I am so very, very honoured to be hosting the person who started Master Koda off – Kim Mutch Emerson. She makes the time for EVERYONE she works with as well as those of us with rather silly questions and ideas! Going to turn you over to her now today as we find out which book it was that changed her life and inspired her to write…
The year I turned six my best friend’s older sister Christine gave me a gift. She had no idea this gift would impact the rest of my life. In fact, I am sure she didn’t realize she was giving me a gift at all. She was simply trying to keep us occupied during the long days of summer.
Up until that summer my only experience with being “read to” had been a few little picture books and silly stories my dad read from time to time to try to get me off the ceiling long enough to go to sleep. I had never experienced anyone reading a “real book” to me.
As Christine read the story came alive in my heart! I became part of the book. I felt the love and determination of the human spirit, the heartbreak of tragedy. It was as though I was an invisible part of the story hiding among the trees watching the boy and his dogs, holding my breath when the mountain lion attacked.
The book? Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. It was far above my reading level at the time and above the comprehension level of a six year old, but the tale of love and tragedy filled my soul. It inspired me on so many levels. My six year old heart was broken and I cried hot bitter tears.
Today, as I look back on my life I realize just how much this tale impacted my life. The main character was a boy named Billy from the Ozark Mountains. His dogs were Ol Dan and Lil Ann. My first novel, the main character was Bill and his dog was Sam. In my real life, my husband’s name was Bill and he was from… you guessed it, the Ozark Mountains. None of this was on a conscious level and I didn’t even realize it until I sat down to write this.
On a deeper level, Where the Red Fern Grows is a book about the strength and power of love; it is a story of determination and will power. I can’t say that I have always had this kind of strength or love, but I strive to.
To think, this book almost never came to be. The author, Wilson Rawls had destroyed all his manuscripts thinking others would never want to read his stories. His wife was the one that encouraged him to write it over again and seek a publisher. I know millions of people that would have a void in their heart where this book is. He touched many lives with his words. Even his gravestone is an inspiration – it is engraved with the words “dreams can come true”.
Dreams CAN come true. Don’t ever give up on yours. When it seems darkest remember, will your words or life touch someone and encourage them to take one more step? We never know whose life might be changed by our kindness or our stories. Can you think of a turning point in your life, something that may have been like my example where at first glance it was just “a moment”, but in looking back you realize it was a paradigm shift for you? I would love to hear your experiences.
Author, KD Emerson was born (or is that hatched) several years ago. We won’t go into how long it has been because she has this fantasy that she is still a teenager off to conquer the world. She has a passion for the written word and assisting other writers in becoming the best they can be. She also loves to promote others and cheer them on to victory. Follow her on twitter @MstrKoda or you can find her at http://www.masterkoda.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson