A Pebble In the Pond


John William Waterhouse “Destiny” 1900

Our writing is important. Everything we write. We may not know the reach of it today or next year or ever. Our writing is a pebble in a pond. The ripples may travel beyond our time and place, but wherever they touch, we and our readers are changed in some way. Every once in a while we get to know how and when and where, moving by mystery and miracle. We get to know what shore that ripple touched. Recently I received the kind of message that makes it all worthwhile: the endless revisions, the inner gremlins, the rejections, the profound uncertainty, the crazy juggling act of writing, making a living, having a life. At that moment, a courageous mother was sitting by her daughter’s bedside at Children’s Hospital, reading my historical memoir on the BC salmon fishing industry, The Fisher Queen… remembering her life on the wilding west coast, and being inspired to pick up her laptop and keep going, keep writing, keep believing. She was working on her long-dormant manuscript as she sat vigil. She took the time to find my contact information and sent me the following email, sharing how my book lifted her up in a dark time…and I am so grateful, so inspired to keep going, keep writing, keep believing. Good thing I can weep & type at the same time.

…I am sitting in the BC Children’s Hospital with my 10 year old daughter who had surgery here last Thursday. I, just 2 minutes ago finished reading your book, The Fisher Queen and had already planned to email you when done. I have laughed, I have cried and felt like I was home again as I read your pages. I must tell you that the first time I had seen your book was in fact (as your colleague had said to you) standing in the gift shop on the ferry just this past Tuesday,  when your book caught my eye and I just “knew” I had to buy it! I too have that self same dream that you did whilst staring at the gift shop book shelf. You see, I am in actuality, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter… I am in fact writing about my growing up years, mostly at Nootka Light Station, but also about my parents and how they ended up on the lights for 42 years. (over 33 at Nootka) I keep getting side tracked, but I keep getting these nudges to get back to it, and finding your book is serving as my latest kick-in-the-pants 🙂 Thankfully I have my manuscript on my laptop here with me, so I now know what I will be doing to keep from going bonkers as I sit next to my daughter in hospital for the next week or more!… I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed your book and to say thanks for the indirect encouragement to keep writing!.. PS. Great news. Child is recovering and Mum is writing like crazy.
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