Shannon here: I’m excited to host Jenny Carlisle. Jenny and I belong to a local writers’ group and were roomies at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference once upon a time. Today, Jenny shares her inspiration for her nonfiction title – Turn, Turn, Turn. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Jan 27th, 11:59 pm. Here’s Jenny:
Living the Dream by Jenny Carlisle:
What did you want to do when you grew up? I have always said I want to be an author, but it really comes down to being a storyteller. Being paid to write would be icing on the cake, but just getting the stories that rattle around in my brain onto paper is the ultimate goal. So many stories, so little time.
So, to show off His wonderful sense of humor, God sent an opportunity almost ten years ago that allowed me to tell stories. A friend was starting a free publication aimed at active baby boomers, and he needed a female voice. I was honored that he asked, and once a month since then, I am a storyteller. These particular stories are super easy. Memories from my past, tales about my kids and grandkids, observations about the events of the day. They roll out of my fingers with hardly any effort. Am I making a living from my writing these days? Well, no. But I’m living the dream.
Sort of. I still have the fiction author vision in my brain, and several completed manuscripts in my files. I firmly believe that the original dream will come true, in God’s time.
Meanwhile, at a writer’s conference in Southeast Kansas, I heard a word that changed my life. CreateSpace. Of course, I had heard about self-publishing, had a couple of good friends who had done it successfully and offered to help me. But finally, something got through my hard head, and with the help of some new friends from my old home state, I started the journey to publication again, and this time – cue the trumpet fanfare – it actually happened.
I realized that I had years of available material. I talked to my new editor and we decided how many of the columns it would take to make a book that someone would actually want to read, and I selected a bunch. They had already been edited by the publisher of the magazine, so with another quick look, she formatted them properly, and we uploaded them. The title was the same as the column “Turn, Turn, Turn” from an 1960s Byrds song based on a famous poem in Ecclesiastes. “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
The cover has its own story. Through Facebook, I keep up with the happenings at my clan’s ancestral castle in Scotland, Dunvegan. These daisies were photographed and posted on their page. So, with some back and forth text messages, I was granted permission to use them. As I type this, it all seems so magical, so unlikely. I was having a real-time conversation with someone on the other side of the Atlantic. But that’s what happens when God decides to make a dream come true.
In His infinite wisdom, God knew that my big dream needed to happen through baby-steps. These days, I am learning about buying and selling on Amazon. I’ve sold copies at a craft fair, and held a book-signing. Now, I’m a guest blogger. Yes, my hair is gray. I guess I am a slow learner. But after contemplating this dream for all these years, I’m actually venturing forth. And, someday, when I grow up, I will be a fiction author. God is so good!
About Jenny: Jenny McLeod Carlisle has been writing stories since she learned to hold a pencil. She is a member and former president of the American Christian Fiction Writers- Arkansas Chapter, and has attended and won contests at the Ozark Writer’s Conference, Called to Write Conference and Central Arkansas Writer’s Conference. She is a popular columnist for Ouachita Life magazine. A career state of Arkansas employee, she is has been married for 41 years, and is the happy mom to three and Granny to six in three different states.
About the book – Turn, Turn, Turn: Turn, Turn, Turn is a compilation of columns published over the past several years in Ouachita Life magazine, a popular free publication widely distributed in the southwest quadrant of Arkansas. If you are old enough to remember the song that inspired the title, you will identify. If not, enjoy seeing the world from a baby boomer’s point of view!
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! Turn, Turn, Turn: The View From a Baby Boomer’s Front Porch
Question for Readers: Are you living your childhood dream? How different is your life than the way you imagined it?