Hello again from Beautiful Southern Illinois.I feel guilty having such delightful weather here when so many are suffering from the recent storms in Texas and Florida.
Two Hearts Waiting, book 2 in my Love Blooms at Bethel series, is coming along. I’m enjoying the way the characters are developing into “real” people–at least to me. I get a big kick out of what they say, think, and do. I’m eager for you to meet them.
By now all the kiddos are back in school. I had the blessing of watching my smiling granddaughter Avery get off the BIG school bus on her first day of kindergarten.
I hope and pray that all children everywhere have at least one teacher who makes them smile. My eighth grade English teacher Ruth Fite* was not the smiley, gooey-sweet sort that gives stickers to everyone one no matter how slipshod the work. She was tough. She didn’t allow any slacking. We WOULD learn how to diagram sentences if it killed us. And you know what they say about that which doesn’t kill us—yes, it made me a stronger writer.
But the trade-off for all that hard work came when we got to write stories. You may not know it, but I actually wrote my magnus opus there in Mrs. Fite’s class. It was a story about a person being wrongfully incarcerated in a mental hospital. (The author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest stole my idea or I would be a rich and famous author today.) I felt pretty good about how my story turned out, and that was its own reward. But I also got a red star at the top and Mrs. Fite’s words,
She probably didn’t realize how important those words were. For all I know, she wrote them on dozens of papers. But those words changed the way I thought about myself and gave me the courage to try. They ignited a dream I never forgot. And so I dedicated my first book to her. Unfortunately, Mrs. Fite was no longer with us when Time and Again came out. But I think she knows.
If you have a great teacher like Mrs. Fite in your life, be sure to thank him or her. It means a lot. I know because I also sat on the other side of the desk as a teacher. Here are two of the nicest things my students ever told me.
On high school graduation day one of my “bad girls” handed me a note as she walked past in her cap and gown. It said something like this: “Thanks, Mrs. Heal, for for putting up with all my s**t, and not giving up on me. You gave me a chance.”
And a senior hot-shot sports hero humbly wrote: “Thanks, Mrs. Heal, for making us revise our work. I had never done that before. Now I know my writing (in all my classes) can be so much better. I’m really proud of it now.”
I treasure these words. These students will probably never know how much they encouraged me to carry on. Likewise, today the kind reviews of readers give me the courage to keep writing my inspirational novels. Thanks for your support!
*Some of you have already heard my Mrs. Fite story, so pardon me for repeating myself.It would be so nice of you to share!