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At thirteen, I decided it was time to prepare myself for a career, a purpose in life… A calling. Let me just say first that the thought of going to Africa as a missionary was something I'd thought of many a time. The inspiration was a wonderful missionary named Elsie Peters. I never went to Africa, but to this day, her impact has never left me. And the 'calling' still burns inside me. My place may not be on the shores of a foreign country, but I so admire those who sacrifice their lives in such ways, and I'm inspired by those who may not even leave their towns, but go directly into the trenches to answer their calling.
Whether or not I've answered my calling even now, back then as I was discovering what becoming a teen meant with those growing pains of youth urging me on, I began to search for something I could do, well. I shot a fair game of basketball, but I wanted more. There were three things standing in my way. One, I didn’t know what I wanted to do; two, there wasn’t money for lessons, and if I’d had the money, there wasn’t anyone to drive me; and three, I wasn’t really good at anything. Still, I had enough sense to know if I put myself into a project, eventually I’d be good at something. This thought drove me onward.
Not a soul knew what I was up to as I searched for a stick I could use as a baton. I can imagine mom watching me through the kitchen window as I twirled at my hearts content. Practice did some good, as I thought, and eventually I caught a few of my baton throws. Still, that lasted about a week. Even at the tender young age of thirteen, I knew the baton would only take me so far.
Next, I cranked up the music and started dancing around the living room. That went better than the baton. My enthusiasm was there, I felt the beat, I wanted more. Although the living room was much too small for such things I learned when I knocked over a lamp during a difficult turn. That dream didn’t die altogether, but was put aside.
Then one Saturday morning after I cleaned my bedroom, I pulled out a notebook, sat on my bed and wrote a story. I remember the thrill of creating something out of nothing but what came from inside. How I wish I could see it now. Where it went I can’t say. When you have five brothers and sisters still at home, without a door to your bedroom, things get misplaced.
Years later during a difficult time in my life, I purchased a guitar, and started writing songs as a way to help me get through the long winter nights in North Dakota. Then one day as I sat at my computer, I began to write poems and stories, and then a novel. It began as An Empty Forest, and eventually became SEPTEMBER WIND.
What this thirteen year-old found that Saturday morning was something we all have, a voice inside that urges us to press on. The best we can do is to put our hearts and souls into what drives us, and then let it go.
Solstice Publishing will put out September Wind as an eBook for three weeks, and then it will go to paperback.