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Friday, July 17, 2009

Five on Friday: The People in My Worlds

Today is a special day in my life, my birthday.
And not just any birthday. I’m 50!

Birthdays are special to me, ranking right up there with Christmas. My family took me to Taco Bell for lunch (my favorite fast food), to see Harry Potter 6 in the afternoon and to dinner at Olive Garden (my favorite sit-down restaurant).

On my birthday, I generally find myself in a reflective mood. However, this year I’m focused on the present and am looking forward to the future.

My forties were good, and I anticipate great things in my fifties. As I told a friend this morning, I'm young enough and healthy enough to do 'most anything I want and old enough to have the benefit of experience. The hands-on aspects of raising our daughter are ending, so I'll be able to enjoy her in a whole new way. Gwynly and I will have more time for one another. And I'll be able to devote more time for my own pursuits. If the Lord wills, I may even realize my dream of being a published novelist.

I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude today, and here are five of things I’m most thankful for:

1) My faith - I know Whose I am.

2) My family - I have an awesome husband, who’s my best friend, and an amazing daughter, both of whom are very supportive of me.

3) My church family - We’ve attended the same church for over fourteen years and are blessed to be part of such a caring body of believers.

4) My many friends - I've known some of my friends for years and others I’ve met recently. Whether they live in the area and I see them often or whether they’re Cyber buddies with whom I exchange emails, Facebook messages or tweets on Twitter, each is special to me.

5) My writing - I dreamed of being a writer since I was a young girl, and I’ve finally turned that dream into reality. I love what I’m doing and am enjoying my journey.
As I compiled my list, I realized people are a large part of my life. Even though I’m a stereotypical introverted writer, I enjoy connecting with others. My life is enriched not by the things I have, but the company I keep.

The same is true of my characters. Their situations change because of the challenges I throw at them, but their interactions with other characters are what change them and help them become stronger, wiser and happier. I endeavor to create characters with depth who realize the value of those whom God has brought into their lives, even though it often takes time for them to come to that realization.

• • • • •

What are some of the things you’re most grateful for?

What’s a memorable story you’ve read where one character has been shaped or influenced by another? How did the author show the transformation?

If you’re a writer, how do you deepen the connections between your characters?


sherrinda said...

Happy Birthday!:)

You have a full life, Keli, and it is so wonderful to see your hope for the future. I always thought I would hate turning 40, but in reality, it has been so incredibly good. I feel like I have lived long enough to have something to say. I am not bound by fear of what others think. (as much) There is a freedom that comes with age and I wouldn't trade that for anything! Here's to 50 years and the freedom it brings!

Keli Gwyn said...

Sherrinda, I'm delighted to hear you're experiencing the joy that comes with maturity. Like you, I approached the BIG 40 with a hefty dose of dread. In hindsight, I realized my fears were unfounded. My forties were the best decade so far. I think the lesson I learned then is what makes me so ready to embrace my fifties. Life is good!

Jessica said...

Happy Birthday! :-)

I'm so thankful for my family and esp. my hubby and my beautiful children.

With my characters I try to lead them into conflicts and tensions that reveal vulnerabilites, etc. Or strengths. Then I hopefully use those revelations to give the characters a deeper connection.

Jessica said...

So, how were your thirties? I have a few years until then, but I've heard they're good. :-)

Keli Gwyn said...

Jessica, you dare to ask a person my age about ancient history? LOL. It took a few minutes to access the old files as my brain performed a search, but I finally unearthed them.

I'd describe my thirties as family-focused, fun-filled and frequently fatiguing. I was 31 when our daughter was born and had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom. When she started school, I spent a good deal of time volunteering on her campus. Watching her move through each stage as acquire new skills was fun, but keeping up the pace could be tiring. I slept well during my thirties because I'd fall into bed exhausted. :)