I love taking an idea and playing with it. Putting questions, thoughts, and insights on paper to see how they develop and what I learn in the process is great pleasure for me. For many years my writing took the form of poems, journal entries, sermons, articles for the newsletter of the nonprofit I led, and occasional guest articles for newspapers or magazines. I began several books that went well until about page ten and then I ran out of…what? … I don’t know. I just never got anywhere with them. I think I was waiting until I had enough life and professional experience to believe that whatever I had to say might help or have value for someone. I also had to wait until the publishing world changed so that that getting a book into print did not mean sending out dozens of proposal letters only to be turned down. Now I can publish through traditional presses, independently, and even on-line!
My first published book, Loving Our Neighbor, was a way of sharing all the things I had learned through working with people who were poor as well as those who wanted to help. The second, Understanding Poverty in the Classroom, helped me reach more people than I could through a few workshops. The third, Conversations on the Porch, is about women from the Bible who showed up on my porch to share their lives and wisdom with me. The women feel as real as flesh and blood people I see every day. I enjoyed the women so much that I wrote a sequel, More Conversations on the Porch. The next book, A Coat Named Mr. Spot, is a picture book that I wrote as a resource for parents or grandparents who want to help their children develop empathy for classmates who live in poverty. Angelika’s Journal is the “journal” of a sixth grade girl who experienced various stages of homelessness over an 18-month period. At the end of each of the twelve chapters is more information along with study questions and suggestions for what you can do. My last book, Refrigerator Prayers for Ordinary People, has 365 prayers to help you explore and experience a faith journey in authentic and gutsy ways. Now… I blog twice a week at oewo.org which also posts to Facebook.
I believe that when I wrestle with a question or wonder how to do something, there must be other people who share those same ponderings. It is for those that I write. I also write as a way to figure out, at least for the moment, the puzzle that I’m thinking through. I hope that you want to join me in this journey.