The Over 50 Writer

MUSINGS OF AN OVER 50 WRITER
3/23/2017 8:05:00 PM by: Patti Shene

My youngest child, my son, turns thirty-four years old today. That makes me realize I’m hardly what one would consider a pup anymore.

 

The years have whizzed by so fast, and I can’t help but wonder if any of the words I have written over those years have had a positive impact on anyone.

 

When I was a kid, I enjoyed writing essays in school. Well, except for those essays about some regime way back in history in a foreign country I knew nothing about. The Ming Dynasty in China, or any other government structures anywhere else, was hardly my strongest subject of interest in high school.

 

I loved Gunsmoke, the TV western that ran from 1955 – 1975, so I would write stories about the characters, most often based on the weekly episode I had just seen. In my made up scripts, Marshal Matt Dillon was always in a little more peril and there was a tad bit more attraction between him and Miss Kitty than the scriptwriters portrayed. In later years, those ideas expanded into “fan fiction”, and there were actually other Gunsmoke fans out there who read them.

 

I had a crush on my English teacher in my freshman year and started writing a novel in long hand in one of those old black and white hard back composition notebooks. Every few days, I would give it to him and he would encourage me. I don’t know whatever happened to that notebook and the story line has long since been forgotten. I doubt if that teacher looked for my name in bookstores years later, wondering if I grew up to be a great novelist.

 

I think about all of the Christmas cards and sympathy cards and birthday cards and other special occasion cards I have sent over the years. I often try to write something meaningful and original inside. I wonder if the message I crafted touched the heart of the person I sent it to in the way I intended. I have heard once in a while from people who tell me it did, and those are times when I feel God spoke through the words I penned on paper.

 

Over the past several years, I have graded some writing contests, and I try to be as encouraging, and yet as honest as possible with my comments. I always pray that I am giving the proper, sound advice and that the recipient will take my suggestions under serious consideration.

 

When I worked for Written World Communications and edited Starsongs Magazine, I was acquisitions editor for young people. That was a fun and exciting time in my writing career. I found myself amazed at some of the submissions I received. The writing skill of some contributors reflected deep thought and a working knowledge of the craft. It was so heartening to work with young people who were willing to accept constructive criticism of their work, fix it, and resubmit it again. I still have the names of some of those young people in the back of my mind. When I enter a bookstore and browse shelves, I do check for their names, because I know that someday at least one of them will be there!

 

My writing career has not taken off as I had hoped. I had my heart set on entering the Genesis contest this year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I honed the first fifteen pages, but just didn’t get the manuscript itself completed, which left me ineligible. Too many other obligations got in the way. I know, they say if you want to write bad enough, you will find the time, even it is five o’clock in the morning. Sometimes I think maybe God is telling me He doesn’t plan for me to take the path to publication of a full-length novel, but that he is using me to encourage others on that journey.

 

For now, this over 50 writer keeps one prayer alive in her heart. Whatever words are out there scattered around in greeting cards that have probably long since made their way to file 13, or notes to contest entrants, or blog posts that are forever buried on the Internet, I hope maybe a handful of them impacted someone and helped them on their God-appointed journey.

 

As for my dream of putting more meaningful words on paper, yes, it still sparks every once in a while!

 


Comments

Patti Shene From SE Colorado At 3/26/2017 11:11:02 AM

Hi Cleo. Thank you so much for your comment. I fear I do not hear God''s voice clearly and that I am not using the gift He gave me. Recently, I have felt Him nudging me to continue with and develop the radio show for right now. I hope I am following the path he has set

Cleo Lampos From Oak Lawn, IL At 3/26/2017 9:13:58 AM

Your journey has been very well defined in this post. Can you see the hand of God on your life like I can? Keep writing.

Patti Shene From SE Colorado At 3/24/2017 8:07:49 AM

Hi Frances. Thank you for stopping by. I have responded via email. Sure hope we can connect!

Frances Brown From Massachusetts USA At 3/24/2017 5:13:10 AM

I have tried to email you numerous times to ask about a guest blog spot but the email won''t go through. Can you please contact me? Thanks!

The Over 50 Writer


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