Thursday, October 24, 2013

It Always Starts with a Dream!

My first book

My latest book

I’ve always been a dreamer. Back in Van Horn, Texas, my family lived on Summer Street, which in the 70’s was called the New Addition. On Summer Street in front of my house, I would roller skate for hours up and down the sidewalks, dreaming. I had the roller skates that required a key. (Wish I'd kept them.)
In those dreams I was Robbie Walton, John Boy’s wife or Robbie Brady, the 7th of the bunch. I was the Jacks Champion of the World, when I had time to compete, because of course, I was also the Roller Skating Gold Medalist, narrowly beating the East German competitor.
My dreams were my friends and we hung out a lot.
In all those days, though, I never once dreamed of being a writer. (Speaking is another story – I think I’ve wanted to be a speaker since I was 8 years old.)
Writing was what I did in my diary – the most boring diary ever written, by the way. 

 February 16th - Nothing happened.

But I would write songs for Donny Osmond since I knew it was only a matter of time before he came to Van Horn and asked me to join the group. I’d be ready. Writing was also what I did in making up little skits for our Girls in Action group at church or later on, our youth group.
I just did it and continued to do it in my many, many journals and in writing skits and plays for church and school. But I never dreamed that it would BE anything.
Then came Noah.
I was blessed to be able to stay home with Noah for a while here and there during his early years, but as he grew up and started preschool, my heart starting hurting. I didn’t like him being at after school care for so long and my long rehearsals after school with drama got to be draining.
God was changing my mind and my heart about my chosen vocation – teaching.  During a high school chapel service led by Chapin Marsh, God called me to start dreaming…about writing.
I thought, well why not write a novel? Naively I thought it would be no big deal. I’d taught English for years. Noah was two.
Today Noah is fourteen and yesterday I received boxes of my first novel, the same one I began when he was two. I’ve rewritten it at least ten times and it’s been rejected somewhere around 20 times. And in the last twelve years, I’ve dreamed of opening that box thousands of times.
It all started with dreaming – God-called dreaming. Then came the choice to actually sit down and write. Next the choice, covered by lots of prayer, to endure and persevere, when editor after editor and editor said no.

Today as I looked through my novel, I prayed a prayer of gratitude to the Father. And my mind went back to that little girl on Summer Street. She didn’t dream of writing, but she dreamed. She exercised her imagination which was the foundation for every fiction story or book I’ll ever write.  


Lynn said...

It gives me chills reading this! That, and maybe that the windows are open, and I have been sitting still for too long. Starts with a dream; maybe that is my signal to get up and get moving. Thanks, you always an inspiration!!

Amanda Dykes said...

I adored this, Robbie... sometimes our dreams take us completely by surprise, and we know they were planted and molded, tended with care, curved to every facet of our hearts and personalities, gifts and shortcomings, by our Beloved Jesus. I rejoice with you to see the fruit of your (and His!) faithfulness! Thanks for the gift of traveling small part of the road with you. :)

Robbie Iobst said...

Lynn, wrap up girl! It's sunny but chilly here in the Rockies. :) Thank you for reading and commenting and being my friend. :)

Robbie Iobst said...

Amanda, thank you! You inspire me. Your writing and your heart seem to be so intertwined and it is pure loveliness. I'm going to try to go back to Mount Hermon this year. I would love to see you. :)

Johny Solicitor said...

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Jan Parrish said...

Seriously beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes. I didn't realize how long this book had been marinating in your brain. I can't wait to read it - and buy some for gifts!