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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Friday, June 13, 2008
I can still remember the feeling of seeing the ink on top of my score. I had blown my chance at winning the competition for best news announcer. You had to read 5 minutes of prepared news, do a commercial, and then do 5 minutes of reading "cold." That means you read the copy as you pick it up, which is what I had been doing at the radio station the past year in high school.

However, the commercial went badly--I dropped the Preparation H. One judge said the commercial was in bad taste. She was probably right, but, hey, I was in high school and I thought it humorous at the time.

I placed 2nd that year, got some medal I lost, but what I kept were the words at the top of that page. The judge was a veteran broadcaster who was the past president of the RTNDA, the Radio and Television News Directors Association. I had been watching him present newscasts since I was a kid. He had been the person onscreen when the Marshall plane went down. He was just the most trusted voice in the whole community, so to have him as my judge was an honor.

Here's what he wrote, in red ink, on top of my paper. "Hey--you can write!"

Four words that changed my life. I had always written poems, stories, songs, commercials, anything I could put to paper. I always looked forward to the time in class when the teacher gave us a list of words and we had to write sentences with them. I used all the words in one sentence and then wrote a story with the rest. My teachers did not like this.

One particular teacher looked at a poem I had written in Junior High, scrunched up her nose, and said, "Are you trying to be Dr. Seuss?" I remember those words, too. But they pale in comparison to, "Hey--you can write!"

It took me a few years to really believe I could write. I studied journalism in college and wrote for The Parthenon, but only because I had to. I wrote news copy for the TV station. Then I attended Moody Bible Institute and wrote papers on spiritual things. That gave me more satisfaction, but still, something was missing. I wrote spot copy for a few years at Moody Broadcasting and enjoyed it. But it wasn't until I started hosting Open Line and talking with the authors who would come through each week that the old line, "Hey, you can write!" came back to me.

I began a process of writing that would last a number of years. I wrote for our church. I wrote a column in the local paper. I wrote magazine articles, most of which were never published. I wrote fiction, my passion, and passed them on to Jerry Jenkins, who edited and sent them back bloody. But I was beginning the process of fulfilling the words I had read when I was a teenager.

I used to walk down LaSalle to Chicago Avenue and stare into the window of the Moody Bookstore and think, "Some day, I'm going to have a book in this window." It was a long process. Tedious. Discouraging. But the longer it took, the more tenacious I became.

This summer, two books I've been working on will be published. One is the fastest book I've ever written. It's already selling on Amazon. It's titled, The Winners Manual, and it's written with Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, a man I greatly admire and respect. It releases July 15.

The second book is the one I've been working on the longest. I had the original idea back in the late 1980s or early 90s, I can't remember now. But it's taken a good five years since I wrote the first words. It's called Dogwood and it releases August 1.

I pay tribute to those four words for helping me reach the goal of publishing. And I pray that I can be as generous with my words for those I come in contact with.


Susan said...

I have always been impressed that you can both write and broadcast. Most writers cannot broadcast and most boroadcasters (at least the younger ones)cannot write.
Blessings to you!

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

I was hoping you would write some about Tim Russert...

Come on, can at least acknowledge this ICON of American journalism