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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, July 17, 2009
An old friend wrote yesterday to congratulate me about the Christy Award for Dogwood. His name is Larry Shackley. He's a brilliant guy. Just ask the people at Jeopardy who send out the winners' checks. Larry is a musical wizard and has taught the craft for many years.

I doubt he has read Dogwood. When I worked with him at "Moodies" in Chicago (as he would say), he would only read people who had been dead at least 100 years. Guess I'll have to wait a while. But he knew I was serious about writing and one day he brought a plastic bag and dumped it in on my desk.

"These are for you," he said. "I'm finished with them."

I looked inside the bag. It was a big stack of magazines. "What are they?"

"Old Writer's Digests. I saved them. They're yours."

Larry had the writing bug years before I did, but as it turned out, he poured his energy into music. So when he wrote me yesterday, I remembered that gift and what an encouragement it was to leaf through all those pages and read what famous authors said about writing.

One thing stood out in those pages. There is no substitute for actually sitting down and writing. The best way to become a writer is to practice. Get a job that requires you to write regularly.

Here's what Larry said in his email.

"I remember when you started writing short articles for your local paper. I really admire how you stuck to your goals and have done so well in the book market."

A flood of memories followed. Walking into the local newspaper, a weekly in Bolingbrook, Illinois called The Met. Their regular columnist had decided to run for mayor. I seized the opportunity and for the next couple of years banged out a weekly column about family life, news in the neighborhood, and everything in between. I was paid $35 a week. But it wasn't about the money. I was working toward becoming a full-time writer. My dream was to be able to write for a living.

That was in the early 1990s. It took a good 15 years of writing youth fiction, humor, and magazine articles to get to the point where a publisher would take a chance on one of my stories. And there were plenty of publishers who passed on Dogwood. Said they didn't think it worked or wasn't their cup of tea. That's okay. It's all part of the story.

But I'm grateful to Larry for pointing this out. Writing, like any pursuit, takes a lot of hard work. So whatever your dream, hang in there, and keep at it each day. My dream is to have a restored family, a place to live, and to be a full time writer.


Larry Shackley said...

Chris, just because it's you, I'll make an exception to the "dead 100 years" rule!

Donnamo said...

Funny....I just had friends suggest I write a column for our local paper after reading my blog.

I used to want to be a published I am happy being a reader. Can't wait to read Junebug. I LOVED Dogwood and can't believe some publishers actually turned it down. Amazing!

John C said...

Hey Chris! Hello from another old musical friend! Great to read this post and get a glimpse of what you've been up to. (even if you talk way to much about Dr. Shackley) *grin* Anyway - I'm now subscribed to your blog and will look forward to keeping up with you in the future! Congrats on your writing career - good for you!

- John Carlson