Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dreams Do Come True -- Guest Blog by Jeri Gilchrist

by Jeri Gilchrist

As a child I discovered a worn blue folder with RING in bold letters on the front. It was a book that my father ~ my hero ~ had written, but never published. I was awestruck! My dream to become a writer began there with that precious book .
Back then, I was filled with crazy dreams and a wild imagination. I discovered I could go anywhere in the world and do anything I wanted by making up stories. What a wonderful pastime!
I had to grow up. My pretend world was set aside for that thing called reality. But at night I would tell my boys bedtime stories filled with action, suspense, humor, and even a little romance. We would escape to far away places and have adventures galore.
My second son, Bryan, was born with focal displasia. At the age of three he had to have a brain resection. The experience, although trying and testing beyond anything I thought I could endure, actually brought me closer to my Savior and strengthened my testimony.
About a year after the surgery, I met Kerry Blair at a book signing. Before I knew it, I'd confessed my dream: I wanted to be a writer. She said that if I could tell a really good story, with some hard work I could write a really good book. But where to start? I had little self-confidence and virtually no training or experience. Kerry's response was, "How will you know what you can do until you try?"
At this same time my angel mother was diagnosed with cancer. My heart was broken. Each month after she had her chemo treatments I would stay with her for a few days to help her through the worse part while my dad worked. Many friends and family members sacrificed to make this possible ~ especially my husband Brad and oldest son, Tyler. Thanks to them all, it was an incredible time for me.
While my mother slept, I went into their office to write. In the evenings when my father came home, we discussed what I'd written that day. My parents were wonderful about offering their thoughts and ideas.
Writing a novel was a long and often seemingly insurmountable process. I could scarcely turn on a computer, so I wrote the book by hand. I was six notebooks into it before I was finally willing to attempt to learn to type ~ and use a computer. Until I discovered back-up disks, I lost everything (more than once!) and all too often I wanted to give up.
Bryan’s seizures started again, my mother’s cancer spread, and I felt as though my world was crashing down. Heartache and stress made sleeping difficult, but I did make one incredible discovery. When life seemed unbearable, I flipped the computer on and entered a world where anything was possible.
The magic is still there. Through writing, I can escape to parts unknown where life is surely difficult but struggles are conquered and success is made sure. I gain a strength there, so when I turn the computer back off, I am rejuvenated and ready to face reality once again Though my mother passed away and my son's struggles continue, writing still offers me new worlds, happy endings, and increased power to overcome adversity ~ real and imagined!
So many have helped me with this process. My parents taught me to believe in my dreams. My husband and sons have shown me all that is worth dreaming for. My Heavenly Father has blessed me in ways I could never have imagined. Through it all I have learned that dreams really do come true.

Jeri has published two romantic suspense novels with Covenant: Out of Nowhere and The Perfect Plan. Her third book, Shadow of the Crown, comes out in August! It is a true labor of love, set in and around breathtaking Copenhagen, Demark, Jeri's ancestral home. You can read an excerpt and learn more about Jeri -- HERE.

Her website is www dot jerigilchrist dot com - in case you want to look later, or I mess up the link as usual.


At 6/06/2008 1:48 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks for the beautiful guest post, Jeri!

At 6/06/2008 9:01 PM, Blogger Stephanie Abney said...

Hi Jeri ~

Nice to see you here. I went to your website and think it is lovely. I also read the excerpt from your new novel and now, I want to know what happens next. Guess that's what you were going for, right? Great job!!

Well, if you were in town, I'd give you another foot rub (that's been quite a few years, hasn't it?). Good luck with the new novel.

Stephanie Abney
Mesa, AZ

At 6/06/2008 9:07 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

I love your cover and look forward to reading your new book.

At 6/07/2008 9:53 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Inspiring story! Thank you for sharing it.

I'm looking forward to reading Shadow of the Crown.

At 6/07/2008 2:21 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Powerful post. Thanks!

I'm firmly a member of the camp that believes in writing as therapy. I've known friends who, when going through a tough time, threaten to stop writing--and then I jump down their throats about it, because I know that when you're dealing with a burden, writing can be the best way to handle it.

I'm glad you kept on writing. (Now I need to read your books!)

At 6/07/2008 8:20 PM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Amen, Jeri and Annette. That's how I coped with my dad's death years ago. I've been hooked on writing ever since.

Good blog, Jeri. ;)

At 6/10/2008 9:43 AM, Anonymous Jeri Gilchrist said...

Thank you for your comments everyone. It's been fun for me to read what you all have to say.

Thank you Kerry, for allowing me to be a guest on such a cool blog. Everyone does such an amazing job here!


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