Friday, December 30, 2011

Melanie N. Brasher: My Reason For Writing


Have you ever kept running into a particular person time after time, both in real time (at writing conferences) and in cyberspace that you know you're destined to become friends? That is what has happened with my new guest on Everyone's Story this week, Melanie N. Brasher. Actually, since she first introduced herself by the pen name of Joy, I think of her as Joy because she is truly a joy to know. A great way to jump-start the New Year with an uplifting perspective, this mom of two young sons has a story for both the writer and the reader... and all those in between. 

The Day the Sun Shone Brighter by Melanie N. Brasher
The sun over St. Louis, captured by
Melanie during a conference

Last March, I typed two words on the last page of my first novel.
And though the next day I drank chai, brushed my teeth, and nursed my baby, I felt different.
I was officially a novelist with dreams of an agent and contract. I couldn’t turn back. And though my eyes dropped and my fingers cramped, I felt like a giddy school girl.
I had a lilt in my step, fire in my belly, and a permanent smile. The brown grass grew greener, my toddler’s whining sounded sweeter, and even the sun shone brighter.
But, this moment didn’t arrive without time and patience, tears and doubts. The journey took two and half years of pulling hair, grinding teeth, and click-clacking keys in moonlight. Not to mention stealing hours away from sleep. And on those days I felt tempted to trash the entire project; I remembered the reason I began three years ago.
Courtesy Google Images

After giving birth to my first born son, I decided it was a good time to write a book.
Perhaps it was the smell of downy blankets, touch of tender skin, or sound of infant mewing that initiated the sentiment. Or perhaps it was my foggy, sleep deprived brain that conquered all rational thought. Whatever the reason, I found myself staring into my precious son’s eyes somewhere between dusk and dawn, realizing the family stories wouldn’t write themselves.
I had to write them.
So, that Christmas, with my six month old on my lap, I sat down with dad, and I asked him to tell me the stories I’d heard as a girl in pig tails. The ones I’d listened to countless times while ripping off flatbread and scooping up curry—our family name change, his faith journey and immigration to a new country.

My son cooed on his Nana's knee, and I laughed picturing dad’s bewilderment at having to pay for his own cup after his North American friend asked him to “go for coffee”. I cringed at the thought of him arriving on new soil with nothing but five dollars and a hope of a better life. And that afternoon, I walked away with a new resolve.
Courtesy Google Images
I would write stories to leave a heritage for my children, encourage others, and worship God with the gift He's given me, though I knew nothing about the craft of writing.

Approximately two years and another baby later, I typed “the end”. I made the mistakes of first time novelists: plotted by the seat of my pants, utilized clichés like crazy, faced a sagging middle, and overused the semi-colon. And in just twenty four months, I faced the incredible highs and lows of the writer life. But, by God’s grace {and the help of faithful critique partners and writing friends}, I accomplished my goal.

Something changed the day the sun shone brighter. God birthed a new desire within me--to leave a legacy with words. I’m not sure what this baby means. Publication? Maybe. Maybe not. Accolades? Probably not. Satisfaction knowing I’m leaving stories for my sons and using my gift for God? Most definitely. I don't know what the road holds, but it's going to be an incredible ride.
So, on the brink of a new year, I resolve anew to write the stories God puts on my  heart, keeping the reason I began at the forefront of my mind, and I’ll leave the results—the timing—up to God.
What’s your goal this year? What’s hindering you from accomplishing the desire God has put in your heart?
Melanie also looks forward to receiving comments
about what makes the sun shine for you
Author Bio:
Melanie N. Brasher is a full time mama of two boys and wife to an incredible husband who understands her bicultural upbringing. She moonlights as a fiction and freelance writer, crafting stories and articles toward justice and change, and dreams of becoming a voice for the unheard. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers ( and has placed as a semi-finalist in the 2011 Genesis Contest in the Contemporary Fiction Category. She contemplates faith, family, and writing at her personal blog ( Though she’s an aspiring author, she’ll never quit her day job. 


  1. Great post, Melanie! Praying for all the best for you and your family.
    Hugs from your roomie :)

  2. Hi Liz! Thanks for the visit. And a Happy New Year too.

  3. It's a great feeling to finish. I 'finished' in January last year and reworked, played, polished until early December when I sent it out into the world. I felt like I'd joined the ranks of all the writers that had gone before me. It's a big step. Congratulations!

  4. Debra, thanks for the blog visit. It will really feel like the real thing when editors & agents ask you to do even more polishing. Personally, I'm looking forward to that stage!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Melanie, what a nice story about your dad. I'm so glad you are trying to save those stories for future generations. Good luck with your writing career.

    Elaine, best wishes to your for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

  6. Thanks for hosting me, Elaine. It's a joy to be in this beautiful place. You're a joy to know as well, and it was SO fun to meet you in real time!

    Liz, it's great to see you here, roomie!

    Debra, finishing is a great feeling, isn't it? Now it's time to edit. :)

  7. Thanks, Caroline. I pray I can leave a legacy with words. Blessings to you in 2011!

  8. It's a joy to follow your journey, Melanie! and "Joy" is a suitable pen name for you too! You are a joy and you bring joy to so many around you! Can't wait to read your book!
    hugs from Saskatoon!

  9. Tribbs (Sara Tribbey)December 30, 2011

    That's so inspiring! :-) It was refreshing to hear such blatant honesty about the struggles through your writing process. I'm really excited to see more of your work. My prayers and great wishes for you and your budding family! ~Tribbs (

  10. What an inspiring post, Melanie! Thanks for sharing your story, and I'm looking forward to seeing you finish another novel this coming year!

  11. Welcome Naomi, Elaine K, and again Sara, to Everyone's Story.

    Happy New Year to you & those whom you love!

  12. Elaine!! Aww, thanks for stopping by from the dearest place in the world. :) Love you, friend! You are a joy to me too. ditto.

    Sara, thanks for your encouragement. It's great to meet you in this beautiful place.

    Naomi, a big congratulations is in order for you. Can't wait to read your debut novel. Thanks for your support.

  13. Wishing you much success...and thanks for the sweet story. Looking forward to reading your book sometime!

  14. Thanks for the visit to Everyone's Story, Gen. Hope to see you back.

    Happy New Year!

  15. Melanie and Elaine, I'm a little late with my visit, but am 'catching up'. Thanks for this post. Mel, I keep 'running' into you and am thankful for the chance to know you. I've been thinking of God's gifts to us and I'd say yes, you are a wordsmith woman. Continued blessings to you.

    Jude Urbanski

  16. Jude, you're never too late with a visit to Everyone's Story☺ Nice to see you again. I'll bring it to Melanie's attention that you stopped by today.

    New Year's blessings.


  17. Heartfelt thanks, Melanie, for being my guest on Everyone's Story this past week. Between comments left and blog statistics, it's safe to say that you have a slew of followers who really enjoy your writing.

    I hope you continue to follow wherever the spirit leads you, whether it is writing or another opportunity to please Him... and bless you for wanting to always make your family happy.

    New Year's blessings,

    ♥ Elaine

  18. Jude, oh your comment blessed me so much. Thank you for your kind words. I LOVED meeting you in person at the chapter meeting, and I look forward to future visits. I need to read your book, dear one!


  19. Elaine, I'm so humbled. Thanks for your encouraging words. And thanks again for hosting me. It was an honor and delight! Blessings on your writing endeavors, and I hope we'll continue to be blogging buddies. Come and visit me at Our Journey Home. :)


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