By Mary Manners
My dad’s birthday is today. He would be turning eighty. It’s amazing, looking back over the memories, how quickly the time has passed since he first encouraged me to pursue my love of writing.
Dad has always been my hugest inspiration. Long ago, when I was barely a teenager in the early days of my middle school journey, I came home following a particularly rough day to find him sitting on the front porch waiting for me so he could ask about my day. I joined him on the concrete landing and he spent a good hour listening while I vented about the trials and tribulations of being a thirteen-year-old in a cruel, cruel world. I imagined he had no idea what I was going through, since he couldn’t have possibly ever been as young as thirteen. Little did I know!
The next day, Dad came home with a small treasure for me–a poster with the most forlorn-looking bloodhound sitting in a washtub full of soap bubbles that had been dumped over his head. The caption read, “Was today really necessary?” Well, I knew exactly how the unfortunate mutt felt.
Dad helped me mount the poster in a place of honor on my bedroom wall, and then we sat together and talked some more. That’s when I began to understand the power of adversity in shaping who I am as well as my life’s path.
Today, I use the trials of my life–both the small inconveniences that jab like bony fingers along my rib cage as well as the tsunamis that sweep through to wash away any semblance of sanity–to shape and mold my writing. Characters come alive when their story is infused with nuances of my personal trials. In daily tribulations I find a never-ending fount of inspiration. The passion to write the next story burns continuously inside me, and with every detour that comes my way I know that the round-about will lead to another exciting chapter.
My dad succumbed to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma fifteen years ago, but his memory is alive and well in the poster that has traveled with me through the decades. It now holds a place of honor on the wall across from my office desk. Each time I glance up to read the caption, I smile and think, “Yes, today is really necessary and thank you, God, for allowing me another breath, another test…and another chapter in both life and the writing world.”
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance author who lives at the beautiful shores of Jax Beach with her husband, Tim. She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and ocean-blue sunsets.
Mary believes everyone has a story to tell, and she loves to share hers. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels–something for everyone.
Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.