Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rhonda Runs for President - Virtual Luncheon - Part 7

I put my fork down and dab at my mouth with the napkin. "So we can get out of here prior to dinner, I'm going to skip the next question and move to the last one.

"What trial/error lessons have you learned along the way? Whoever is ready first, be my guest."

The two women look at each other, and Jen pipes up. "I have two  pieces of cake here, and neither of you are doing much to help me out. Rhonda, why don't you go first, while I attempt the impossible?"

Rhonda eats the last bite of her crostata, and nods. "When I started writing the column, I was afraid  people would get tired of hearing family stories. I do try to mix it up by bringing in a mother's take on politics. (I ran for president in 2008.) I've also written about sports (diaper changing should be an Olympic sport), current events, and anything else I can think of, but the bottom line is it's a lot of family stories. And it just resonates with people.

"They don't seem to get tired of it. They understand when I talk about the frustrations of keeping the pantry full, where do the socks go, and a boy's agony when his dog dies. They've experienced all these things themselves."

Jen and I nod our agreement. We women never get tired of family stories.

Rhonda continues. "It's funny, but the weeks that Mister and I both say, 'This one's good, but it's not our favorite,' very often generates the greatest laughter and emotion.

"It's also pushed me to work through the fear, trusting God to provide what's needed to do this job and finding the balance between enjoying reader feedback, but not loving it too much. Beth Moore says that God gives us callings that stir up our insecurities 'so He can scoop it out one spoonful at a time.' And I would have to say, 'Amen.'

"I'm turning my soapbox over to Jeanette now."

...to be continued.

Questions for the Reader: Both Jen and Rhonda use humor and family stories to reach the reader's heart. How do you give  your reader a rich, emotional experience?


22 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

Good question. I love romantic tension so that's what I try to use...Another cute post!

Karen Lange said...

I agree with Jessica, this is a good question. One thing I consider is what I like. That gives me a starting place.

Love this series!
Blessings,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Romantic tension is a great device for a romance writer. I'm glad you're enjoying the series. Next week is the last installment.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

How true! We do write what we enjoy reading, and it shows in our writing. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Faith Imagined said...

I never get tired of family stories! I use a lot of my personal family stories in my writings.

BTW, I love the Beth Moore quote!

Lynn said...

I love that Beth Moore quote. I shall be thinking of it all week, especially when my insecurties kick in.
When I share my heart, my struggles, I do see my readers connect more with my writing. But I do need to continue working on allowing my vulnerablity to show through my writing.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

I love family stories, too. Rhonda knows how to share them with great humor and sensitivity.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lynn -

I've written certain posts and wondered how people would react. The ones where I put my heart out there garner the most comments and kindness.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Hi, Susan! It sounds like I'm in good company. How nice to know that others have similar struggles. Being able to laugh about it sure does help, doesn't it?

Waving and smiling,

Rhonda

Nancy said...

Yes, family stories are great. We all either have one or came from one. I also love humor. It takes the edge off of a nasty day.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I'll vote for Rhonda if she runs again!!

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I try to use emotional words and some stories.
I'd also vote for Rhonda if she runs again.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

Yes, and we're blessed to have someone who makes us laugh. :)

Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

Proverbs says that laughter is like medicine. It's good for what ails us. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

You and me both!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Excellent suggestion.

Hmm, maybe Rhonda should consider another run for office. Hear that, Rhonda?

Blessings,
Susan :)

Ryan and Melanie said...

Susan,

I have to agree with family stories as well...and personal struggles.

Thanks for your encouraging words on my blog.

-Mel

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Melanie -

Yes, struggles are also a common denominator.

Love your blog. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Jan Cline said...

Hi Susan,
I think many of us have a hard time with reaching down deep and pulling out emotions to share with our readers. At least I do. I am trying to make myself go deeper - to add the right touch to my own personal experiences to make them compelling enough to share and make an impact.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jan -

It's also difficult to put your heart out there, to expose the depth of your feelings.

Some experiences are tougher than others. It took several years before I could write an article about my husband's illness. The grief process had to run its course first.

Blessings,
Susan

Rhonda Schrock said...

Thank you so much for your votes! When that goofy piece ran initially, I garnered - oh, about 7 before leaning on the 2 voters in my immediate district. :)! I'm sure I'll run again in 2012, so be looking for that platform rollout.

I'm still expecting family members to flock, eager for invitations to the Easter Egg Hunt on the WH lawn, should I ever be voted into office. That's what they were hoping for the first time around.

Waving and grinning,

The Would-Be President

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

What fun! Think of all the writing material you'd have if you were in the White House.

Blessings,
Susan :)