Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jan Karon and Inspiration

Been on the road a lot, so we’re listening to an audio version of Jan Karon’s In the Company of Others.

Love her. Love her writing.

In fact, I’d have to say she’s one of the top three writing influences in my life.

Her story, which I’m cobbling together from numerous sources over the years, continues to inspire me. In mid-life, she left a prestigious job in the advertising world and moved to Blowing Rock, North Carolina to try her hand at fiction writing. Things did not happen as quickly as she thought they might (do they ever?), and as resources dwindled, she subsisted on chicken soup and used Vaseline for night cream.

The editor of the local newspaper, The Blowing Rocket, serially published her first fiction manuscript to good response, and this would became the New York Times Best Seller, At Home in Mitford.

I came to know about Jan Karon when a dear friend, Becky, gave me Karon’s book, A Light in the Window. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve since purchased and read every book she’s ever written.

During the awful period in my life when I suffered from posttraumatic stress followed by cancer, I wrote a long letter to Karon to tell her how much her writing meant to me. When the pain would almost swallow me, I’d go to Mitford and find much consolation.

You can imagine my surprise when a few weeks later, I received a handwritten note from her, thanking me for the letter. And in her P.S., she suggested that perhaps I should write a book. That P.S. served to confirm something God was already speaking to my heart. So, I worked hard, and later sent her a couple of devotional manuscripts I’d put together.

A pastor’s wife approached me at one of our district meetings one evening some time later and said, “Oh, I saw you in Jan Karon’s newsletter.”

I immediately turned over my tea.

“What do you mean?”

“I picked up her newsletter at the book store and you’re in it.”

I couldn’t wait to get home and find the newsletter on line. Sure enough, there I was, her congratulting me for getting the manuscripts written and believing Phillipians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

So, you see, though I may never meet her in person, she’s like family to me. Her note from years ago hangs over my desk, and when I grow discouraged, I think about her thin soup days, and shiny face, and I draw strength to continue on this writing journey.


Kim said...

What an incredible story!

I am so glad that Jan took the time to encourage you to write.

And I am very grateful that you encourage me.

I'll try to pass it on...

teresa at Nonnie's Blessings said...

I have just happened onto your blog.

My favorite author of all times (short of the Holy Spirit (The Bible!) is Jan Karon. She pulls me along in this life with her inspiration and teachings straight from the Word.

I have read her books over and over, and never tire of them.

I will enjoy your blog! Another inspirational read....

Blessings to you and your hubby. (My husband had double knee replacement about five years ago). Push on with that book! I can't wait to read it!

teresa at nonniesblessings.blogspot.com

Terri Webster said...

This post just so touched my heart, Beverly.

Beverly Varnado said...

Terri, thank you for reading. Many blessings, Bev

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