Reply To: Introduce Yourself

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Bette Bellefeuille

I have lived more decades than I like to admit, yet when it comes to writing, I am still the 11-year-old girl who adventured joyfully into the wider world during a weeklong summer camp so many years ago. I was equipped with all I needed to thrive and enjoy the amazing environment, activities, and new friends surrounding me on every side. We were even given a few postcards so we could send off notes to let our families know how much we were enjoying our new adventure. I adored it all. In that moment, the whole world was perfect.

Then came the night before we went home. As I sat in the tent, I faced the tiny collection of unwritten and unsent postcards. I loved my family so much and I had failed to share even one memory with them. The guilt washed over me, and the tears sprang to my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. I did not realize it at the time, but like laughter, tears can be quite contagious in a tent filled with young girls. I still remember the camp leaders pleading with me to stop crying so peace, joy, and dry eyes could return to our tent.

I would love to say the situation with my writing improved after that and in many ways, it did. I studied interpreting and translation in Germany for several years, I have both a BA and a master’s degree and did much in the way of business writing before I retired. Away from work, we raised a son and daughter and now enjoy our 4 young grandkids. For fun and addiction, I research my family history. My mind, research trees, and notes are filled with details and stories waiting to be shared. So, I feel like the girl in the tent so many years ago. Numberless adventures to share and none sent off into the world. I turn 70 this month and I hope that the examples, lessons, and inspiration in this group will help me gain confidence, discipline, and motivation to write those stories before it is time to head home for final time.

By the way, I grew up in Sparks, Nevada in the house my dad grew up in. Later were semi-nomadic, moving for school, work, or family. We retired to Nampa, Idaho just outside of Boise. at the end of 2019 and LOVE it here. It is fun to see where everyone lives. I very much look forward to getting to know you better over the next few months.