A warm welcome to my guest blogger, Nancy Ellen Hird, a contributing author to 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom.
What do you love most about being a mother?
My daughter is grown and married. While she was growing up, I loved listening to her. Yes, at times I felt like my ears would fall off—my daughter was a talker. But I really loved hearing her think out loud.
However, I didn’t start out that way. Initially, I was terrified of being the mom. I sometimes sat on the front steps, fantasizing that I was the babysitter and the real mom would return at any moment! God helped me get past all that. He showed me that with His help I could be my daughter’s mom (notice, not Mother of the Year, but her mom) and that I could enjoy it. I did. It was be a great and worthwhile adventure. An unexpected blessing was that because I went on it with God, I began to glimpse His heart.
What inspired you to write the story you submitted for 21 Days of Joy?
My sister and her husband formed their family through adoption. I was impressed with their courage and perseverance despite some big challenges.
What else have you written?
I am also a contributor to 21 Days of Love. “A Finger and a Big Toe” looks at the love between friends.
Recently big chunks of my time have been spent on my middle-grade novels. I Get a Clue was released in 2012 and We All Get a Clue should be released this year. In the novels, Libby Carlsen, an American, lives with Gran and Aunt Susannah in a B&B in Edinburgh, Scotland. Libby and her friends solve mysteries. They also learn about making friends, being members of a family, and having goals. I loved writing the novels.
What do you like most about writing?
I love the way God goes before me. I usually know the basics when I begin to do the actual writing, but then I find things—character traits and plot twists that I didn’t know were there. I also love doing research. It’s like going on a treasure hunt. I collect way more information than I ever use, but I love learning new things.
Share one of your most rewarding moments connected to your writing.
I can be somewhat of a timid person. Writing well sometimes demands that I forget about my fears. At the start of a trip to Edinburgh via London and Stratford-on-Avon with my husband and his theater students, I was not allowed to board the plane. My passport had expired, and my husband and I had failed to notice it. My husband left on the flight to London. He had to. I was sorely tempted to wallow in my error and forget the trip. There were just too many challenges and obstacles for someone like me! But interviews with people in Edinburgh that I needed to write my novel had already been arranged and I had to fact check other things. I needed to let God help me solve the problem. I did and He did. Three days later I arrived at my Edinburgh B&B with joy and amazement.
What parable that Jesus told do you resonate with? What would you change about the story if you could? What details would you want to add?
The parable of the talents used to scare me a little. But then I learned that a talent weighs 88 pounds (according to one source). Gold is selling at $1,240 an ounce, and there are 16 ounces to a pound. That’s a lot of wealth to entrusted a man with. I think Jesus is telling us that He gives us a lot to work with so we need not be afraid.
Thanks so much, Nancy, for sharing your heart with me and my followers.
Nancy Ellen Hird contributed to 21 Days of Love and 21 Days of Joy. Her novel, I Get a Clue, by Desert Fires Press is a mystery for girls, ages 10–13. She thinks critique partners and editors are worth twice their weight in gold. Nancy and her theater-professor husband live in California.