JBeaWilson's Writing Journey

JBeaWilson's Writing Journey

There was a time when I wanted to be Stephen King. I got over it. Kinda.

Raise the curtain on a seventh-grade classroom. A jolly middle-aged English teacher with frizzy strawberry-blonde curls, a bright toothy grin, and rhinestone-studded spectacles magnifying the top half of her face is reading out loud. The room buzzes with focus, as every pubescent student present is rapt with attention—even the daydreamy girl in equally large glasses, the hyperactive boy bouncing at a corner desk, and the bully usually engaged in spitball harassment. Suddenly, the room erupts with communal laughter, teacher and students giggling nearly uncontrollably—together—at Stephen King’s incredulous tale “The Lawnmower Man.”

Even if consent forms had been in vogue in the early 1980s, I doubt many respective parents would’ve protested to that dramatic reading of pulp fiction, especially on witnessing its power to unite a group of awkward, small-town kids that otherwise struggled mightily to get along. Whatever the teacher’s goals for that lesson (well-planned, I bet, or maybe she just needed some comic relief herself), this daydreamer came away recognizing the power of a skillful performance with words, lone ciphers on flimsy paper. There were no pictures, no costumes, but the images in my mind were as vivid as Technicolor television, and the telling was universally enjoyed.

I’d love to say I then proceeded to write my own short fiction happily ever after, but despite the hard-won encouragement of an austere high school English teacher, I was easily discouraged by the prospect of a starving artist’s life. By the time I finished college, I laid down my fiction-writing pen for an editorial one.

After three decades as a freelance copyeditor, I took up the challenge of writing short stories that bless. I’m a student of both the challenge and the blessing, so I’m inviting subscribers to my Lift! newsletter to contribute inspiration to my short fiction through survey feedback and my Inspired mixers.

Subscribe to receive a monthly Lift! in your in-box and invitations to participate in the Inspired fun!