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Home is Where Your Story Begins

I had the privilege of attending the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) last week in Dallas, Texas. 700 writers and industry professionals gathered together to celebrate the craft, each other’s journeys and the Lord.

Attending ACFW is like a huge family reunion. I saw friends whom I’ve known for years. I met new friends face-to-face whose names I recognized from my online community. I attribute much of my writing success to ACFW.

Saturday evening at the ACFW Gala, I had the honor and privilege of being awarded the Carol Award for Lakeside Reunion in the short contemporary romance. Being a finalist filled me with incredible joy, and I wanted to have the same joyful spirit for whomever won. I truly did not expect to win, so when Mindy Obenhaus announced my name, I gasped and buried my face in my hands. 

When I accepted my award, I shared a tiny bit of the history of this novel–it’s dedicated to my husband because he gave up his greatest dream due to my intense fears, yet he’s my strongest supporter. Lakeside Reunion is dedicated to him. I concluded thanking other important people in my writing life–my boys, my mentors, my agent, my editor, my writing support group and my God…after all, without Him, none of this would be possible.

As I reflected on the journey I’ve taken with this first novel, I realized home is where my story began. I don’t recall the date, but I remember the exact moment when I knew I was called to be a writer. If I hadn’t met that handsome Marine on that summer’s evening in 1989, then I wouldn’t have had this particular story to tell.

Our home world shapes us into who we are and how we view life, with our family and friends playing characters in our life stories. The choices we make create life experiences. Our life experiences allow us to draw on those emotions when developing our fictional characters. Each one of us has a story tell. And we are the only ones who can tell it in our own unique voices. 

Your Turn: How has your home world shaped you into the person you are today? How do you share the stories of your past? 

Lisa Jordan
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The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things

As I write this, my close writing friend Beth K. Vogt has evacuated her Colorado Springs home due to the horrific fires raging in her area. In her blog post on Monday, she mentioned they packed a few treasures like photos they can never replace, her daughter’s wedding dress and other things they hold dear.  

She said everything else is just things.

In the movie, Leap Year, Declan asks Anna what she would save if the fire alarm went off and she had only 60 seconds. He shares something personal he’d save. Toward the end of the movie, Anna is celebrating her engagement with her boyfriend–something she thought she wanted. She spies the fire alarm in their new apartment (something else she thought she wanted) and pulls it. She watches as her boyfriend scurries to save the valuables–laptop, cell phones, etc. She realizes he isn’t the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. 

Our hearts may be tied to sentimental objects. For me, those include family photos, the cedar chest my husband made me that’s filled with our boys’ baby/childhood stuff and my grandmother’s teacups. The rest is stuff. After all, the best things in life aren’t things.

Please pray for my agent Rachelle Gardner whose husband is on the front line fighting the fire, Beth Vogt who had to evacuate her home, and other agency mates who live in the Colorado Springs area. Please pray for peace, calmness, safety and rain. Lots of rain to douse this inferno that’s destroying so many homes and resources in Colorado. 

*Photo Source

Lisa Jordan
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