Richard Lawrence Belford is a writer/photographer whose favorite poem is Footprints. He loves how it’s meaningful last line makes him feel, no matter how many times he, reads it.
He never considered writing that seriously until about twelve years ago. It was then that his Mother approached his Father, Brothers and him about an article she had read. In it, a family had decided that during a one-year period they were all going to write a personal memento about how they felt about one another for their respective birthdays. His Mother thought that they should do the same thing, claiming they would make wonderful keepsakes. She was right.
They were all horrified, "imagine grown men writing down their feelings!" Nevertheless, they all set to work. It was surprising to Richard how freely the words seem to flow onto the page. Not surprisingly, what he wrote always seemed to end with a meaningful last line.
After that first year past, he started to write more frequently being particularly inspired by others near and dear to his heart. Unfortunately, that not only meant writing on happy occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, but through tragedies as well.
Although it was gratifying when family and friends thought his writing good, he needed to know what others thought and it did not take long to find out, as hundreds of rejection letters would attest. He continued undaunted honing his craft, believing that inspirational writing was becoming more popular than ever and always sending out three more submissions for every rejection received.
On his motivation to write Richard says: “We all have experiences in life, mine have been neither more extraordinary nor less engaging than anyone else's, but have involved universally heartfelt sentiments, I feel should be shared, He also feels: “A good verse or sentiment is born from true emotion and are like songs for those of us who cannot sing.”
It is to this end that he continued submitting his writing for publication having met with some very modest success with his parables being published by:
Poetic Hours, of the Dreamland's Poetry Group (Erran Publishing, Nottingham, England.)
The Canadian Writer's Journal (New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada.)
Penned From The Heart (Son-Rise Publications, New Wilmington Pennsylvania, United States.)
Spirituality For Today (Clemons Productions Inc., Greenwich Connecticut, United States.)
Mountain Wings (Mountain Wings.com, Atlanta Georgia, United States.)
Richard then began to illustrate his writing with his photography, feeling that illustration would not only help broaden it’s appeal, but also that of the image used and first had his inspirational illustrations featured in the May 2007 issue of England’s Max Publishing’s Progressive Greetings Magazine.
He has also had his writing published in the September 2010, January 2011, July 2011 & June 2012 issues of the United Kingdom's largest circulation funeral magazine, Mulberry Publication's Funeral Service Times. His inspirational illustrations have also been published by the following:
Funeral Home & Cemetery News, Nomis Publications Inc., Youngstown, Ohio, United States.
Funeral Business Advisor, Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Funerals Today Magazine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
Funeral Service Journal, Worthing, West Sussex, England.
One of his poems “A Mother’s Work Is Never Done” was sent to The Duke of Cambridge Prince William, prior to his 2011 Canadian Royal Tour that visited Richard’s home town of Ottawa, Ontario and marked the country’s 144th birthday on July 1st. The very day his late Mother Diana would have celebrated her 50th birthday. A letter returned from St James Palace said that Prince William was deeply touched by Richard’s words of support & encouragement and included His Royal Highness’s warmest thanks & heartfelt best wishes.
He was then published in the August 2011 issue of the United Kingdom's highest circulation business magazine for publishers, suppliers, buyers and retailers of greetings cards, Lema Publishing's Greetings Today Magazine, where he was not only fortunate enough to have" A Mother's Work is Never Done" and the letter from Prince William referenced, but also had his insights regarding inspirational writing quoted throughout their feature article on verse, sentiment & sympathy.
Richard would not only like to have his artwork serve the bereavement market in registry books, acknowledgement cards & service folders, but also on cremation urns & memorial plaques and would eventually like to see his inspirational illustrations published, as open edition prints, wall plaques and bookmarks, similar to the very successful way in which the Footprints poem has been.
In fact, his writing is now being offered on a new product line of inspirational wall plaques designed by Reed Photo Art & Imaging of Denver, Colorado and are available for retail purchase at either signsforyourlife.com or amazon.com. They will also be available at over 6000 gift shops throughout the Western United States and can be purchased wholesale by retailers through asignofwisdom.com.
Whatever else happens, he will always remember the way he felt when seeing his name in print for the first time and it never changes, no matter how many times, he reads it.
A married Father of two daughters and the eldest of three sons, Richard grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His favorite high school subject growing up was English and by no strange coincidence one in which he actually excelled.
He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org