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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Dropping Rose Petals

Marcia Lee Laycock won The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone (Castle Quay Books, 2007). She lives in central Alberta Canada with her husband, two adolescent golden retrievers and a six-toed cat.

"Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo." (Don Marquis)

These days, you could substitute the word book for the phrase, volume of verse. The quote makes me think of a cartoon I saw once and wish I had copied. It’s of a writer sitting at a desk surrounded by thousands of volumes in a library. An eager fan holds out a copy of his book for him to sign. The caption reads, “Being a writer must make you feel so…so significant!”

The puzzled looked on the writer’s face made me laugh out loud. I know how he feels, and I’m sure you do to. In the face of the plethora of written work we often wonder why on earth we are driven to write. Hasn’t it all been said? Haven’t better writers already captured our thoughts on the page?

The answer is, ‘no.’ Your thoughts, said in your voice, have not been heard and yes, they are significant. They are significant not just because you have done your apprenticeship and reached a level of skill and expertise, but because God wants to use them. You are His child, unique in the universe and He has a purpose for you – all of you, including the words in your mind and heart – those unique words that you put into a computer and send out to a publisher. The expression of that uniqueness, when done with pure motive, is honoring to our Creator. Therefore it is not only fitting that you do it, it is commanded.

1 Peter 4:10 says – “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” What we write is a form of God’s grace to be extended to others, no matter how insignificant we feel, no matter how small the audience may be, no matter the state of the economy,.

Don Marquis’ quote could leave us with a sense of futility unless we know there is an echo, even the infinitely small sound of a rose petal falling in the Grand Canyon. The smallest of echoes has meaning when it is an echo of our Creator’s purpose. So toss your rose petals to the winds, scatter them with prayer and thanksgiving! They are significant in God’s economy. They may even change a life.


  1. Marcia, I haven't told you this yet, but I love your posts! What a great word and encouragement.

    I've been gradually reading Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet . . . and her message in those books reminds me very much of what you've written here.

    Thanks so much for all you do.

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I've had three emails today with such kind and encouraging words. I guess the Lord knew I needed them! :)

  3. Great post, Marci. I'm teaching a creative writing class to 7-12th graders and one of the lessons I've learned while teaching them is the uniqueness of "what if." Each writer's voice is in that what if.

    Maybe this is why one plot theme given to 100 authors will produce 100 stories.


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