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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: A new adventure

The dream to write has been a driving force in my life. Each time I sit down to write my column I am excited by the opportunity to fulfill the dream. I have also dreamed of putting together a magazine and writing books. I am a storyteller at heart; I love telling a good story.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

A number of years ago I circulated a monthly newsletter. We had a good group of writers and we put out well over a hundred copies a month. Computers were not as advanced back then and I was using Microsoft Publisher. We had lots of fun for about five years, but it became cost-prohibitive and ate up lots of time.

As the internet grew and websites became easier to create and maintain, I jumped back into the creative process. I found other writers who were looking for the opportunity to get their creative work out. We came together to create EncouragingU.com. We have been growing slowly and having fun in the process.

We decided to create a book of our writing for Christmas last year, “An EncouragingU Christmas.” It was a blast to create and so much fun to share with family and friends. We felt so good about it that the idea to create a summer book almost seemed natural. We kicked the idea around for a couple of days, and before you knew it, we were all writing summer stories in the middle of winter.

Our hard work has paid off in a new book to take wherever you like to travel in summer. The book is called “EncouragingU: Summer Stories.” We now have six writers who contributed a variety of stories. There is a summer topic for every reader. Both books are available through Amazon or by contacting one of the writers.

This is my fifth book, all of which are available through Amazon. Working with Amazon to create a book is an interesting process. One might think it looks easy, only a few decisions and steps before you, too, can have a book in print. Don’t be fooled. They want things in a very specific way before they will agree to print it. It took me several days to get everything in the exact order for them to accept and print.

I haven’t held the first copy yet. It is an exciting, fun and, yes, challenging process to get six writers to turn in their work. Each of us is refining and rewriting up until the last minute, and even then catching a comma here or a wrong word there. We want our book to be perfect. The artist that created the cover feels the same as the rest of us. He wants his work to look great because he understands that first impressions can make it or break it.

The main thing we all hope is that everyone will enjoy our new book. Some of the stories are just fun, relatable tales that will keep you dreaming of summer days. I tried my hand at writing a summer love story. Some of the stories are adventures that will take you around the country.

Many of the stories will renew and refresh your spirit. We can’t wait to share our little treasure with you.

I think some of our stories are like parables. Most of what Jesus taught His followers were parables. They were lessons about life, spiritual principles to guide His listeners to a better and a more fulfilling way to live.

Being a teacher, I often wondered why He didn’t just teach the principles straight out. In plain language, just tell us how to live. I think the reason is that principles are easy to forget, but stories can be carried with us for a lifetime.

If I mention the parable of the sower or the prodigal son, most of you could probably retell the story without looking it up in the Bible. The story sticks with you.

I also believe that the lessons Jesus intended for us to learn can continue to speak to us long after we have heard the story.

I want to encourage you to reflect on the stories of your life, the lessons you have learned, and how you can pass on those lessons to others through your stories.

I love a good story and I love listening to someone tell a good story. Parables and stories are powerful, especially when we reflect on them and meditate on them. I hope you will be touched by the many stories in “EncouragingU: Summer Stories” and at our website, EncouragingU.com.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.