Thanks to jen of a2eatwrite, I have interview questions. And here we go!
1) You seem to have so many irons in the fire--can you tell us a bit about your many hats? (Not to mix metaphors or anything!)
My parents were 40 years old when they had me--so I came into a family where my first real memories and knowledge of what was going on was of parents in their mid to late forties and early fifties. And I cannot remember a time my parents weren’t taking classes, doing course work, improving themselves, and most often “changing hats”. I was raised with the “if you’re breathing you should be learning”, and if learning, then, of course, you’ll be altering your life.
So it has seemed most natural for me to learn, grow, and try another aspect of my heart’s desires, loves, passions. Comedy came naturally. Our dinner table was a time of sharing the
day’s events--and if you couldn’t put some kind of a “spin” on the story--comedy expected generally--then you were surely going to lose the conversation! So it’s little wonder two out of three siblings have done stand-up--and the third is a hoot to spend a dinner hour with.
My dad and aunt were teachers--I cannot imagine not teaching. Writing, my family has a number of published writers--I cannot imagine not telling stories. And ministry--Mom is a lay-speaker in our church, and a counselor by trade--so ministry combines speaking, counseling, teaching, and sharing my love of the Lord with others--I cannot imagine my life without doing all of these things.
2) Of your many wonderful stories, which is your favorite and why is it your favorite?
Which ever one I’m working on at the time. I’m truly not trying to be evasive. I just saturate myself in whatever story I’m working on--it becomes my thoughts awake or asleep LOL. And, therefore, it is my favorite--kind of like every time I make homemade bean and ham soup--each batch is always “the best I’ve ever made”--no doubt because it’s the one I’m eating at the time ;-)
I have to say, I actually enjoy working on short stories, simply because they are “complete” and you can “see” them--novels go on FOREVER LOL--as you know.
3) What is the most rewarding thing about being a minister?
I have done counseling for a long time. Adding in the spiritual aspect is the part that is sorely needed, but not often given in “traditional” counseling. And for me, without God in the equation, you cannot come up with workable nor satisfying answers and means to solve your problems. We are created in the image of our creator--created to BE creators of our world, our lives. Without recognition of who we are and how we work--and from where our real “help” comes--well, this can be a very sorry world, with little hope.
Minister means “to minister” “to administer”--so it’s an act of service to others, administering help for their needs. Nothing is so satisfying than being of service to others--and seeing others come out of despair, come to their own victories in life, it is a reward all its own.
4) How do you concoct a story or novel?
For me it’s a bit of “improve” work. If you’ve ever watched a comedian, say Robin Williams, who allows the audience to “throw out” topics, questions, etc.--and then instantly turns them into “something”, then that’s how I see story telling. If someone throws an idea, question, relates a situation in their life, I read something, hear a bit of conversation at a café, etc., then pretty soon something begins to stir inside me.
Of course, not all have enough “juice” for a novel, or even a good short story. BUT, the seed for a story can be found almost anywhere. And the fertile ground that seed lands in is the human mind. Anything can grow there IF you don’t censor it, or put restrictions on it.
At some point, though, to actually create a story, especially of a novel length, you get to the grit of it--that’s the part where you sit down at the computer keyboard, grit your teeth, bite the bullet, and you create your outline, make your Lists, flesh out the background of your characters, etc. You must have a good framework, a working skeleton of the story to hang the flesh, meat and muscle on, and pump the blood through.
Just never let the framework stop your imagination, or allowing the characters to take the story somewhere new or novel--if necessary, you may have to rework the entire premise--but to create something magical, you have to trust your heart, and go with it!