Monday, March 20, 2017

Melanie's Discovery!

I wanted to share a little about my writing journey. I  am drawn to history and historical places, my mind is pretty packed with descriptive places and little tidbits of history and trivia.  When I write, these little facts come spilling out and add flavor to the stories I am telling.  So when you read a little short story or a whole book, you will find little bits encapsulated within.

One of these moments occurs on one of the first few pages of The Path of the Child. Melanie in her solitary way is reading about Helen Keller in the main office of the school. This relates back to the first autobiography I remember reading in about the 4th grade. Helen Keller's own story. It was just as poignant to me that day as it was to Melanie when she read it. That first book sharing the revelations of a life scarred by the unfair illness as a toddler. A woman's life that reached beyond what was expected of her and became the role model, speaker, amazing woman that we know about and honor even today.

Helen Keller age 12
In my school, Fairview School in Ensley, Alabama, the autobiographies and biographies were hardback books with red covers. They called out to me. They made me want to know about Helen Keller, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain. The list of red covered books goes on and on, but the selling point on Helen Keller was that she was still alive at that time. She was still being spoken about in my home and on the news. She was from, Tuscumbia,  a small town in my home state and I wanted to know about her. The little baby that had lost her vision, hearing, and ability to speak as a toddler and now was making speeches all over the country. It was the perfect first autobiography. I, as a young child, learned so much about perseverance from her.

I could see and I could hear, but I had my own set of burdens. I read how she was loved by her parents but they did not know how to treat her. They treated her with pity and sorrow and it was detrimental to her maturity. It was only when her parents brought in Anne Sullivan,  a young woman from the North, to teach her that her world opened up and bloomed. Helen learned braille and sign language and once again, for the first time since she was a toddler, she was able to connect to the world.

Helen and Anne
This is what I wanted, what I  hoped Melanie would do when I offered to let her read this same book in her story. It provided her with an inner strength that blossomed. Melanie now had a secret weapon to face the unfairness in her life.  Melanie Easton had a coping mechanism.

If you are interested in sharing Melanie's journey, you can find her story in The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell. She is waiting to meet you and show you her life laid bare.

Her story will continue with The Path to the Past. I am writing that book now and there will be other defining points in that journey as well. I hope you will join me in learning more about Melanie.


  1. I remember the book and the movie; parts of it were heart-rendering to watch but Anne and Helen both triumphed in the end. Very memorable.

    1. Yes, It was. When I visited Ivy Green a couple of years back, the little house was right off the kitchen. I wonder if they moved it or if it was always so close to the house. Curious.

  2. Definitely a very fascinating story! Thanks for sharing!

    1. THank you sp much for reading and takign the time to comment on it. She is such an inspiration.


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