What?! You think I should be a college instructor? But I’m a stay-at-home mom with a rapidly emptying nest. I’m a college dropout! How am I supposed to earn all those degrees necessary to qualify me to teach college students? That’s for my three older siblings, all of whom have earned their doctoral degrees and teach in major universities.
Besides, I’m no great intellectual. I just want to be a writer. Look. See this manuscript? I wrote this while my kids were in school. That is, after I did the dishes and laundry and vacuuming.
What? You say I can do both, become a writer AND a college instructor? Sure. And climb Mt. Everest in my spare time.
When I was a girl, I did have a dream. First, I would marry my one true love. Next, we would have four children (two girls and two boys) before we turned thirty.
Then, since they would all be grown by the time we turned fifty, I would find something new and wonderful to do with the second half of my life. It just took me a while to figure out what that wonderful thing was.
As our four children began to reach high school and to need me less and less, I started thinking seriously about setting some goals. Having a very busy imagination, I had always wanted to write books. In fact, I completed that one novel, but feared my English skills needed polishing. So a friend at church (a college professor) encouraged me to go back to school. In 1986 I started college the same semester as our eldest child. In four years, I earned my bachelor’s degree in creative writing.
Using what I had learned, I whipped that novel into shape and took it to a writers conference, where an editor liked it enough to buy it. Just after my fiftieth birthday, my first novel, Once There Was a Way Back Home, was published by Crossway Books. Then they published my second novel, The Homecoming. My new career had begun! But by now I had conceived even more dreams for my future through the inspiration of my children.
When our younger son and daughter were college students, I chanced to visit my daughter's creative writing class. Her instructor, a former classmate of mine, invited me to make a few remarks to the class. That's when it hit me. Hey, I can do this! I can teach college level writing! This made my friend at church very happy. She had been urging me to continue my education for some time. But once again, I needed more education to reach my goal. In a short time, I was enrolled as a graduate student, and in another four years, I had earned my Master of Liberal Studies degree. My thesis was, of course, a novel entitled Ahab's Bride.
Master's degree in hand, I applied for the position of adjunct English professor at a local college. Just two months short of my fifty-fifth birthday, I started another new career, one that still gives me time to write and introduces me to some wonderful college students of all ages.
So, yes, I’m a college instructor. I don’t like to refer to myself as a “professor” because I think that designation belongs to folks with their PhD degrees, like my illustrious siblings. And even with a master’s degree, even teaching English literature and humanities, I would never call myself an intellectual. I’m just the same wife and mom who had a dream and had enough encouragers along the way to help me reach my goals.
So…what is YOUR dream? What will it take to get you there? Maybe your path will be easier than mine. Or it may take you to the foothills of your own Mt. Everest that you must climb to reach your goal. One thing is sure. If you don’t take that first step, you’ll never make it to the summit.
I would love to give away a set of my Revolutionary War novels from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical imprint. If you would like to be entered into the drawing, just leave a comment and tell us what your dream is and what you’re doing to achieve it. The winner must live in the U. S. A. or Canada. Also, the winner is responsible for the legalities regarding giveaways in your location.
Wow, Louise, what a life you've had so far! Thank you so much for sharing your story. My dream? Hmm...can I get back to you on that? I am currently writing a book about how to be a hands on grandmother. It is coming along very slowly. And I have a devotional that I put together with a wonderful author. I guess my dream would be to have them both published, so that I can help bless others.ReplyDelete
As a grandmother, I would be very interested in your hands-on book. Let us know when it's publsihed.Delete
Louise, I love this look into your life. I've taken some classes at a community college over the last several years. I'm one class shy of getting my associates in which ever associated I choose. Sounds kind of funny, but I've taken enough classes that I could have the science, arts or general.ReplyDelete
What sort of classes did you have to take in order to teach at the college level? Not that I want to teach at college level but it would be nice to have some credentials.
Hey Louise. What is it about wanting to do something with our lives when our children graduate? LOL. I guess we realize they've kept us so busy we need something to do with them out of school. My dream beyond publishing is we are looking for land to build a home and have a small hobby farm when we retire. Now granted that is many years down the road but it's never to early to start planning.ReplyDelete
A hobby farm sounds like fun, Debbie Lynne. We did some successful vegetable gardening when we lived in Colorado, but here in Florida, I can't seem to grow a thing! Go figure!Delete
Louise, It's great to learn more about you. We have something in common in that my first book, a novella actually, was released close to my 50th birthday. I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks, huh? I admire you for getting your degrees.ReplyDelete
I just don't have the desire to go back and get mine. Congratulations on your writing success and becoming a college instructor.
My dream now is to finish my next book by deadline. My really big dream is to see one of my books made into a movie.
Thank you, Vickie. I was so reluctant to go back to school and often wanted to quit. But I'll quickly agree that it's not for everyone. You've done very well without the degrees, so why torture yourself? LOL!Delete
Christina, I took the required general courses for my AA, then earned the BA in creative writing, which included a lot of literature courses. My master of liberal studies was focused on literature, too, along with the required broad range of subjects. Hence the designation "liberal." Not as in political liberal. Heehee.ReplyDelete
Love the look into your life. my dream I am not sure. (at present to have my wrist healed.) But I do need to find work and that is not easy here. My ideal job would be promoting christian fiction and working in this industry, maybe organising blog tours or even helping authors create the graphics for blogs and helping ones who need it set up a blog or even helping with a webpage. I am a co-founder of a free blog alliance Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and love doing this. I have helped a couple of authors set up a blog and would love to do more of this.ReplyDelete
Wow, Jenny, it never ceases to amaze me that we can communicate with people on the other side of the world! When I was a girl, I had penpals in Scotland and France, and it took forever for our letters to go back and forth. It sounds like you have been busy with the writing world. Don't give up on your dreams.Delete
Thanks for sharing about your life. I really enjoyed your post. As for my dream, well I'm really not sure what it is at the moment. I think right now I am content the way everything is going and just very fortunate I have my job. Still, I think later on I would like to further my education and return to school when the timing is right and possibly persue a degree in the hospitality industry.ReplyDelete
Katie, there is no greater gift than being content with where you are that the moment. Your future dreams sound wonderful!Delete
What fun to read all about your writing journey, dear friend. Though I knew most of your story, I did learn a few new things. As you know, my dream parallels your own. Love the pictures, especially the one in front of the boat. :) Keep writing those amazing books, Louise. You're a true inspiration to me.ReplyDelete
And you are a true inspiration to me, Ramona! Hugs.Delete
Louise I love your humble spirit and determination! It's been great to get to know you better. No need to enter me, I just wanted to say hi.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by, Kathy!Delete
My dream is to go to Europe. One day I will get there until now I just plan what I want to do while I am there. Thank you for the giveaway -ReplyDelete
griperang at embarqmail dot com
Hi, Angela. I wish you the best in realizing your dreams. I went to Europe one time, and the trip was a special highlight in my life.Delete
I would love to receive the series of your books alsoReplyDelete
I became a fan of yours when I read book one of Ahab's Legacy, and could hardly wait for book two and three. I had never read anything about the whaling industry and the story of Ahab. I'll admit, I was transplanted back to that time in history with your engaging style of writing.ReplyDelete
Louise, thanks for such an inspirational post. Mt. Everett, here we come...ReplyDelete
Hi Janalyn, Beth is right, you have an engaging style of writing. One of the writers in our Colorado/New Mexico critique group writes fantasy. I admit that I was faint of heart when I needed to critique the first three chapters. That isn't my genre or reading experience. A friend recommended DawnSinger as a good example of quality writing. It was very helpful and my critique was more balanced than it would have been otherwise.ReplyDelete
Good morning, Ms. Gouge! :)ReplyDelete
That is one thing that always struck me odd, is how no one likes to be called a Professor anymore! :( I never based the designation on which degree a college teacher had, but rather, I wanted to acknowledge them as a teacher past secondary school! I always thought being called a Professor was a compliment? Perhaps I'm a step out of time... I think its remarkable what you were able to accomplish and experience out of the gentle pushings of those who knew you best! :) What blessings you must give your students!!
My dream is the same as yours: to become a published author! I have loved writing from a very young age, and I love everything that goes into the craft! From knee deep research to creating impressionable characters who have a lot to say and share about what they've learnt in their lives! I love stories that get you wrapped up in another time and place, to where its a refreshing break from your own life!
I am not sure if I am too late for your bookaway, but please enter me if I'm not! :)