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Today was an exciting day for me- my first book signing. All morning I was full of nervous apprehension, with my old friend “insecurity” following me around as I got ready to go.

I have never had much self-confidence, and have always been very timid and shy. If you know me, you may not believe that, but it is the truth. Any confidence that I seem to have is all an act.

The thought of being a writer has always appealed to me- that I could sit alone and write to my heart’s content. But as I was growing up, even my writing came across as timid and lacking confidence.

Then, the Lord brought someone into my life who believed in me and my ability to put words together, and because of her confidence in me, I was able to believe in myself, too.  

Fran Hartman was my high school Language Arts teacher, and she was an amazing influence in my life. Not only did she believe in me, her confidence was unshakeable. She taught me a lot about the art of writing, about studying literature in order to find my own voice. During the three years I spent in her class, I grew as a writer, but my confidence in myself grew as well.

In fact, whenever I struggle with rejection, when I battle that nasty insecurity, I always can hear her voice- after all these many years- telling me not to ever give up, but to keep writing, keep trying, keep working to be better.

This morning, as I was getting ready to go sign this humble little book I’ve written, I found out that Mrs. Hartman passed away. She has made it home, and is no longer struggling with the illness that she has been battling for so long.

Mrs. Hartman was a blessing to me on this road home. I’m so thankful that she was willing to pour herself into this insecure, obnoxious high schooler. I’ll always be grateful for her.

(Photo: Deanna Glass- somewhere in Italy)