Through all the years of my life, I have been writing something. It is no wonder I write. What is amazing is that these books are fiction. I couldn’t even complete a coherent short story before November of 2013. Writing has never been a problem, writing within a limit is the challenge.
I grew up in Utah, graduating from high school in 1972, and 3 weeks later was married to my sweetheart, who was a sailor in the United States Navy. As we traveled together, he managed to stay off ships and “sailed” on small islands and out of the way places in a tiny section of the Navy. Less than a month after we were married, we spent our first 4th of July somewhere between Hawaii and Guam, most of it lost when we crossed the International Dateline.
We were there for the end of the Viet Nam war and listened to B52s take off over our little quonset hut each morning, often raising our hands toward the sky, hoping to help keep the loaded planes in the air. Later in the day, we watched them limp home, and held our breath, praying they would land safely.
During those years, we usually lived in places so far away that phone calls were expensive impossibilities, and cell phones hadn’t been thought of. I wrote voluminous letters, or “books”, home. They ran into multiple pages and I often spent days writing them. It became my way of staying in touch with my parents back home, from Guam; Key West, Florida; Adak, Alaska; Honolulu, Hawaii; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Gibraltar; Treasure Island, California; Hawaii, again, and back to Adak, Alaska.
Along the way, we had 5 children. When I could, I took college classes and wrote papers, lots of papers for every class. I eventually majored in Elementary Education and got a Master’s degree—writing hundreds more papers. And, I wrote a lot of poetry for myself. I raised my children, traveled with my family where the Navy took us, and stayed busy in school.
We faced challenges through the years. It isn’t easy to live thousands of miles from home and families; but, we were determined to succeed. Near the end of my sweetheart’s time serving in the Navy, doctors discovered tumors in his lung. They flew us from Gibraltar to California, where I could be closer to my family, in case of the worst. They removed a part of his lung, and sent us to Northern California.
Less than two years later, our last child was born, 10 weeks early, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. He received several blood transfusions and we feared he would pick up that dreaded disease. He lived and is now our healthiest child. It was then I stopped writing long letters to my family. What could I say beyond fear?
After my husband retired, and we returned to Utah, I taught school, teaching every grade from Kindergarten to 6th grade, helping little children to learn the ins and outs of writing. I even taught them the basics of story writing, and in the process, taught myself to write fiction. Three heart attacks and multiple instances of pneumonia drove us from the high elevation of Salt Lake City to Southern Nevada.
Here, we were in a terrible car accident and severely injured. I taught a few more years, but my concern was for my husband, and I quit. We spend time serving God and being together.
Then, in 2013 my sister challenged me to join her in the annual National Novel Writing Month, writing the beginnings of a novel in November. “What shall I write about?” I asked. “I haven’t ever managed to write even a short story—first chapters of novels, but never more.”
She need support, so I jumped in, and tried. What, indeed, could I write about? I’d spent much time over my many years of life as a mother wondering about our first mother, Eve. I even tried to write her story a couple times, and failed.
That November, I changed my point of view and wrote Eve’s story as if she were telling it. As I wrote, it seemed as though she sat beside me, whispering her story into my ears. Eve became my friend. When I die, and go to the other side, my greatest desire is to meet that wonderful lady.
After 3 years of writing and rewriting, over and over, and learning to polish and cut, I published Ancient Matriarchs: Eve, First Matriarch, and wrote two more books of the six I plan. Book Two—Ancient Matriarchs: Into the Storms, Ganet Wife of Seth is nearly ready for publishing, with Ancient Matriarchs: Finding Peace, Rebecca Wife of Enos to follow soon after.
As I wrote Eve’s story, she told me of a great loss. Two of her grandchildren were stolen. I asked over and over, and she could never tell me what happened to them, she never knew. Their loss haunted me, as I am certain, it haunted Eve. To discover their fate, I had to begin to write another series, Lost Children of the Prophet. That story has not come as easily as the stories of the early women. But, I am learning what happened to them, in a story I think will be worth the wait.
Eve, First Matriarch was published in January, 2107; Into the Storms is scheduled to be published by May; Finding Peace is tentatively planned for a June publication. I hope to have Lost Children of the Prophet, book 1, ready to publish before Christmas.
During these past three years, I have sat beside my husband, ignored him and the television, and learned to love writing fiction.