Monday, March 18, 2013

Great fan letter!

Dear Reid,
My name is Martha and we meet briefly at a book signing for Barnes and Noble in Salt Lake City, Utah this past summer. At that time you suggested I read your first of two books and then asked me to write to you and let you know what I thought. You signed my book and ,wrote “bet you can’t read just one”. Well, you were right,2 days later I was purchasing the 2nd book. In less than a week I completed both books. What a treat! Thank You, Thank you, Thank you, for introducing me to your beautiful gift of writing. There aren’t a lot of writers that touch my heart and soul the way these books have.
I follow your web site, and was pleased to read that you are taking a little more time with the 3rd book. Taking your time to listen to your characters as they tell you their stories, without rushing them with deadlines. That means a lot to me as a reader. It is amazing to know that there is another that feels the energy of this life as I do. People that are moved by a breath taking sunrise or sunset. The sounds and smells of nature and all it has to teach us. The grounding effect of the earths energy as I stand on its surface and feel part of all that is. I look into the sky and can’t imagine the expanse of it. The beauty of the stars on a clear night. The sounds of the birds welcoming a new day and the sound of crickets ushering the night. The sounds the smells. The belief that we are all part of that essence of life. Your writing assisted me in experiencing and remembering many of my own experiences. Love-loss, joy-sorrow, happiness-sadness, loneliness, despair, grief and pain, all those things that mold us into who we are. All these experiences can make us or break us, but hopefully make us stronger, more loving and kind, more peaceful. Time will tell I suppose.
Upon completing these two books, I realized there was a stirring in me, a memory of other stories, I hadn’t read for years. Stories of my ancestors, most of which came from the lands across the seas. Wales, Scotland and England. Some of them came here due to a love for adventure, but most of them desired a concept called “freedom”- freedom from want, freedom from slavery, freedom of religion and the freedom of God’s incredible gift, free agency. Many came because they could own land and own their own home- a dream denied to most in Europe. The stories began with my Great, great Grandparents, John and Martha Timothy, leaving their home in Cardigan, Wales; traveling to the port of Liverpool, England. They boarded the sailing ship, SS John J Boyd on April 23, 1862, and prepared for the 600 mile journey at sea. They had 4 young children at that time ages 6,4,3 and 1, and Martha was 5 months pregnant with my great grandmother, also Martha, who was to be born in a wagon somewhere along the Platt/Wood River in Nebraska. As I reread these stories once again, I sobbed like a baby. I had forgotten for a moment, the trials they endured preparing to leave Wales, but also their journey on the ship and their travels once they arrived on this great land, to settle here in Utah. Their trials didn’t end with their arrival here, it only began.
As I completed reading the two stories of my Great Great Grandparents and then my
Great Grandparents, I bowed my heart and my head in reverence and gratitude thanking them and God for their sacrifices, that my Grandfather, my Father and myself had the opportunity to be born in this beautiful land. May I always live worthy of their sacrifices. I’m so grateful that my children have such a heritage. I’m grateful for them and the memories I have from that past experience. And to think those stories are just from one of my parents, my Fathers side, and my Mothers people came from Scotland and England. All have Martha’s in them, and Ellyn’s,  my middle name. How blessed I feel to be their namesake.
Wow! I guess you know how your writing has affected me, and that’s just a few ways.  Please, please continue to listen to your Muses and they’ll show you the stories to be told and the lives and experiences to share. Hope to have the opportunity of having another book signed. I hope Salt Lake will be on your list of stops.

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