Friday, September 9, 2011

Authors change lives. Nancy Turner changed mine.

I had the chance to meet Nancy Turner, New York Times best-selling author of These Is My Words, at the March 2010 ANWA Conference.  

She gave an excellent lecture and spoke on common mistakes writers make and how to keep our writing sacred.  At the end of the day, I purchased several books from ANWA and visiting authors, including Nancy’s book These Is My Words and had the chance to introduce myself to her. 
Fast forward to now.  When my sister recommended I read These Is My Words, I pulled it off my bookshelf, committed I’d find the time to read it.  About 2 pages into it, I couldn’t put it down.
Since picking up These Is My Words, my life has been on hold, just ask my starving and neglected children (just kidding about the starving part). 
I’ve spent the last week reading These Is My Words every chance I can get.  With 5 kids, I’ve had to be creative.  Reading at the gym while working out on the treadmill isn’t something I recommend, but this book warranted the risk.  I’ve brought it on outings, stayed up way too late, I’ve stolen a few minutes or a few hours every chance I can get because I can’t get enough.
I love Sarah.
I love Jack.
I loved the adventure, the romance, and the life-changing heartache of Sarah’s life from 1881-1901 on the Arizona trail. 
I cried when Sarah gave birth to her first child, I shivered when a centipede dropped from the ceiling of the mud army fort and fell into her bed, I prayed for the death of a rattle snake when it sought to harm Sarah’s young daughter, April.
I was over come with emotion when Jack saved Sarah on more then one occasion.  Last Sunday, I pulled my husband aside and read him my favorite passages from These Is My Words.  I might add, the romance between Sarah and Jack inspired a few kisses between my love and I.  Added bonus!
The challenges Sarah survives are more then one should have to handle.  These Is My Words forced me to evaluate my relationships with my siblings and parents, especially my mother.  The love Sarah has for her mother grows as she carries the joy and struggles of bearing and raising children.  Relating to my mom as a mother myself has been most bonding, especially when I realize she loves me the way I love my own daughter.
Sarah says it how it is.  She loves her children, but since the format of These Is My Words is like a journal, the reader gets Sarah’s raw and honest emotions to the mess, commotion and hard work of raising a family.  I love how honesty, even when rough and tumble, teaches such truth. 
Like when Jack returns from his army duties and request Sarah draw him a bath.  Sarah is 8 months pregnant and exhausted herself.
“If you’re too tired to draw your own bath, then you’re too tired to take one,” she says and leaves him to care for the other children while she goes into the bedroom to rest. 
Jack loves Sarah with a passion fit for the Wild West.  What a treat it was to peek into not just Sarah’s heart, but Jack’s as well.  After their marriage, Sarah finds a love note Jack wrote her, tucked inside his leather satchel.  As an army captain, Jack is involved with many Indian encounters and Sarah is taken back when she realized this love note has a bullet hole through it.     
If I could meet Nancy Turner today, it’d be a whole different experience.   I’d gush, go on and on about how the book changed me, how her writing is amazing and spiritual and raw.  I’d ask her questions about writing, family history and inspiration.  I’ve already ordered Sarah’s Quilt.  I can’t wait to get my hands on that book.  
Authors change lives.   
Nancy Turner changed mine. 
Remember, someday your writing will help someone, inspire someone and even change them because when you share a part of yourself through writing, it can be life changing not just for you, but for those who read your work.  

3 comments:

  1. I really appreciated Nancy Turner's presentation at ANWA conference as well. I had heard about her book but now I will have to move it up on my reading list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I so wish I could have been there! These Is My Words is one of my favorite reads! Great post!
    hugs`

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok I'm hooked. Gotta get that book.

    ReplyDelete

We appreciate your comments, but do not allow commercial messages. Thank you for visiting.