Writing is what I do and who I am. Newspapers. Magazines. Books. Journals. Lectures. Sermons. Essays. And now a blog…more than a decade after blogging became the seventh major food group. I don’t know if that’s pathetically trite or quirkily retro. Or both. Or neither. (I like to keep my options open.)
Loves: C.S. Lewis, YA fiction, thrifting, motorcycling, bird nests, Jesus, old suitcases, doodling, Young Life, Middle Earth, Lord Peter Wimsey, T-Bone, birch branches, fountain pens, unlined journals, J.S. Bach, family, old books, libraries, flip-flops, babies, afternoon naps, Broadway, standard transmission, zip-up sweatshirts, dry shampoo, banana bread, 32 ounce fountain pop in styrofoam cups, Narnia, old english, gospels, epistles. Not necessarily in that order.
(All content copyright Crystal Kirgiss unless otherwise noted. As with all things in the blogosphere, feel free to “share” and link back to any blog post. If you want to quote or repost small sections of a blog entry, here are some helpful tips on how to do that credibly, as outlined by my friend Adam McLane, especially bullet points 2-4.)
More details (for those who want to know):
Though I’ve been writing for my whole life, I’m not one of Those Writers who suddenly woke up one morning with a fully developed novel floating around in her head. Or whose first book unexpectedly hit the New York Times Bestsellers list. Or who will be able to retire on the royalties she made off her books.
I’m one of Those Other Writers who plunks away at the assignments, one by one, little by little, while trying to do all the other things that need to get done in a day. I rarely finish either one to my satisfaction. But life keeps moving anyway.
My B.A. was in Piano Performance. Go figure. I made a pretty good life of teaching, performing, and accompanying, all while raising a family of three active boys and working alongside a husband in full-time youth ministry.
On the side, in my spare moments, I wrote (because I couldn’t not write). First a few things for Campus Life Magazine. Then some bits for Youthworker Update. Then some things for Youthworker Journal. Then a newspaper column that grew from every-other week to twice a week (and won a few awards in the process – National Newspaper Association, Second Place for Best Column, Serious Subjects 1995; Minnesota Newspaper Association, Second Place Best Columnist 1995 and First Place Best Columnist 1997). The Chicken Soup series picked up some of my columns (Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Teen’s Soul), as well as Alice Grey’s Stories for the Heart series (More Stories for the Heart, Stories for a Mom’s Heart, and Christmas Stories for the Heart). I was asked to write some books (you can find some of them here) mostly for teens or people who work with teens, and then was asked to write two monthly columns for YW (Youthwalk Magazine) which I’ve done for almost ten years now. Most recently, I was part of the core writing team for The Way (New Living Translation, Tyndale, 2012).
seven eight nine ten years ago, I went back to school. Just because. I’m One Long Paper away from finishing finally and officially finished with my PhD in Medieval Language and Literature. Go figure. I’ve made a pretty good life of teaching undergrad English classes at Purdue University, all while my own kids became adults and my husband continued in full-time youth ministry.
Life is rich. And full. And unexpected. And challenging. And rewarding. And hard. And everything else.
But behind and before and beside and around all of that rich, full, unexpected, challenging, rewarding, and hard stuff is Jesus. Precious, sweet Jesus. Powerful, mighty Jesus. Jesus of the cross. Jesus of the resurrection. Jesus of creation. Jesus of redemption. Jesus, who is in nature both very God and very man. Jesus, without whom life is empty and with whom life is Life. That guy. That God. He takes my breath away. Every single day.