somewhat difficult concept is exhilarating. Mike Healy, one of my star students, started writing in earnest after attending my class. Since then, he has published a poem and is now regularly submitting short stories to magazines. At church on Sunday, he shared a recent rejection letter. The submitted story was too long for the publication’s needs, but the editor liked Mike’s voice and wants to see more of his work. You can imagine my elation!
|Mike Healy and his wife Ann. Mike's one of my star|
As some of you know, I donate the proceeds from my hometown book signings to various local charities and augment the amount with an additional offering, which I’ve been able to increase over the years as my career has grown. Helping those in need and recognizing the good works of various ministries and service organizations is a blessing.
STRANDED, my March 2015, was dedicated to Frank Forth, a member of the Greatest Generation who was severely injured in the Battle of the Bulge. The donation for that signing went to an organization that helps our World War II heroes. The Bulge Bugle, a magazine honoring survivors of the Battle of the Bulge, published a photograph of Frank holding a copy of my book with an attached article that recognized his service to our country. Last Christmas, Frank gave copies of STRANDED to his family members and personal friends. Frank says I’ve touched his life, but he has touched mine far more.
|Frank Forth, a member of the Greatest Generation, |
turned 93 years old on August 8.
Letters and emails from readers always touch my heart. One that was especially moving was from a woman who was staying at a shelter for abused women. She had recently read my debut, NOWHERE TO HIDE. In the story, the heroine places her trust in the Lord when her child is in danger. The woman said she had spent 72 terrifying hours when her son was kidnapped. Throughout the ordeal, she kept my book close at hand, and because of the story, she turned to the Lord in her need. Thankfully, her son was released unharmed. The woman said she has a renewed faith in God, which she claims is a result of reading my story.
Most authors are active on Facebook, but I always bulked at social media until the Lord told me to post a scripture verse. I rolled my eyes but complied and heard the same prompting the next day. Before long, I realized folks share their joys and sorrows on Facebook. Each small glimpse into their lives allows me to rejoice with the good and pray for them in times of need. Along with a daily scripture, I also post a corresponding work of art, usually from one of the Old Masters. As you may have guessed, my daily postings have given me a new appreciation for art and the treasures of the past.
|One of my favorite works of art:The Miraculous Draft of Fishes,|
by Raphael, c 1515-1516, Royal Collection of the United Kingdom. [PD-US]
Writing a book is a long and arduous process. Some folks start to write, but very few complete a manuscript. I remember my own feeling of accomplishment when I finished my first story--after typing 400 pages on a portable, electric typewriter. Even today, with twenty books under my belt, I am filled with awe when a flash of an idea develops into a full-length novel. Surely, it only happens through the inspiration of the Lord, and whenever He touches my life, it’s always a blessing.
Now it’s your turn. What are some of the unexpected blessings you’ve experienced through your writing and your reading? Share a comment, and your name will be added to two drawings for one of my stories, winner’s choice, along with a surprise gift. The list of my books can be found on my newly updated website. Clicking on my titles will take you to Amazon for excerpts and book reviews.
Special thanks to all who have reviewed my stories. I greatly appreciate the time and effort you took to spread the word about my books.
The coffee’s hot. Tea is also available. I’ve brought a light summer buffet of fresh fruit, muffins and bagels and hard boiled eggs.
Happy writing! Happy reading!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
Follow me on Facebook for daily scripture and sacred art! https://www.facebook.com/debby.giusti.9
by Debby Giusti
AMISH COUNTRY SECRETS
When widowed doctor Ella Jacobsen is attacked and left for dead in her childrens’ clinic, the peace she’s found in Georgia’s Amish country is shattered. Someone is after something in her clinic and wants her out of the way...but what are they looking for? Ella knows only that her life is in the hands of army special agent Zach Swain. Zach can’t resist the vulnerable but headstrong Ella, who stares down danger to care for the people she loves. With one look, the loner soldier goes from investigator to protector. To save Ella, he must uncover the secrets that swirl around the idyllic community. And he needs to do it fast, because Ella is running out of time.
Available Sept 2016. Order HERE!
STRANDED, by Debby Giusti, reissued in a two-in-one with Emma Miller’s MIRIAM’S HEART
Available June 23. Order HERE!