This is My Story, This is My Song

Searching for Ideas

Welcome to my blog! This is definitely a new venture for me, and one which I take to with not a little fear and trepidation. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, and I write all kinds of things. But I’m most used to writing academic stuff, kids’ fiction and non-fiction, or songs and poems (oh, and the occasional birthday or Christmas card). An author blog is so much more . . . well, personal, I guess. And my first big challenge?–what to blog about.  

Writing on a blank page

So, let’s see. Should it be something motivational for other writers and creatives? There’s so much great stuff out there already. Something about parenting? My experience as a mom of an only child, and a third-culture kid at that, will likely be quite different from yours. What about passions and hobbies? Hmm, bird watching, or playing the lute, or listening to opera—they’re kind of random and obscure. I guess I could blog about my ‘day job’, teaching music, but shouldn’t an author website focus on books? How about my faith?—while I might not blog exclusively about the Christian experience, I’m sure that faith, like music, will always be woven through my writing.

Fanny Crosby poet hymnwriter

Finding Inspiration in Fanny Crosby

When I chose “kwstorysong” as my handle and domain name (there being a gazillion other Katherine Wallaces already), a beloved old song by Fanny Crosby came to mind. Crosby was a 19th-century, American poet and songwriter, best known for her hymns and gospel songs. Blind from childhood, Fanny had a prodigious memory and a gift for poetic writing. 

She studied literature and music, learning to play the piano, organ, harp and guitar. She later became a teacher of grammar, rhetoric, and history, as well as a strong advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, and a mission worker. Fanny wrote over 8000 hymns and gospel songs, as well as more than 1000 secular poems, political and patriotic songs, sentimental ballads, and even 5 cantatas (a type of music-theatre). She was the first woman to speak in the United States Senate, and she performed for the president in the White House music room. Fanny didn’t let anything stop her, least of all self-doubt. She saw her blindness as a gift that heightened her memory, imagination, and musical skills. When publishers were reluctant to print her work, she wrote under various pseudonyms. In everything she did, and throughout her life, Fanny offered her gifts and talents to help those in need and to bring glory to God. The refrain of her most popular hymn, “Blessed Assurance,” written in 1873, sums up her entire life: “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.”

Be All of Who You Are

As a creative individual, Fanny Crosby rose beyond what others saw in her, to be all she could be. As I look at her life, I’m reminded that, as creative individuals, we can do the same, when we rise above self-doubt and embrace all of who we are. Whether in my writing, my songs and stories, my teaching, my family life, my community, my faith, or even, yes, my blog, I can do little better than emulate this amazing woman, whom I connect with on so many levels. So here, in these seemingly random musings, about creative endeavours, music, books, parenting, faith, and family values, you will get a little bit of all of me. After all, this blog is part of my story, and my song.

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