The tomb of the Unknown Soldier
I guess before I get to the winner today I must tell a story. Again I had the pleasure of going to Arlington Cemetery and paying my respects to those who fought so I can put in my two cents in this blog, so I can write my novel, so I can teach kids because it was such a great cut in pay I couldn't resist. When we were there one of the students, who is now a Junior (he made sure I didn't get that wrong, often during our trip to DC), was able to get his picture taken next to the grave of a soldier he wrote his 10th grade research paper on. He had to pick a hero, so he chose Paul Ray Smith who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was such a great moment to remember a man as we viewed his gravesite and listened to a high school kid tell his story. This project he absolutely hated led him to the site so others could hear this man's act of courage. God is amazing.
4718 words. That is what I accomplished this morning. The story is just pouring out of me.
Now, on to the two choices I left in your hands. First, thank you to both Robert and Marty for the two choices. Both of them were fantastic. They were Lazarus Rising and Dance with the Seraphim. Robert, who came up with Dance with a Seraphim is someone I once had the pleasure of working with and still is a friend today. Lazarus Rising came from Marty, my college professor that, quite frankly, was there at the beginning of this reemerging desire to be a writer once more and walked me through the stages of fixing run-on sentences and grammar mistakes that my 8th graders don't even make. I remember when I said to him, "I want to write a novel." He answered, "Great, but I do have to tell you that you can't do this in a semester." A warning mixed with a belief that I could do it. Thank you, Marty, for not laughing. At the time my writing was no where near where it is today. He had to know it. And both him and my favorite tree hugging lib of a Professor Peaco Todd (don't worry, she calls me her favorite right wing wack job - it's good we don't need labels to identify each other) that taught me to be a good writer you must read good writing. I know, I know, sounds so simple. It was his encouragement that has taken me this far. It was his encouragement that I share with my own students today, letting them know, because someone believed in me, that there's nothing you cannot accomplish. Nothing.
Now, I realized at the time that I would NOT be able to finish the novel in a semester. But, I didn't plan on it taking seven years! and yet, I must thank you once more, Marty, because you are the winner of the contest and have named my debut novel, Lazarus Rising.
Until next time... God Bless... and thank you to all those who voted. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog - it means the world to me.