Monday, August 24, 2009

My Own Writers Hall of Fame

Occasionally, I'd like to highlight a writer I know personally and also admire. Maybe it will help my readers to find some new writers to follow on the web and elsewehre. I've selected a woman today for My Own Writers Hall of Fame who is unique. But read on to learn all about her.

Kathe Campbell lived on a small ranch atop a mountain outside of Butte, Montana with her husband, Ken. Their three children were grown and out raising families of their own, also providing the Campbell's with much-loved grandchildren. Kathe and Ken raised show donkeys, ran an insurance adjusting business, and reveled in the beauty of nature that surrounded the log home they lived in. All was well until Kathe had a tragic accident involving a donkey who for some unknown reason went beserk and pinned her up against a fence. It ended with Kathe losing her right arm. Depressed and fighting phantom pain, she began to write.

It wasn't her choice to begin with. Son, Tim, built her a computer and urged her to learn to use it. The one hand she still had was crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. He must be crazy, she thought, but she learned step by step, slowly and painfully, how to type with one hand. Years earlier, she'd written an article about her mother's Alzheimer's that was published in a major magazine. It had been her only venture into writing, but now she started writing tales about life on the ranch with Ken, their pets, the good years of their youth when they were active in so many things in the Butte area, politics, scouts, and school activities as well as showing their prize donkeys.

She found a website that published inspirational stories. Just about every story Kathe submitted got snapped up by the editor, and before long she had a following of readers, eager to read more of her stories. She wrote with a folksy humor, added a lot of heart-tugging thoughts, and managed to get a message across, as well. She highlighted her handicap rather than hiding it. She wrote about it over and over, sent pictures of herself wearing her prosthesis. I would imagine it served to encourage others who had some type of handicap.

Kathe started submitting her work to other websites and then to anthologies, where the vast majority were accepted and published. Her coffee table has stacks of books in which her stories are published. Among them are more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Cup of Comfort series and others. She's contributed to ezines at medical websites, written for newspapers and magazines.

Now alone on the ranch and in her mid-seventies, Kathe continues to write stories. Her memories provide material that seems never-ending. She's in my Hall of Fame, not only for her talent, but for the perseverance she's shown, the handicap she's learned to overcome, and the warm, wonderful person she is. Still a redhead, of Scots heritage, and wise as the proverbial owl--you'd love to spend a day with her. You can read a sample of Kathe's work at and  or google her name to see more of her work.

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