I am thrilled to welcome author and poet Anne Peterson. Her journey is an emotional and inspiring one that tugs at the heartstrings.
As a little girl Anne felt safe climbing up in Aunt Jeanette’s chair to read A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It became a sanctuary from her abusive childhood. Again and again, she’d let his words dance around in her head, and poetry became her language of choice.
In 5th grade, Anne won a creative writing contest. And as she listened to the recording of her reading on the radio, she was hooked.
Anne learned how emotions were tied to her writing. She found the words would flow if she hurt in any way.
Eventually her poetry was sold in stores. One opportunity led to another.
In 1996, she was asked to write Bible studies for christianbiblestudies.com, an affiliate of Christianity Today. And those 42 published Bible studies led to her writing and publishing over 30 magazine articles.
But inside of Anne was a story that begged to be written. She would identify the pain that propelled her writing.
Taking a writer’s online course called Tribe Writers, she learned about writing the scary stuff. With shaky fingers she pressed submit. Each time she wrote something scary, she was really getting ready for something bigger.
In 2014, Anne wrote her memoir, Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival. Although the book was initially the story of her sister’s death to domestic violence, Anne felt nudged to write her story as well. Her life was exposed. It was one of the hardest things she ever did, complete with times of panic. She learned to write between those episodes.
Anne discovered the value of being vulnerable. When you write the scary, messy things inside of you, you give hope to other hurting people by letting them know they are not alone.
Anne’s writing became more and more transparent. She shared her struggles with PTSD in an article, A War Without Guns. She continued learning how to embrace her pain instead of running from it.
But who would have known what was underneath? Children’s stories started flowing out of Anne. Then a new door opened. Her daughter Jessica was given an opportunity to create a children’s book. Anne was invited in.
Feeling pressure at the two-month deadline, Jessica said, “I wish we could do something with the art I’ve already done.”
So Anne sat reflecting on her daughter’s art, and Emma’s Wish came to life. It was as if Emma walked right out of Jessica’s painting to tell her own story.
Collaborations with a loved one are like a special dance where you learn each other’s moves. Anne is having the time of her life.
Writing children’s stories is a good fit. After all, she had plenty of practice telling her grandchildren many of these stories from her head.
The Crooked House is a story about a little girl who’s ashamed of where she lives. Kerrie’s house was crooked, and sometimes she felt crooked too.
Lulu’s Lunch tells the story of Lulu and how she dealt with a school bully.
Sonny Follows His Heart is the story of a little blues guitar who discovered whose voice was really important in his life.
And finally, Make Believe: A Book of Poetry Volume One and Volume Two. These poetry books were created as Anne looked at her daughter’s photographs and let the words come. These books will delight readers of all ages.
It’s true that many people love to write, but for Anne Peterson it’s more than that. She has to write.
Where to find Anne…
Where to find Jessica’s Art…