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  • Writer's pictureChrista Vande Vegte

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

It's funny how we can procrastinate on the things that our conscience knows we should be working on. Instead of Jiminy Cricket whispering in my ear for the past seventeen years, I have had a little dude named Leaf Boy constantly popping up in my mind and whispering reminders, telling me to write.

While going through some old boxes, I found my first written thoughts for "The Adventures of Leaf Boy". On battered kid's doodle paper while on a family trip to Aspen, Colorado, in December of 2004, I came up with my protagonist for my first book.

Why I wrote 1920 after the title, I have no idea? Perhaps it was going to take place in 1920? My mind goes a hundred miles a minute when writing; I doodle and write anything and everything that comes to mind. Sometimes my handwritten writings look like parts of a map containing words and doodles that make no sense, which becomes a mystery that I have to solve later, searching for more parts.

It's crazy that it took fifteen years for me to finally buckle down and, with the help of my oldest daughter to finish my first rough draft of "The Adventures of Leaf Boy" in July of 2019.

Makes me think how quickly the years pass, especially when you are raising children. However, I wouldn't have done it any other way. I loved the days when my children were small; those years are some of the best in my life. I was a Mom that dreaded the day school started. I wanted my kids home at all times, because we had so much fun! Obviously, I am still a child at heart; adult life is too complicated and scary at times.

Writing brings me back to my carefree childhood days. When I have time to sit down and write, I look forward to getting lost in adventures and stories that pop into my mind. I can't believe that now I have the time to do this every day! I cannot wait until the day my stories are published, and I can share them with others.

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  • Writer's pictureChrista Vande Vegte

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

The Seed of Storytelling and Writing

The seed that the Lord planted in my heart as a child is now taking root.

It has been over 40 years that the Lord has been cultivating this seed. There have been days of growing and days of drought, but it has now broken through the topsoil; and it's a whole new world with its sprout exposed and above the ground. I am prepared to water it and see it grow into something beautiful.

Leaf Boy has been waiting around on his branch, daydreaming and praying for adventure. He is now on the topsoil of the world with me and ready to run!

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  • Writer's pictureChrista Vande Vegte

Updated: Mar 31

There was a time that I reached the top and dared to jump, which resulted in a disaster, but today I vow I will not let that fear of disaster drag me down again. Not this time, I know there will be times on my writing career journey where things are not going to go as planned, but I will not let fear win.

In the 1980s, I went to a grade school that included swimming lessons for part of the year. I dreaded that day of the week so much that I could not sleep the night before and prayed I would get sick before morning so I didn't have to go. This one particular morning, like all the others swimming days, I, unfortunately, did not wake up with the flu, so I had to go to school. I even thought about forgetting my swimsuit, but that would not work, for I knew they would have a nasty "spare" swimsuit to wear if I forgot mine. The pool instructors called it a spare, but I knew they were the used swimsuits accidentally left at the pool. Jack nasty! My swimming instructor had taught me to swim and equipped me with the know-how to take on the water and swim no matter how deep. But on this dreaded day, the instructor decided it would be a great day to jump off the 10-foot high diving board and into the dark, blue, icy abyss of the 12-foot deep pool area. What the heck? Are you kidding me? We have to plunge way down deep and swim our way up to the surface?

I shakily made my way up the ladder, then walked along the plank slowly like a pirate meeting his doom in the sea below. I got to the end, took a deep breath, and jumped on a flight of fear. I sunk deep into the water, hearing the bubbles around my ears. I started floundering my way to the surface, which seemed like an eternity. When I didn't think I would make it, I didn't.

Yep, that's what I said, didn't. My best friend was next to jump, and she jumped right on top of me, dragging me deeper into the 12-foot death pool. Even though I eventually made it to the surface unscathed, I NEVER jumped off that diving board again. Instead of feeling relieved that I made through on an unexpected event that dragged me down, unfortunately, fear looped its long creepy talons around me, and it was not going to let go.

Now, as I take that leap into the unknown of my writing career, I think of the song by Bethel Music, "No Longer Slaves," and I am no longer going to be a slave to fear, for I am a child of God. I have learned He has been with me through every obstacle and thing that have dragged me down.

Today, as I find myself at the top and ready to leap, I know and have learned that the Lord has been building me up and preparing me for this day for a long time. Everything I have learned through raising my children, through my marriage, and my last job has prepared me. Through raising my children, I have learned how to tell stories and what children love to hear and read. Through my marriage, I have learned to walk through ups and downs in life. There was a dark time in my marriage which my husband and I made it through and are now better than ever, which has inspired me to write a novel based on our story that I am currently working on between my other writings. Through my job, I have learned how to present myself professionally, come up with new ways to organize, and to not let others take advantage of me—knowing when to walk away from bad situations and the realization that I cannot please everyone.

As I am ready to send out query letters for my first finished manuscript, I feel fears of doubt creeping in, the enemy trying to derail me from my purpose in life, but I will not let fear win. The Lord has prepared me for this day, and I will not give up no matter what! He has given me the gift to write, He has built my self-esteem, He has equipped me with what I need. He is still holding my hand, but I need to put in my work too.

Like preparing our children to go out on their own, we prepare them, but they will need to learn how to step out and do things on their own to help in their successes. Of course, if they need a little help along the way, we will still be there to help, all they need to do is reach out their hand, and we will be ready to grasp on and encourage and support them. All they have to do is ask; they will not have to feel alone.

Ultimately, we have our heavenly Father, who will always and forever be here for us no matter what. He will never leave or forsake us. He is always here to help prepare us for the journey He has in store for us. But remember, we have to put in our part, too; we can't just sit off to the side and expect Him to carry us through life. He has made us and equipped us with extraordinary gifts and abilities and to not be afraid to use them.

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