When I was a young girl, I was extremely shy. I didn’t like my figure. I didn’t like the way I looked. I didn’t like my hair. I thought I was too skinny with knock-knees. I wore bottle-neck eyeglasses. I didn’t have many friends and was just uncomfortable in my own skin. My bonus grandmother, a librarian, constantly gave me books to read. You see for her, reading brought knowledge. For me, I could escape in a book and be somebody else. I even started writing about being somebody else, or someplace else where I fit in. On the pages of my journal I wrote my dreams, my pain and I shared them with no one. I wrote poems and vivid stories about female heroes, warriors and how they beat the odds. And even those words I shared with no one. My junior year in high school, I took creative writing as an English credit. My teacher said I had a unique way of telling a story. She said it was like I was painting a picture, showing each stroke, each blend in color until the vision came in sight and the beholder shaped it into their reality. With that I found the courage to become the person I wanted to be. I stepped but I still shied from my true purpose. As the years rolled by and I transitioned from a young girl to a woman, I learned something else about me. Women, in general, including me carry a lot of unnecessary baggage. It becomes that shield to protect us from the world and for not venturing outside of our own comfort zone and walking in the purpose that God designed specifically for us.
I learned that the spirit of a woman is resilient. We cry, we laugh, we scream, we feel pain. Each layer of our soul and mind represents a petal from the most imperfect rose. We nurture our men, our children and all those closest to us. One moment we are elevated, the next defeated. We aren’t supposed to break – we are Teflon strong. Right? Right. Because we love hard, we get caught up in ugly situations that tears at our self-esteem. We find ourselves being punching bags. That pain is raw, frightening; it has the ability to swallow us whole and toss us away like yesterday’s garbage. But you see, We are Resilient; we were born to be soft like silk and tough as steel. Broken, battered, bruised we push to survive. Through the self-doubt, the physical pain and the mental stress – we push to survive. And in our quest to survive, most often times we bury that pain. We bury that pain so deep; it scars us and changes us. And we stand there stuck until we decide enough is enough. These are some of the stories our authors come here with. Others are like that young girl I use to be, full of imagination and wonder, writing about far-away lands, science fiction, horror or suspense.
The spirit of Jones Harwell is restoration, restoring hope to the human spirit. The heart of Jones Harwell is to breathe life, new beginnings back into our souls. The pulse of Jones Harwell is that no matter how bleak life is, you can blossom. You can start again. You can rise above. The words depicted on the pages from these women are their struggles, their triumphs, their dreams, their resolve. Every story or poem we publish, whether fantasy or true testimony, each author begins their story on a blank page, volumes of hand-written journals or typed pages filled with notes. We work together, writing, collaborating, editing and creating layouts until we get that final presentation just right. Then we breathe life into it and share it with you. Through our words on each page, each picture, we pass our wisdom, our tears, our strength onto to you. It is our hope that each book encourages to you want more, be more, live more and never settle for mediocre. This is my mission, my purpose. Thank you for letting us share our journeys.