For twenty years, my writing energy spilled Christian education curriculum and materials for church leaders. Meanwhile, I wrote plays and other dramatic material. From my chronic illness support group lectures and discussions I gleaned material that became HARPS IN THE WILLOWS: STRENGTHS FOR REINVENTING LIFE. About that time I was reinventing my own life due to multiple sclerosis, so the book also came from many adventures in my own experience.
Work with persons within the disabilities community compelled me to write my first QUICK LOOK FOR VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS: A GUIDE FOR AIDING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, a little book to fit in responders’ pockets or to be visible and quick reference on a teachers desk. Since 2011, it has proven to be a success. It works!
The second Quick Look Book, EVERY CHILD CAN BLOOM IN THE INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM, is for Sunday School teachers and other teachers who work anywhere with children, and gives practical ways to tweak teaching to make comfort zones for everyone. It’s just out in August, 2015.
The mosquitoes nearly got me as I collected experiences for the book THE RELUCTANT IMMIGRANT. I set out to visit and experience the trail my reluctant immigrant, Rika, and other Germans would have taken inland. First stop: an historical marker on the beach at Indian Point. When I stepped out of the car, 3,002 (times 3 million) hungry mosquitoes with sharp proboscis engulfed me. Those same mosquitoes engulf Rika and her family in the first chapter.
Set with three stories of secrets and romance, THE RELUCTANT IMMIGRANT is now set into a collection, THE LONG ROAD HOME ROMANCE COLLECTION, with three books by Judi Ann Ehresman. Immigrants to the western United States face common hardships, but their personal adaptations are as varied as the landscape.
Drama is a fantastic entertainment, but also a great teaching tool. I think in pictures, so it’s easy for me plot, cast and write teaching skits and other plays. FUN WITH DRAMA and MORE FUN WITH DRAMA, my first two drama books were designed for teenagers. These were followed by the strangely named ABINGDON’S INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAMS, PLAYS, READINGS, SKITS AND MORE written to promote interaction between persons of different ages. I am now compiling a book of skits and participation stories for persons with special needs to be published by Ramps’nthings Press.
Books are born in what you see, hear, feel and in how you observe personal relationships all around you. These things get saved back in the holy (or holey) recesses of the mind where they quietly swirl together until ideas take tangible form. This is the way it works for me. Or, within this framework, I may see a problem or issue and possible solution and I feel compelled to write about it.