Today we’d like to introduce you to Diane Francis.
Hi Diane, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I started writing short stories and poetry as a young child in elementary school. I gave a story to my teacher to read. She was so impressed she shared it with other teachers in the school. The story made its’ way to the principal. The next thing I knew, I was tested for the gifted program. I passed the test. However, passing meant that I would have to be bussed to another school district to participate in the gifted program. The embracement of diversity in student enrollment was slowly growing its’ roots during this time. There were more protests than acceptances.
With this in my mind, my mother did not want me to endure any hardships in school. So, she decided to decline my acceptance into the gifted program. She carefully considered my options. She decided it was far better to be one of the “smartest” students in my school than not to be “embraced” in another school. So, I stayed in my neighborhood school. I do not regret the decision. I understand the decision was one made out of love and protection for me. I have continued to write throughout the years. In the year 2009, my writing took a spiritual turn. I began writing about faith and the mercies of God. I want to uplift others, especially those going through the loss of a loved one. I also have a web page consisting of inspirational poetry and a FaceBook page dedicated to coping with a mother’s death.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No, it has not been a completely smooth road. I have faced struggles along the way. The art of writing poetry and short stories can be more than just a notion. Sometimes the right words will not come to mind. I have sat and written the same words over and over again, trying to get some kind of flow. That makes sense. For example, I have been asked to write a poem about someone who has passed. This is a very important request because the words will be used in an obituary or spoken during a funeral. Not knowing the person, it would be difficult to find the right words. However, instead of asking questions about the person, I would just have a simple conversation with the person who asked me to write the poem. After speaking with them and noting their reactions to different memories, I would figure out what to write. Their expressions would reveal so much to me. Also, I have discovered when I pray before writing. The words develop more freely. Also, freeflow writing is my forte.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a recently retired administrative assistant. I worked for the St. Louis Public Schools District for 20 years. I was known for assisting others in writing correspondence, both internally and externally. I am most proud of being the “ghostwriter” for many speeches that sometimes drew standing ovations… In addition to this, I wrote many effective letters of recommendation for employees who were seeking promotions. Although very few people knew that I was the author of these speeches or letters, I still felt proud that I had written them.
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy is to see the appreciation of my poetry. I remember one time in particular when I received a standing ovation. It was during Easter Sunday Service at my church. I had never actually spoken at my church before; however, a few poems I wrote had been recited by others. When I can uplift the heavy burdened or the person in mourning or especially show the goodness and mercy of God in one of my poems, my heart soars with happiness. I feel so blessed that God chose me to have the ability to express myself through the written word.
- Email: Newalk4me@gmail.com
- Website: https://newwalk4me.wordpress.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newalk4me