It’s difficult to finish a book. Here, hot off the press, is the postscript for my short story collection, Deep Roots.
Since it’s fresh, I’d appreciate your editorial input on grammar, clarity, etc. (i.e. “everything can be improved.”)
Book Title: Deep Roots: Stories that Matter
Epilogue: Why I Write:
“If you’re able to quit writing, you probably should.” _-Cec Murphey
I write for the simple joy of expression. I have fifty-one journals that I’ve filled with stories, dreams, ideas, and the journey of my life since age seventeen.
If I never published another single word, I’d still write. It’s part of who I am. It’s what I do. I guess it’s who I am. (how can I improve this section.)
I have one final story that expresses the reason that I publish and share my writing:
The man’s voice was so soft that I shifted the telephone receiver to hear better.
“Sir, you don’t know me, but I’ve read your book.”
I guessed that he was older than I am, and was struck by the strange blend of sadness and calmness in his words.
“I read your book in Angola Prison.”
The caller had my full attention. “Which book?”
“Stories from the Creekbank”
“How’d you get my book in Angola?”
“I don’t know how it got there, but God used it to change my life.”
I listened carefully. In spite of being a speaker, I had nothing to say.
“I made a promise that when I was released, I’d call and thank you. I’m keeping that promise.”
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t get his name. I was too touched to respond.
That was four years ago. I’d just started writing and speaking full time and had inner doubts as to if we’d make it.
But the gift of that man’s call was all I needed to move forward and take any risks needed to write, share, and grow.
I write for the two “I” words: Influence and Impact. I want my words to have a wide ripple effect of influence. I want them to travel to places I’ve never been.
Like Angola Prison.
Maybe like Angola, Africa.
I wish for my writing to have a deep-rooted impact into the hearts of readers. That’s impact.
I’ve thought about my Angola friend’s call many times. A humorous critic told me, “I know how your book got to Angola. Someone gave it to Goodwill.”
He closed with a wink. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
I’m sure he’s right. I have a faithful reader in Colfax that first “discovered” my books on top of a dumpster at the Grant Parish Landfill.
Where will this book that you’re holding travel to?
I hope it first lingers in your heart. I wish for impact and encouragement for you.
Who knows where it will go next? Feel free to keep it and re-read it over the years.
But you’ve also got my permission to pass it on if you’re finished with it. Share it with a friend . . . or send it to Goodwill.
Who knows where it’ll end up?
Like the fluttering pine seeds that helicopter-down from the pine cones, our words—written or spoken—can travel on the wind far beyond where we are.
Who knows where they’ll take root, grow, and grow deep into the soil? How could I reword this?
That’s why we call it Deep Roots.
Still digging, still growing,
Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or “Facebook me” or comment on this blog. Thanks!