Today I picked up the newspaper on my front porch called "The Brant Connection". Normally it goes straight from the porch into my blue box, but not today. I recognized the woman on the front page: she was holding a book titled On Call for God. That's it! Before I even opened the newspaper to read the article, I realized that I met the woman in the photograph last summer at the Brantford Writing Workshop held in the Laurier Brantford building beside the public library. Mirella van der Zyl, a local woman, had written a series of stories about her life as a chaplain. Unassuming, she was not the first person I had in mind to publish a book. However, the story that she read about a Christian harbouring a Jew during World War II was captivating.
I clipped out the article and posted it on my fridge as a reminder that stories do get published. Mirella is an example of a writer who, despite the naysayers, persevered to see her book in print. One minute she was taking a course with me in downtown Brantford on how to get published and the next minute she was talking to a reporter from the Brantford Expositor about the finished product. Before you know it, she will go into the local bookstore and see her story on the shelf; or do a search of authors on the public library website and find her name; or visit a local radio station to promote her book. Mirella can officially say that she is a published author now, regardless of whether she has one book or one hundred books in print. She can hold the book in her hands and see her name on the cover.
Furthermore, it is reassuring to know that, even in the 21st century, people still want to read about God. I was reminded yesterday that the number one bestseller of all time is still the Bible. While the topic may not be politically correct, it is real and every reader can relate to it. While dinosaurs and vampires are passe, God is timeless.
I will save this newspaper clipping to remind me that Mirella's dream came true. Maybe mine will, too. Congratulations, Mirella!
Cartoon courtesy http://fr.toonpool.com/