Thursday, August 18, 2011

A 2 Z: Me!

I had planned to write about myself for the "M" post in this meme and didn't even realize it would fall on my birthday. How perfect! :-) First of all I'll mention that I posted my "L" one late due to being busy with the FaithWriters' Conference, but it's there now so you can look down at the next post for the second part of Kira's story.

Starting at a very young age I had a love for words, a passion for people and stories, and an imagination to match. Before I could even form written words with a pen myself, I dictated stories to my mom, who wrote them down and let me illustrate them. Those early stories were all about the escapades of Amy and Jamie—me and my imaginary twin sister.

I began developing my own fictional language at the age of twelve, with the help of my best friends Megan and Jeff. Eventually I created a culture to match it, and someday will write the novels set on that Island of Enelee.

Yet as easy as language and stories came to me inside my head, writing it out on paper or reading it off paper was a surprising challenge that first manifested itself when it came time for me to learn to read. Eventually we discovered I have a visual processing disorder—my eyes don't work quite right with each other or send quite the right signals to my brain. I had to have extensive therapy and training before I was able to comfortably do common tasks, and it's rather a miracle that today I am successful at writing and at interpreting a visual language.

I'm the youngest of three girls—a surprise baby trailing behind the older two by several years. My mom was an only child and taught us that siblings and family were something to be cherished, so the three of us have always been close friends.

Maybe the rest of "me" is best told by some pictures.

My sisters and friends and I loved playing outside in the creek,
ponds, and woods. We were very much tomboys and were often seen
climbing trees, playing with snakes and frogs, and digging in the mud.

But I was also a frilly girl and loved
dress up and tea parties with my girl friends.

When I was seventeen, my next-oldest sister
and I started figure skating. We took lessons,
competed, became informal mentors to the
younger regular skaters, and eventually
were assistant teachers to the beginning
levels. When I had to stop skating due to
expenses and increasing health issues,
I could do one of the lowest sit spins at the
rink (though my lay back was awful) and
could land all my single jumps. I was
working on my axel and double sal cow.
In this pic we were The Lone Ranger

and Tonto (me) for a special skating event.

A few years ago I got to go to Australia to stay
with FaithWriter Chrissy Siggee for a month.
In 2010, I graduated from a sign
language interpreting program
and now work as a professional
interpreter in churches and at a college.

In 2007, I became assistant
coordinator and emcee for the
first FaithWriters Conference.

Last year and this year I also had the privilege
of teaching a workshop at the FW conference.
Today on my 29th birthday I'm feeling pretty content. So far I've had a great life and God has accomplished some cool things through me. I have a college degree and a job I love, have had short stories and articles published nearly seventy times, have a completed novel, several group books published through my collaborative fiction organization, and as mentioned, am an emcee and presenter at an international writing conference. Plus I'm an aunt to three beautiful girls and have been to at least seven different countries besides the U.S.

That's not bad for just under thirty years of life!

My hopes for this next year are that I'll get:
- increasing answers to my health issues (though I've come to accept my health itself likely won't improve much)
Reaching Sky accepted by a traditional publisher
- a rough draft of Above the Clouds written
- at least a start on putting together The Master's Touch: then and now, an anthology of my Biblical fiction and current event fiction short stories
- my national interpreting certification written and performance tests taken and passed

I think that's a pretty good list for now. Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers this year. As always, check out links to more "M" posts in the "From A 2 Z 4 U & Me" meme at and feel free to jump right in if you're a blogger who would like to join us.


Barbara Lynn Culler said...

How cute you are! Loved the pics and the peek into your past. You are a survivor and a go-getter. You go girl! :)

Kimberly Russell said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Amy. I think it is amazing that you've been able to overcome so much adversity. You're an inspiration!

Yvonne Blake said...

Happy Birthday, Amy. I love getting to know the little Amy. What a great testimony!

Joanne Sher said...

Yes - you are DARLING (and SOOOOOO young! - I've got you beat by 15 years, girl!!!!). Your testimony always inspires me, Amy. Love you - and happy birthday!

Traci said...

Love it! You're life is such a great testimony but also sounds like it has been a lot of fun.

I love your to-do list of goals. Comparing them to what you have already achieved I have no doubt that you will meet all of these as well. : )

Now I want to know what dream you have that feels impossible... because that's the one I think God is surely going to do!

Contessa got me a copy of Knit Together by Debbie MacComber. You have got to read it. : )


Rhonda Schrock said...

Barbara's right - you ARE a go-getter. You keep right at it. You have accomplished a great deal in your short time on earth. God's got His hand on you for sure.

Shelley Ledfors said...

What a great post! Love the pictures, and especially love your beautiful spirit in the face of your challenges. Your goals are great--may God bless you as you pursue them!

This Patient Perspective said...

Happy Birthday! This is S. from HealKick, and I clicked the link to your blog. I really enjoyed the pictures and learning more about you! Great goals for the next year too!

Marji Laine said...

Happy Birthday! What accomplishments you have made in such a short time! I loved all of the pics. Especially the Lone Ranger and Tonto! (I can't ice skate to save my life!)

Blessings <><

Patty Wysong said...

Loved those pix, Amy!! So cool! Sisters are special, aren't they?

Niki Turner said...

"Not too bad" ... HMPH! You're amazing! What a wonderful testimony to God's grace you are! Happy birthday, little Sparrow!

Miriam said...

I'm a bit late but I hope you had a wonderful birthday! It was really cool to read a bit more about you. I didn't get a chance to tell you that I watched your testimony on YouTube a few weeks ago and I found it really encouraging. I know how much of a struggle life is for you and yet you have achieved so much and your faith in God is so strong. Its both encouraging and challenging for me! ;) (Miriam from Healkick)