August 4, 2020 – Roger W. Lowther
What do you think about the three R’s of reading, writing, and arithmetic? Are they something you do in your spare time? Are they the first thing you want to do in the morning? Or the last thing you want to do at night?
Personally, I hated them. Reading was odious to me, a chore, something that had to be done — for a class, for a meeting, research for a concert. Writing too was the same — endless emails, website updates, proposals, etc. Arithmetic? Well, that was my major in college as an applied physicist. I really enjoyed it but have not done much with it since.
In this year of COVID-19, changes have been happening. I find myself in some kind of cocoon, and have yet to see what kind of creature I will emerge as. I really don’t know what is happening, but I can look back and see small things in my life that have brought me here.
In 2019, Wipf and Stock published my first book, The Broken Leaf. That book was an attempt to capture some of the stories of what God has been doing in Japan over the past decade. In the process of writing that book, I realized I had a lot more stories to share. I am almost finished with my second book, Aroma of Beauty, which tells stories of how God worked in the days immediately following the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in 2011, and I have already made a lot of progress on my third book.
In an attempt to get these stories to more people, I have even started a podcast Art, Life, Faith. I only have one episode so far, but in the months and years ahead, I look forward to “speaking” with you and encouraging you with some of these stories while you exercise, travel somewhere, or wash the dishes (the three main times I listen to podcasts).
I now enjoy reading. It is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. I now also enjoy writing, not just to get the stories “out there,” but to get them inside me also, to allow them to change me and form me.
I have reached out and come to know lots of other writers, to learn from them and be encouraged by them, and hopefully I will be some small source of encouragement to them. In the months ahead, I plan to blog about some of these authors and their books. If I enjoy them, maybe you will as well.
The first author I want to introduce you to is Amanda Tero. She is a musician and writer, who lives in Mississippi. In July, she launched A Strand of Hope for young adults, a tale of a young girl who learns that reading is not a means to escape the hard things in her life, an escape from the world, but rather a means to embrace it. Books become the method of building community, learning empathy, and finding hope. I find that her method of writing has the ebb and flow of music, lyrical and beautiful. I look forward to seeing what else comes from the pen of this young author.
Thank you for being with me as I continue to grow and change in this cocoon, and watch as I explore this whole new (old) world of books.
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