Friday, September 30, 2016

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Just a little encouragement for you today...

When I visited Prince Edward Island earlier this month, I was struck by the history of one of my favorite authors, Lucy Maud Montgomery. Best known for writing the Anne of Green Gables series, Montgomery set almost every one of her numerous novels on Prince Edward Island. She lived there for most of her life until she was married at age thirty-six, when she moved to Ontario. She never lived on the Island again, though she did return for frequent visits. 

L. M. Montgomery, 1874-1942
Because of Montgomery’s books, which are beautifully descriptive and full of delightful characters, I had romantic notions of this Canadian island in the far northeast. I tried to shrink them down to a more real-life expectation before I visited, however. It succeeded, I think, because I was able to see P.E.I. for what it was: not a Garden of Eden, but a homey, pleasant island. It’s pretty, and parts are definitely breathtaking, but mostly it felt like home. This taught me something.

You don’t have to live an adventure to write something worth reading, nor do you have to inhabit an exotic locale. Montgomery spent her days among ordinary people and lived on a tame, verdant island, suitable for farmers and fishermen. Yet she wrote extraordinary books in that setting that are still beloved today.

Moreover, she gleaned most of her impressions when she was young. As young as, or younger than, many of us are now. Don’t underestimate the value of childhood experiences. Like Montgomery, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, C. S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and countless beloved others, you and I can glean from our growing-up years and spin timeless stories. And they don’t have to be about what we’ve actually lived; we can love something from history, for example, that we devoured when we were young, and that can contribute to a well-crafted historical novel or fantasy when we’re older. Write what you are passionate about, and with hard work and skill, that story will turn into a worthy book!

Are you more interested in everyday life or in high adventure? What do your favorite authors write about? 

Kelsey Bryant is an author, blogger, and copy editor who loves the Lord. She revels in many things: the beauty of God's Word, the music of English, the wonder of nature, the joy of creativity, the freedom of motion, the richness of literature, the intrigue of history ... and much more. To learn more about her, visit her website or blog 

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