Thursday, May 3, 2018

WHERE AM I GOING? HOW DID I GET HERE?

Have you ever wondered how you got to where you are today? As I look back, my life seems like a convoluted plot that was thrown together by a committee of demented writers! Of course I know better. Looking closely I can see the Lord's hand in every step, even if I had no idea at the time.

I was born in Cleveland, OH, and ran away when my parents informed me that the family was moving to CA. That could have been disastrous except I wasn't allowed to cross the street so I just kept riding my bike around the block until I ran out of the snacks I'd packed to take with me, gave up and rode home. :)

We could have settled in any area of Southern California but we ended up in Rosemead where I went to high school with the boy who was to eventually become my husband. Are you following me? Any other house on any other street and who knows how my life would have turned out? He moved away during my junior year and I thought I'd never see him again. We weren't dating so it was no big deal. But then he came back to visit and I ran into him in the hallway at school. I'd been having trouble with my chem class and he offered to help. I, in turn, thought it would be polite to ask him to dinner so I did. See? Everything had to happen in just the right order at just the right time. I used to think I was lucky but now I know better. God was in the details.
As our life together progressed it was filled with so many similar occurrences it boggles the mind. The way we struggled to make ends meet and muddled through raising children, the moves we made that each, in its own way led to further blessings and on and on. How I decided to try my hand at writing the kind of books I loved to read is another fantastic story. All I wanted to do was take a college class in writing at the same university where my married daughter lived. It was a girls' day out. I thought it would be fun. Boy, was it! But if she hadn't married the student she did, and if they hadn't lived in the building where the class was held, and if I hadn't happened to see the brochure for the Saturday class, and if I hadn't had a car that would make the long drive, and if we hadn't run into the instructors at - are you ready? - McDonalds after class, and if they hadn't bothered to encourage me and on and on. I wrote in longhand and typed on a borrowed typewriter, cutting and pasting and then making copies at a store. It took forever and I was also holding down a "real" job.
Rejections? Sure. Then and now. But if something like that was going to stop me it would have done so long, long ago. To be a published author you not only have to be blessed, you have to be BRAVE. 
This is my first autographing session. I don't do those much anymore but at the time it was a real joy. And both instructors from my college class showed up! At the time, if I had known how much work lay ahead and how deeply the Lord would draw me into His plans I would probably have insisted it couldn't be done. But it was. And it is. Not a day passes that I don't thank my heavenly Father for the opportunities- and the trials - He has provided. Usually on the far side of those trials and looking back as if I knew what I was doing all along!
 
My May book is BOUND BY DUTY. I went back and counted and it is the 53rd Christian novel. There were 18 secular before that, making a total of 71. Yes, I counted on my fingers. I can spell anything but never, never, never ask me to do math! Or chemistry, despite having the best tutor ever.
 
 
 



8 comments:

  1. What an amazing story, Valerie, and what an accomplishment. 71 books. Congrats.

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  2. Lovely reminder, Valerie, of how God has everything planned out perfectly.

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  3. Congratulations on your latest books and a fabulous writing career. God's timing is always amazing.

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  4. What a wonderful witness. Thank you. I also ran away from home and spent the entire day under the bushes in my neighbor's yard until I realized no one was looking for me. Then I went home.

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  5. Val, I loved reading your story and especially seeing the photos. We've known each other a long time as we wrote for the same publisher, but this article is special since it not only tells a brief story of your life but also your faith. Love and blessings.

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  6. Beautiful topic, Val. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Val, love your life story. I've felt that way about mine too.

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  8. Such a lovely story, Val! I especially liked your mentioned that writers need to be BRAVE! So true!

    Great photos! Congrats on your successful writing career...71 books! Such an accomplishment!

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