I grew up in a big house in a small town, Ringwood, Illinois, northwest of Chicago in what was then dairy farming country. There were eleven of us kids before it was over. I was frightened of cats until age 21, when I started out with a brand new kitten. (That piece of information is irrelevant and insignificant; I just wanted to work in the childhood picture above, of me with my mother and big sister.) After four years at Jubilee Partners “living in community, sharing with refugees, working for peace,” I have settled a mile away in the little town of Comer GA.
In the intervening years, I have lived in Iowa, Chicago, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and South Carolina. Those were great adventures, moving around as a clergy wife, with the joys and challenges of that role. Mostly joys. Mothering two daughters was, (and is) a joy, and when they were up and running pretty well, I embarked upon my career serving people with special needs.
The church has always been central to my life. Through all my stages and ages, I have continued to find it a nurturing and enriching place, even essential for me, despite its many warts and blemishes. Clearly, my trilogy of church fiction, Sunday by Sunday, grew out of faith and community.
Fiction writing typically is filled with agony and ecstasy, to be overly dramatic. I certainly claim that description. Of course, it is great to have written, and I recall fondly the process of producing the three books over a nine year period. Sunday by Sunday was based solidly in the liturgical year and the appointed weekly Bible readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. That format was both confining and stimulating, and my new novel is very different. I have loved composing it over the last three years (in an agony and ecstasy kind of way), and am excited now about polishing and pitching.
My future seems wide open. I am working on BEYOND THE GATE, a literary novel completely different from S by S. If BTG gets published, that will take me one direction. If not, given the fierce competitive nature of the field, then I will go another direction. Whichever paths open up, I am confident and grateful, living in Christ’s amazing grace, that all will be well. Each day, I try to live by these words from 2 Timothy, For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and love and self-discipline.