Delores E. Topliff
I was born in Vancouver, Washington, official end of the Oregon Trail, which, besides becoming a Christian, largely shaped my interests and goals. After college and grad school, with two sons ages 11 and 9, choosing life options included teaching in New York City or Guam, or joining committed Christians in Canada along the Alaska Hwy. where we bought inexpensive land to start a Christian community. That's what we did. We were a modern version of the Plymouth Colony eager to build a new life and culture together on an increasingly self-sufficient farm, We founded an excellent school, and ultimately a 4-year Christian college.
My family came in the second tier of arrivals. Our first summer, we peeled enough logs to build 10 cabins, including ours. We carved our names into the logs we peeled, and appreciated reading those names inside our snug comfortable homes that winter.
We became part of each other’s lives. Though that community has since segued into other locations, and some people have gone different directions, we remain close-knit friends forever.
That’s reminiscent of how the MBT Ponderers grew. We met, peeled (and signed) our works-in-progress, and formed bonded friendships closer than any of us expected when we first exchanged contact information.
Perhaps growth in life and writing is in proportion to major life changes--the bigger the effort, the bigger the payoff--plus more muscles built and lessons learned in the process. No matter the outcome, the journey is memorable--worth every effort.
No pain, no gain. Isn’t that the American Ethic? I remember in college saying, “Man scorns that which he too easily obtains.” That apparently has become my life creed. But that’s also true for our fiction characters. Readers despise the mediocre, only get involved when heroes and heroines face gut-wrenching tests and stumble, sometimes fall, but keep going forward to heart-satisfying conclusions--if not always fully happy endings.
Through life journeys, authors and readers become older and wiser. Embracing great fiction enriches our life experiences.
What about you? What life adventure and/or effort has brought you the most change or gain so far?