Homestead Lady

Homestead in the Methow Valley.

Installment 7

Life After the Paper

What happened after the paper? I said in my last chapter I didn’t write anymore except for in my journal. This is true except I did hang onto the dream. The dream drooped and sagged on unsteady posts, but I’ve read back in my journals of that time and I did still read about writing and even did some practice writing. It seems deep down inside I was trying to rebuild a broken fence between my heart and mind in spite of the avalanche of criticism I’d received.

My husband’s aunt had given me a book of history showing pictures and articles about Washington state. I love history and looking at old pictures, reading about when and how people came to be in the area. One picture caught my interest. A lady stood in front of her cabin. The caption said she was a homesteader.

A little idea appeared in my mind. I didn’t realize for a long time as yet, but my homestead lady was born that day. The idea stewed in my brain for a long time while I dealt with living and raising two daughters.

Pick Up and Going On

One day in April of 2002 my world changed course. I became a widow. My daughters and I lived through the grief and carried on. When you have son’s and grandson’s and daughter’s it’s what you do, you pick up and go on.

I’m grateful for family and friends who surrounded us with love and care. It helped tremendously with getting our lives back to a new normal.

Somehow I needed to find something, something way down deep inside me that had been put out to pasture. I turned to my journal and found my writing urge again.

I Heard and Listened

My life started to even out. I can almost recall the day I heard the calling. It was, at first a tiny whisper, a passing thought flitting by so fast you almost didn’t hear it or comprehend. A lot, or I should say most the time when a person gets a thought if it’s not written down, it’s gone. I was lucky this day. I had this thought before and here it was again.

The homestead lady spoke to me, “Have you forgotten me?”

I quickly wrote down ideas, thoughts. I found the picture of the her and wrote more. I dug out old stories I written and abandoned, even the newspaper articles came out and were re-read.

I wanted to write again. The love and desire stirred my soul. I became excited. I decided I wasn’t going to let what people had made me feel in the past to squish the writing out of me like road kill.

The Interview

I sat out in the yard and placed a chair next to me. I opened my notebook and had my pen ready as I started talking to my homestead lady who I named Effie. I put my interviewing skills to use I’d learned from the correspondence course.

It was exhilarating and exciting to have her sitting there and talking to her. I’ve grown to take to heart listening to my characters. I like this idea so much I made the line the subtitle to this website. I have since read of other authors who do similar. Makes me feel right there with them. I’m a writer too and understand.

I was ready to come back to writing. To put seat in chair and pen to paper. I have not quit doing that.

I finished writing the story of Effie. It became a novel. I self-published it then took it out of circulation. I’ve since re-written it and want to publish it again. Hope to do that soon.

It Will Happen

I’ve sent out stories, received rejections. I’ve started two blog which this is one of them. I have entered contests and not won, yet. I’ve sent a couple stories out for professional critiques. The knowledge I’ve learned from this is wonderful.

I have not seen a monetary success as yet, not enough to make a living at anyway, but it’s coming. I’m doing the work, the writing. I study, read, and practice. It will happen. My days of writing and being a successful writer is on the horizon or even closer.

I’m here to say it will happen, whatever that dream is. Don’t give up, keep trying, practice, and have faith in yourself.

This is my writing life to date. Now I put in the daily words, work on a story, write a blog post. Anyone reading this can do likewise with what ever form of passion they want to pursue. I encourage. Don’t let your life go without letting your creative side have a chance.

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