Writing For Others Before They Are Gone!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Over the years I’ve written for many reasons; to help parents and teachers of gifted children; to inform homeowners of the dangers of Radon gas and how to protect themselves following a disaster; to enhance creativity in students; to share the publishing process; to entertain and teach children to think through music & song. It wasn’t until I shared the stories of two Persian Gulf Army Reserve Nurses that I began to feel the importance of sharing personal experiences.

When I was approached by Army Reserve Nurse, Second Lieutenant, Dianah Kwiatkowski about writing her Persian Gulf memories, I told her, “no." I had no track record writing biographies or memoirs and couldn’t guarantee that it would ever get published. She persisted until I reluctantly agreed. A short while later, her memoirs, When Duty Called: Even Grandma Had To Go, were published. Through Dinah, I met Sergeant Sara Raye, whose Persian Gulf story was even more compelling. That started my second journey into writing for others. Sara's story, Hidden Casualties: Battles On The Home Front, initiated changes in the way the military deals with single parents. 

Both of these books were about the personal experiences of two brave women. It would be almost ten years before the opportunity to write a different kind of personal story would present itself; a story before they’re gone.

In December, 2015, I learned that an acquaintance I had met through a writer’s group in another state, was struggling in the final stages of Ovarian Cancer. I knew that Debbie, the acquaintance, had been working on a manuscript for years and dreamed of getting it published. Since I had self-published two of my own books, the decision was made to help Debbie fulfill her dream. Author friend, Gretchen Griffith agreed to help. 

The beautifully written book, The Picking Bag, was published in a race against time, in January of 2016. Debbie Beecher Nance had three weeks to hold her book in her hands and enjoy seeing her cherished story selling to family and friends. 

You might think it was a tremendous gift we gave to Debbie, but Gretchen and I feel we were the recipients of the biggest gift--that of being able to work with an amazing writer and a courageous friend. The Picking Bag is perhaps, the most important book we will ever publish.  

Gretchen is currently involved in another rush to publish. She is in the process of completing the setup of a book titled Back in the Time, the story of life in Spring Creek, North Carolina, a small mountain town. The elderly co-author and principal character, has serious health issues. 

Last week, The Bear Hunter’s Son, another book, written under similar circumstances, appeared on the market. The writer, Georgia Ruth Wilson, a mystery writer and lover of history, took on the task of capturing the story of a man “whose father was a legendary bear hunter around Marion, North Carolina. The legacy that this man leaves starts with the family’s landmark restaurant, the Lake Tahoma Steak House and ends with McDowell Children’s Ministry, a life of agape love.”

The bear hunter's son cried when his Hospice worker crawled into his bed to show him the book. Georgia Ruth then sat beside him and read his father’s story to him from the pages of his book. 

I don't believe Gretchen or Georgia or I ever anticipated that the importance of our writing would be in the act of creating rather than in the stories themselves. We've all learned that writing about the lives of others is a great responsibility, privilege and an honor.   

The greatest reward comes from sharing whatever talent God has given you, sometimes in ways you never expected.

Have you had unexpected results from sharing your writing or your talent?

*************
Books mentioned in this post: 

When Duty Called: Even Grandma Had to Go - http://tinyurl.com/h46z2ua

Hidden Casualties: Battles On The Home Front: http://tinyurl.com/hmjp6zc
The Picking Bag - http://tinyurl.com/h77vkv6
The Bear Hunter's Son -  http://tinyurl.com/hqjpshj
Back in the Time: Due out in February, 2017

Sandra Warren is an author with publications in several genres. Her most current book is
We Bought A WWII Bomber        Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUmxqhIpadI

For more information:
www.sandrawarren.com 
sandra@arliebooks.com 



5 comments:

Gretchen Griffith said...

Thank you for sharing our story about The Picking Bag, Sandra. It was a writing journey all in its own that you expressed well. And thanks, too, for mentioning my newest project. Writing other people's memoirs is a privilege that comes with a tremendous responsibility. Truly it's a humbling experience, but well worth the effort.

Sandra Warren said...

Amen, Gretchen. Amen.

Joan Edwards said...

Dear Sandra,
I am very proud of you and Gretchen for writing the stories or those who don't seem to beable to do for themselves. I know that God i vey proud of you. A wonerful gift.

Sincerely
Joan ,

Sandra Warren said...

Thank you for your kind comments, Joan.

Just think how many soon to disappear stories would be saved if every author agreed to write the memoirs of just one person in their family or community.

Sandra

Kathleen said...

Such a wonderful and inspiring post, Sandra! What a wonderful experience for you and Gretchen and a gift of love for Debbie by helping her publish THE PICKING BAG. I know what it felt like to hold my published book for the first time, I can only imagine what an accomplishment it must have felt like for her to hold it in her hands- to be able to realize a dream, before it was too late. I remember that my mom held the publishing contract that very week before she passed away. I remember her smile and tears. I'm so glad that she read a draft a few months before that.
You are so right that you never know what direction your talent may take you, and you only need to be open to seeing the path before you and brave enough to take it on. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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