Saturday, October 07, 2006

My friend Shannon

I met Shannon at a church picnic. Balancing paper plates and soft drinks in our hands, we happened to sit at the same picnic table. The first moments filled with the usual quick niceties, the forgettable things you say to a stranger.

Then, somehow, we both mentioned something startling--I'm a writer, one of us said. Me too, the other replied.

What do you like to write?
I asked, which I find myself asking casually when someone says they're a writer. Lots of different things, Shannon said. She continued, I was involved in a writers group a few years ago, but would love to be in one now..... What was she saying? Me too! I exclaimed.

Then I took a breath. It's not uncommon to meet someone who dabbles in writing, but in talking with this lovely woman, I learned she'd put in some serious time writing, as had I. In a flash, I sensed the potential for a much greater friendship, the rare kind that allows instant communication and understanding.

Forgetting all about the chicken and potato salad on my plate, I asked breathlessly, You're a REAL writer? Yes, she said, her face lighting as if she also became aware of the meaning of this moment. Suddenly, we laughed together at the wonderful, amazing coincidence. Then we laughed at the incredible luck of finding each other. And we laughed at other similarities, like being mothers and wives and having birthdays in August. And we couldn't stop talking about writing.

So it was that Shannon and I started meeting in our own little writer's group, just the two of us (at first), laughing that we were the "blind leading the blind." Over time, our twosome became a threesome, then a group of five--a fabulous working writers' group of women with amazing talent, drive, humor, and smarts. These women brought to our monthly get-togethers a love for each other and a desire to serve God in this calling of writing.

And I believe in giving credit where credit is due. It was only after Shannon started reading and critiquing my work, along with best friend and author Joan (Rawlins Biggar) Husby, that I began to see my work published. It's thanks to them and the other amazing ladies in my cozy little writers' group that I began my serious growth as a writer. Thank you, Joan, Carolyn, Sylvia, and Shannon.

So it's with great pride and awe to see Shannon rocket into publishing. She's an incredible writer with deeply touching insights that always, always make me cry. It's not easy to write what someone is thinking, much less feeling, and her ability to pull back the veil and help me and others see truth in the light of God's word is breathtaking. I am truly honored to call Shannon Woodward my friend.

Please visit her blog for special inspiration at For an extra dose of blessing, consider getting her books as a gift for you or a friend:
  • A Whisper In Winter: Stories Of Hearing God's Voice In Every Season Of Life
  • Inconceivable: Finding Peace in the Midst of Infertility