Meet Maria Harden of Winnipeg, Canada. Maria is another writer I admire, even though she isn't writing a lot right now. Working full-time, caring for house and husband, having. family that lives nearby--all these serve to leave her with very little time for writing.
But a few years ago, when she wasn't working, she hammered out story upon story. Some won contests and many more were published at ezines like 2TheHeart.com and Heartwarmers, also OurEcho.com. An essay and photos of her sister's spectacular garden was published in Canada magazine, and she's had essays published in Canadian newspapers, as well. Maria loves to write, and having little time to devote to it now proves to be most frustrating for her.
As much as I admire Maria as a writer, there is also an admiration for her as a person who has accomplished a lot. She was born in Finland and came to Canada with her family as a very small child, so she considers herself Canadian with Finnish roots. A high school drop-out, a teen-aged marriage, a son born to that union, and a divorce--these things filled her teen and early twenties years. She raised her son, remarried and settled down, but not having her high school degree bothered her.
After her son grew up and was on his own, she decided to finish high school and get that much- longed-for high school diploma. It might make getting a job easier, but mostly it was for her own satisfaction. She accomplished that goal and proudly accepted her diploma, wearing cap and gown. This past spring, the school where she earned her late-in-life diploma contacted her and asked if she would consider being the speaker at the next graduation ceremony. Despite being nervous about standing in front of a crowd to speak, she agreed. We had e-mail chats about what she would tell these new graduates, and when the day came, Maria gave her speech, which I'm told turned out very well. Didn't surprise me one bit, for she has many abilities and she also loves to give to and help others. It's one of the reasons she writes, to share with her readers.
The same qualities that led her to finish her high school education are ones she uses in her writing. I'm confident that she will persevere and continue writing once she retires in a few more years. She is impatient at times, wishing she could stay home and write a story instead of hurrying away in the morning to her job as receptionist in the Winnipeg City Offices. Hang in there, Maria.