Back in the Fall of 2006, I drove solo cross-country from Washington DC to Utah. I consider this to be one of the most amazing trips of my life. I loved every minute of it and would highly recommend such a journey to anyone. There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you made it all by yourself across such a far distance. Just you, your car, and the road–oh, and the trunk-full of tools my dad insisted I haul with me. Not like I’d have a clue how to use them, but still I had ’em “just in case.”
Along the way, I stopped in Nauvoo, Illinois for five days to tour Church History sites. While there, I fell in love with a particular story I heard while visiting the John Taylor home. It was about a beloved wooden rocking horse that made it safely to Utah solely because of the love John Taylor had for his son. I immediately knew I wanted to retell this story and submit it to the Friend magazine. Yet, things always seemed to keep me from writing it (work, life, what-have-you) and after nearly three years, I still hadn’t taken the time to do it.
Finally, enough was enough. Last February, I scheduled a writer’s retreat to my friend’s beach house in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. While there, my goals were specific. I was to write all of the stories and articles that I had been meaning to write for years. With no internet, no television, and a beautiful relaxing beach as my inspiration, there would no longer be any excuses.
So, on a warm afternoon in February 2009 on a golden sun-drenched Florida beach, John Taylor’s story titled “The Love of a Father,” was born. After completing it, I immediately dropped it in the mail and by April, I’d received notification that it had been accepted for purchase. I was elated.
Now, just today, I came home to discover that “The Love of a Father” has been published in the March 2010 edition of the Friend (pages 20-22). This is my very first full-length story to appear in this particular magazine. I’m very pleased with the illustrations. In fact, they’re exactly how I envisioned the story when I was writing it. Kudos to illustrator Guy Francis. They even included the photograph that I took of the rocking horse at the end of the story, which, as you’ll notice, is featured in this post as well.
It’s been a tough week, so this was seriously a great way to start the weekend on a better note.
I hope you enjoy the story. It can be read in its entirety by clicking on the following link: The Love of a Father.
PS…Be patient with the link, it tends to take a second (or two) to load.
UPDATE: You may also listen to the audio version here! The Love of a Father, audio version.