Jan 26, 2007

Who I Am, But What You Don’t Know—Five things not necessarily in order

by Joan Sowards, Guest Blogger

1. I am a songwriter, but what you don’t know is, as a girl of about twelve years old, my friend and I were into Wanda Palmer music—big time. We loved playing and singing her songs. I was in awe that someone (not just someone, but someone I knew) could create songs. One day while leisurely walking home from my friend’s house, I looked up into the tall trees lining Westwood Avenue—probably humming “Consider the Lilies”—and a little voice said, “Joan, one of the greatest gifts God can give is the ability to write songs.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized the Spirit was preparing me. I am not a great composer, but I offer freely what I write at http://www.joansowards.com/

2. I am a wife and mother, but what you don’t know is that I got married at age 27 to a man I had known for years. It just took me that long to open my eyes and realize he was the one I should marry. I was looking for a tall, dark tenor. Well, it turns out that my tenor is a short, balding blond who can’t read music. I love him dearly.

3. I am a fiction writer, but what you don’t know is that I didn’t grow up knowing that, as did a lot of you. Even though I wrote poetry and lyrics, and enjoyed making up stories, I never attached the title of writer to it. I now know that writing is one of my favorite pastimes, and have written four novels. Haunts Haven is available as an ebook under my pseudonym at http://kerryblair.com/curiosity.php My first novel Bridges of the Heart was written because I was shoulder-deep into family history. One of my “end lines” was illegitimate and I longed to know the story of his beginnings. Through research, I found the name of a woman I believed to be his paternal grandmother and wondered what she would say in an interview. I began writing down what I imagined she said, and the story evolved from there.

4. I am a family historian, but what you don’t know is that I spent seven years consumed by it. I’d run to the Family History Center every spare minute I could find, stay up until wee hours of the night working, and even took a trip back east to visit the homeland. It is surprising that I also took care of babies and had dinner on the table every night during these years. After my trip back east, I came home thinking I was done with that line, with being consumed, and ready to move on to other things in life. But there was a presence in my home that I could not shake. It was like unseen people were following me around, talking to me all at once. I knew they were spirits from another line related to the one I had just “finished.” They cried continuously to me while I cooked, showered, played the piano, or just breathed, that they wanted their work done. Frazzled after three days of this, I went to my room, got into bed and threw the covers over my head. “Leave me alone!” I cried. “I promise to do your work!” The room suddenly became quiet. I kept my promise and have thoroughly researched and done the work for that line.

5. I am a daughter of God. You all are, I know, but I wanted to add it because it continues to amaze me. He has sustained me through the hardest times of life: the heartaches of youth, loosing boyfriends and best friends, leaving home, my parents’ divorce, my mother and mother-in-law’s passings—times that are well known to all of us. He will sustain all his children if we let him.

I want to serve him well through my family, songs and writing.

-Joan Sowards


  1. Joan,
    I loved your format--I'm this, but what you don't know....

    It was nice to see other dimensions, other facets of who you are. I'm glad you're writing prose, too. Your writing flows very nicely.

  2. Wow, Liz and I think alike. As soon as I read your blog, Joan, I thought...great format. I had to read the part about the tenor to my daughter. She got a chuckle out of it. Keep writing, you have a very wonderful way with words.

  3. Joan,
    I was one of your fans many years before I actually met you. I, too, enjoyed your format and loved getting to know you a little better. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. I know I am blessed by them.


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