The Renters – Answering the Call by Cathy Rueter
Stories have flitted in and out of my head many times over the years. I take this as part of my inner editor saying the storyline or characters aren’t that important; here today, gone tomorrow. Besides, being a longtime nonfiction writer and editor, fictional characters and stories weren’t really my thing to pen.
For me, fiction was to read not write. I read about death, dying, and killing—murder mysteries being my preferred genre of enjoyment. However, I wrote things I knew about; societal, health, and educational issues, creative business issues and helping other nonfiction writers polish their words.
And then several years ago a pair of ten year old kids, along with their unrelenting godmother, took up residence in my imagination and wouldn’t leave. They showed up at the most inopportune times: driving, drifting off to sleep, doing the dishes—times when I couldn’t easily stop and write down what they were saying. I figured they’d eventually leave, like so many transient apartment dwellers. But no, these three paid their rent and stuck around, even introducing some of their other friends and family along the way; grandparents, an eccentric mother, a beloved uncle, and a quirky college friend. They brought an insistence and surety that their story would be written and it would be me to write it. I resisted.
But these three were insistent little buggers. They stayed put. Finally, a ‘Still Small Voice’ whispered…listen harder. Listen to MY CALLING. She’s crying out to you. So I listened. Godmother revealed that the twins she cherished experienced social and health issues that she knew little about. She needed my help getting this information out, not in large doses of nonfiction but in small, palatable spoonfuls drizzled throughout their storyline. These were issues I was familiar with and could write about. She added to the ‘Still Small Voice’ that if I would just listen better, with an open heart and a welcoming imagination, that I could do it. They would help.
Finally, I heeded the call. Writing the tale of these three has not been easy. They take vacations on me when my own life gets too crazy. And they’ve thrown a curve ball or two; issues I’m not familiar with, skills I don’t possess. But then people, places, experts, and experiences fall into place to continue us on their path. I have enjoyed visiting with them and helping them through their dilemma so it has been with some surprise that I started to mourn their loss as I creep closer to writing THE END.
Sitting still one evening after a writing session I heard it again. “Not so fast there Writer. We’ve paid our rent. You can’t kick us out that easy. Here is the next character that will be sharing our lives with you.”
And once again, I begin to answer the call.
Cathy Rueter, former reporter and newsletter editor, is returning to her passion of freelance writing while pursuing a career as a Christian author and speaker.
Originally from the Greater Grand Rapids, MI area, she now lives in (DFW) Texas with her husband and two sons. She makes it a point to come back to West Michigan for the Breathe Conference every year. “It’s home. Breathe is where I grew up as a fiction writer.”
After a few stumbles even her website is growing up. Open up a box “Up In The Attic” and discover the variety of topics discussed at www.cathyrueter.com or stop by for a visit atwww.facebook.com/