My Crescent Falls novellas were set in Minnesota—the place I still call home. I’ve decided to take a break from writing fiction and work on my memoir. Since I’d already plowed through the first draft, it made perfect sense to fly out to Minnesota to celebrate my 50th high school reunion and reconnect with individuals I haven’t seen in decades.
Eager to squeeze in as many memories as possible, I took pictures of my home in Maple Grove (“The House that Built Me”), school friends from Mrs. Ewing’s fourth grade class, and many classmates who have shown me great kindness. As a child, I’d been shuttled between foster homes and hoped this last move would be a permanent one. Thankfully, it was. To this day I remain grateful for having crossed paths with such amazing students: Nancy G., Linda G., Dawn & Dave E., Caren S., Jean H., Connie G., Sandie O, Marjory W., Lynn K.—the list goes on.
To my delight, I discovered that many of the ’66 graduates of Osseo High School had a plethora of stories—all incredibly fascinating. Many have switched careers and are now working in professions that give their lives meaning. Others have retired and volunteer around the clock to make our world a better place. Looking back, we were all just a bunch of middle class kids having a good time, but in reality, what we all accomplished was astonishing. True—we’re not individuals who’ve achieved fame and adulation, but rather the individuals folks remember—the ones who help shape individuals—the village of people who mentor others. Truth be told, they’re the types of characters I write about in my novels. I returned home refreshed, and ready to write again.
As we begin this school year, I challenge you to thank a teacher who’s made a difference. In my case, it was Mrs. Ewing—a woman who made a shy, frightened, fourth grade foster kid feel special in a classroom full of children. Please leave a comment on my website and share with us a teacher who made a difference in your life. I’ll place your name in a drawing and if you win, I’ll send you a complimentary print copy of My Dearest Maggie, the first book in my Crescent Falls Series. I’d love you to visit my author’s page and follow me: www.facebook.com/authortessagray
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. May God richly bless you.