Monday, June 11, 2012

Dreams Can Come True

Today, we welcome Ruth O'Neil as our guest blogger and participant of Hope Tour 2012. Ruth's stories have appeared in Love Letters from the Heart (February 2012) and Life Lessons from Dads (June 2012).

Many people have dreams of not only writing a book, but of one day seeing it in print. Jeri was one of those people. She dreamed of being a “real writer” ever since she was a teenager. She and her cousin would spend hours writing stories and sharing them with no one but each other.

When Jeri became an adult, marriage and children preempted her writing efforts. Once her children were a little older, she would lock herself in her bedroom one night a week to pound away on her typewriter slowly adding page after page to her novel. Finally, she had something ready for publication.

She sent it to several publishers. She received positive remarks but no acceptance letters.

Then something else prevented her from continuing her writing efforts; cancer. She passed away before she was able to see her book in print. However, the book was eventually published. Although Jeri never got to see it, her family did. She left an important legacy: never give up on your dreams.

How do I know all this? Jeri was my mother and I had the blessing of watching her and learning from her. She was always an encouragement to me. When I was a teenager and wanted to write, she would take me with her to writer’s conferences and introduced me to some of the great Christian writers of that time. If only we all had someone like that in our corner, cheering us on with each word we wrote. One of the activities outside of writing we used to do often was cook together. I took that and wrote a cookbook for children, hoping that parents and kids will work together and find just as much joy as we did.

If you are one of those people who are working on a book that you fear will never be completed or published, have confidence in yourself. Keep on writing. Keep sending out those proposals. Eventually, you’ll find a publisher who has been waiting for your book to cross his or her desk.

Learn from my mom and never, ever give up on your dreams.

Victory Song is the story of boys who leave home expecting war to be an exciting change of pace. They also thought the war would be over quickly. It was three more years before the Civil War ended. Those who had left home as boys came back as men and were greatly changed men at that. This book chronicles the 149th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment as they fight in battle after battle. One reviewer said, “It’s history masquerading as fiction.” The author did impeccable research. The book is neither pro-North nor pro-South; instead it gives the reader a true impression of what the Civil War was really like.

Find all of Ruth's books on her website.


Kristi Butler said...

What a beautiful post, Ruth! Thank you so much for sharing. Such an encouragement to writers.

Praying rich blessings for you and Write Integrity Press!

Ruth O'Neil said...

Thanks, Kristi. Everyone needs a little encouragement once in a while.