Cathy Turner Messecar has written for the Houston Chronicle, Christian Woman, Sisterhood, Power for Today, Christian Mirror Webzine, and the Pen & Sword Newsletter for the Amy Foundation. She is in her tenth year of writing an inspirational column for the Houston Community Newspapers, The Courier, Conroe, Texas. She also speaks at retreats and for women’s organizations, and has taught women’s Bible classes for more than twenty-five years.
Cathy and her husband, David, reside in Montgomery, Texas. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.
Writing has been a big part of your life. When did you know you wanted to write—and how did you first pursue it?
In my childhood home, my mother had a book of religious poetry with a picture of the author near the fly pages. Both of the author’s hands were crippled and curled tightly, but they didn’t deter her. In my ten-year-old imagination, I thought she wrote like an angel. She drew a roadmap of life with God, and I wanted to travel it as a writer.
How does your faith play into your work?
My core being trusts that God speaks only the truth, so I incorporate many biblical themes in my work, which is so far, mostly non-fiction.
Please tell us about A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms (Leafwood Publishers, April 2012) and the series.
Coauthored by five women, we call ourselves the Word Quilters. How we became friends is part of the story of the series. About eight years ago, a group of women from The Writer’s View group on Yahoo, formed a smaller group of six. We all wrote for general audiences as well as the Christian audience, and we saw a need for a support team.
I pitched the idea to them of a writing project, writing about “firsts” in life. I wanted to focus on Christmas. As we chatted back and forth via email, we concluded the project would be richer with multiple voices. Leafwood Publishers contracted and produced a lovely full color gift book of tidbits, tips, recipes, and many stories of first-happenings at Christmas—first Christmas campout; first sip of wassail; first Christmas when a soldier returned from a long tour of duty; first high school diploma for veteran of WWII given at Christmas.
The remarkable part, we’ve not all met in person. A few of us have now met, but we remain fast friends and prayer supporters of our projects and our individual ventures.
For A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms, only five of our group could participate but it is similar in flavor to our Christmas book. Again, Leafwood Publishers produced a quality gift book in full color. We offer tips, recipes, everyday boosts, and “first” stories in chapter sub-titles such as Mama Sez, Nourishment for Mom’s Spirit, Family Snapshot, A Few of Our Favorite Things, Mom Miscellany, Mommy’s Little Helps, You Might Be a Mommy If…, Yummy, Yummy in My Tummy, and Word Quilter’s Wisdom. We co-authors have almost 150 years of mothering under our aprons.
Our first stories include topics such as infertility, morning sickness, pregnancy surprises (twins), breastfeeding, children in the garden, a spitting contest, first steps, first bath, and first haircut. More stories appear about sports, teachers, adopting children, and when a daughter gets her ears pierced and when a child thinks they need a cell phone. Much diversity makes this an appealing read.
Oh, I loved contributing to this book. I received my copy the other day, and have already read half of the stories. Mothers! What an incredible species of womanhood. The fifty stories cover a gamut of circumstances—from wringing-hand moments to light bulb solutions, from sorrow to ecstasy. Moms learn from children and our babies learn at our knees. In my story “Little Boy Lost,” I reflect on the day my son rode his tricycle out of our yard onto our 100-acre farm. I panicked and prayed and God sent a neighbor to the rescue.
Detours in life can be frustrating, but the outcome is often more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
I guess this is a real biggie, but I didn’t marry the man that I expected to marry. My heart took a leap away from one and toward another. And I knew because of intense prayer that I was making the right decision, and I’ve loved my husband for forty-five years. We still go on Saturday night dates, his wonderful sense of humor keeps me laughing, he remains devoted to me, and he spends time in prayer every day for me. Isn’t that incredible!
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Oh, the food I run to—to spice up my writing or as a reward—is guacamole. Homemade is best, of course, but several local restaurants blend a delectable dip at tableside. I think it’s a favorite because I prefer veggies rather than meat.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
“Oh dear. Oh dear,” as Pooh Bear says, must I mention my rusty musical talent. I’m fifty years away from my first-chair flute position in high school band where I also played the piccolo. However, I do still have my nickel-plated flute. I pull it out from time-to-time and try to impress my grandchildren.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I suppose I’d be an “Easy Listening” song. I’m fairly laid back, not too uptight. (I learned this in life, and it led to a Bible study book about contentment.)
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next-door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
The girl next-door. Neighborly, I am.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Not many pets as a child. However, I’m a farm girl now. So, when hubby’s out of town. You’ll find me feeding the cows, or assisting in rescuing a calf from an abandoned well at midnight (had to do that recently), or bottle feeding a sick calf . . . or phoning the neighbor to say their registered longhorn bull has leaped over the fence into our pasture once more.
Thanks, Cathy! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
You’re welcome. The pleasure is mine to be your literary, rusty-musical guest today. Thank you for the invitation.
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For more information about Cathy, visit her website at www.cathymessecar.com.
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