I sat yesterday at lunch with our local Catholic Book Club, Colonna, as Mary Margaret Lambert spoke on her life as a writer. Her wonderful tale of waiting for her writing life to develop around her commitment to her family was moving. She writes a column for our Catholic Newspaper, The Tennessee Register, and was introduced by our president as the dessert of the newspaper, the part everyone saves for last because it leaves us wanting more and because it's rich with flavor. This time spent with this writer made me realize that I rarely write about my writing life. And so, as if you asked...
I generally write around raising children and working full time at St. Mary's Bookstore. I love to write when I'm writing and I love to be with my children when I'm with them and I love buying for and working in the bookstore when I'm there. I wake at 5 a.m., start coffee and write. At 6:20, I wake the first of the four at home and start getting them off to school. I'm at St. Mary's by 8:15 and have started writing in the quiet of the first floor balcony until other workers arrive. At 2:30, I go home and meet my children for a snack and homework and athletic practices. I write between their needs. Dinner and bedtime and a few more words, then I sleep...well, 'til 5 a.m., when my day begins again.
I am writing a 365 day meditation for Our Sunday Visitor right now and am so, so, so close to finishing. The release date is 2012. I have a gift book on Christ, like the Illustrated Mary and Saints books, coming out this summer, I hope. I am writing many, many more lives of Saints stories to be sent to Italy and published in pamphlets for Bonella. And, my next big project, I hope, is a prayer book for youth.
I love to write and I love to be with my family and I love to work at the bookstore and be around my wonderful coworkers and customers. (Not necessarily in that order.) I started to title this, The Joy of Writing and Parenting and Buying and Selling and... I write, long hand, what I believe is being asked of me to write. I love the Catholic Faith and want to spread the fascinating stories of the Saints and of Mary and of the Bible and of His love and of our lives with Him in this hectic world. And, I want to grow up to be just like these great women who have been writing longer than I have and who speak of The Joy of Writing.
At the end of her talk, Mary Margaret left us with a quote from Erma Bombeck that I absolutely love:
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”