From earliest memories, Linda wanted to be a writer. Before she could read or write, she would scribble on paper. She would hand it to her mother or father and say, “I wrote a story. Read it to me, please.” They would oblige, making up stories to delight her imagination. Linda would giggle and clap her hands.
Years flew by. Before she knew it, she’d married, and then it seemed overnight, her kids were grown and gone. That’s when her dream came back. Oh, she’d dabbled in writing over the years, even won a few contests in school. Now she would devote her time to writing, dreaming of becoming the author of the next great American novel.
“Ugh,” she wept to her husband, Paul. “Everyone wants to be a writer. I never dreamed it would be this hard to get a break, to find an agent or publisher. I thought all I needed was to pour my imagination onto paper, and people would be clamoring to offer me a contract.”
“Ah, honey, it’s only been a year. Keep writing. I believe in you. You can always publish yourself, you know? Don’t give up. ” Paul grinned and nudged Linda with his elbow. “If God’s in it, He’ll make a way.”
Another six months and Linda only managed to get a couple of short stories published in magazines. Discouraged and disillusioned, she decided to give up her pursuit of becoming a novelist. But, she started a blog about being a pastor’s wife. Her blog was hilarious, sad, heart-wrenching and joyful. Within months, she’d had followers, and more hits a day than she could keep track of.
In one of those miraculous flukes that every writer prays for, she was contacted by a publisher who wanted to tweak her blog into a devotional book. She was thrilled, and more so when book had moderate success. Linda was humbled, and praised God for it. “But, I really want to write fiction,” she told Paul.
“And you will, honey. This is getting your foot in the door.”
Churches and women’s groups began inviting her to speak, and sell her book. By the time she was asked to be a workshop teacher at a writers’ conference, she found herself struggling to keep pride from creeping into her heart.
“I knew I’d make it big someday, Paul. Now my name’s on a brochure as a workshop teacher for a conference.” She sighed contentedly as she packed her suitcase.
“Fame is fickle, honey. I’m proud of you, but please, just stay my sweet Linda.” Paul grabbed her suitcase. “You look beautiful. New blouse?”
“Uh-huh, and tailored slacks. Don’t I look nice? I feel confident and professional. Can you hear the slight rustle of this blouse’s taffeta fabric? The sound reminds me to walk with poise.”
When they arrived at the airport, Paul walked her inside before leaving. Linda couldn’t stop smiling, especially after she saw her book on a rack of inspirational books in the airport gift shop. She bought one just for the joy of doing so.
After using the restroom, she slowly made her way to her gate. Her confidence grew as people continually smiled and nodded at her. She felt her face flush with pleasure and she bounced with each step.
Wow, people are noticing me. Maybe some have read my book and recognize me. Perhaps it’s because I look so good in my outfit. Why, even my blouse is rustling louder.
When she got in line with other passengers waiting to board the plane, she noticed several people staring at her. She smiled pleasantly and was surprised when a few dropped their gazes and looked embarrassed.
Before Linda could wonder about it, she noticed a lady grinning widely who was holding her book in her hand. She returned the smile and the lady walked towards her.
I bet she wants me to autograph my book.
The lady stood close enough for their shoulders to touch, leaning forward to whisper, “Uh, Mrs. Martin, I think you picked up something extra in the restroom.”
Once she got over the embarrassment, it made a good story to share at the conference about how she had walked through the airport with what she thought was the rustling of her blouse, but was the paper toilet seat cover flapping behind her that she had somehow managed to tuck into the waistband of her slacks.
Paul will be pleased to know life has a way of keeping me humble.
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