Dec 22, 2011


By Susan G. Haws
Recently my computer got sick and slow and then it collapsed. I took it to Community General Hospital (sister’s house) where it was resuscitated and it went into intensive care for a few days. The doctor (brother-in-law) told me it didn’t have a virus but he had never before seen a computer with that many problems survive. So my little miracle machine is back home and we are re-bonding.

I did a bit of moping and whining. I complained to some friends who sympathized and each shared some of their recent difficulties. After hearing their challenges I decided mine weren’t so bad. (Can I blame part of my half empty glass on dieting during the holidays? No? Oh, well.)

My friend talked me into putting up my  Christmas tree and I listened to an inspirational audio file and watched an inspirational movie.  (Neither are directly related to Christmas.)  Both brought perspective and tears to my eyes. In a good way.I just had to share them. (Get out the box of tissues.) 

Maybe everyone reading this already saw Soul Surfer (click to connect to an official movie trailer on YouTube.) or read Bethany Hamilton’s book telling how as a teenager she lost her arm in a shark attack and went on to fulfill her dream of becoming a pro surfer and has inspired countless others through her faith, courage and determination. If you are familiar with them I hope the reminder perks up your day.

 Author Tracy Hickman tells a story at Superstars Writing Seminar  of a reader at a book signing sharing  how Hickman’s book had changed the reader’s life. This in turn inspired Tracy Hickman in his writing.. It is not long and extremely worth hearing. 

Both show how people inspire each other. The audio file shows how fiction inspired a reader and how that reader then inspired the author. The movie based on a autobiography shows the how a person inspired fans with her courage and determination. There are scenes where fan letters in turn inspire the girl. This is an over simplification of both. But I wanted to draw these parallels for writers and readers.

 I have wondered,  laughed, cried, and been inspired  by both fiction and nonfiction. Even though writers and readers may never meet and may even communicate over decades or centuries, words influence and have power.

 Wishing you peace and joy. Merry Christmas to readers and writers.


  1. I didn't see Soul Surfer, but my older kids did, and they think she's an awesome kid. I love inspiring stories like that. Have a merry Christmas!

  2. This is the only time of the year I like to watch inspiring and what I call sappy (feel good) movies and stories. Don't ask me why but it's like the Spirit just sorta envelopes me in a Christmas spirit. I used to wonder why didn't I like those kind of stories throughout the year but I think now it's so Christmas remains special to me as a single person.

  3. Terri I understand. I like real stories of people that overcome. But Mostly I want escapism.

  4. Nice post Susan. I, too, am not big on sappy things (ask my kids about my reactions to Delilah) but I love things that inspire me to be more giving, more patient, more loving. I love this time of year when it just seems easier to do all that. Could it be where the focus is? Of course, when our focus is on Jesus Christ, everything else is easier to put into perspective.


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