By Joan S. Hust
I give credit to my mother. At a very young age my mother had me take my pencil and go over her shopping list every week letter by letter. She would sharpen my pencil with a sharp kitchen knife and I would carefully trace over every letter. She made it like we were playing a game. Then as time went on I would begin to write the entire word, sound it out and all of a sudden I would say the new word out loud, and together we would make up one sentence after another and eventually it would turn in to a story. Sometimes I would even make up a tune using the word, and both of us would sing, and end up laughing.
My mother was a voracious reader. She read every page of the local newspaper. She would remind me that daddy bought the newspaper for us to read. At that time my daddy did not read or write. He signed his paychecks with an x. As I learned to read and write he would sit down beside me at the kitchen table after a fourteen hour seven day a week workday, and I would teach him everything that I learned that day in school.
We did not own a book till I was in Junior High School. One of my aunts, the niece of my dad sent me three books for Christmas. It was so thrilling for me to have books of my own. I still have those books. I have written and published my first book COAL MINER’S GRANDDAUGHTER. I have found that there is healing power in writing. I learned a lot from writing my first book so my second book should be better. I have just finished writing my second book AFRICA TALES, and it will be published as soon as my graphic artist finishes the sketches for it.
I am not quite sure yet but even though I am eight decades and a few months old I still have another story in mind as my younger son reminded me the other day that I have been in 37 countries teaching, mission work and believe it or not as a tourist.