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Busy and Talented

They say if you want something done ask a busy person.

Amy and Kyle Pratt

One of my friends, Amy, works at the Chehalis Library near my home. She writes in her free time and has been the local liaison for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the last few years. She also serves on the board of the Lewis County Writers Guild which, among other things, organizes a one-day writers conference each year. We often sit next to each other at weekly guild critique sessions. At one of the guild board meetings, Amy showed a large diamond painting she had been working on. I wondered when she had the time to work on such an intricate creation.     

I’m not sure if Amy considers herself a busy person, but it seems like it to me. A few days ago I taught a class, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What?, at the Chehalis library. It has often been said that authors write because the page is blank, painters fill a canvas because it’s empty. When my Library talk was done Amy removed the poster and later made it into a bow. Why? For the same reason climbers summit a mountain—it was there.

The bow looked like a complex weave to me, but as Amy handed it to me she said it took only a couple of minutes to make.

I’ve often heard it said that you can tell a lot about a person by their friends. In my case I have a lot of busy and talented friends.


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An outstretched hand

I have a wonderful life.

Yes, I made some good life choices, but I also know that the grace of God has shined in my life. I am fortunate to have been born here in America and at this time. I thank God that I met and married my wonderful wife, and that I can do what I love for a living.

So, when my writer and friend Julie Zander asked if I’d be willing to donate a copy of one of my books to the Lewis County Gospel Mission fundraiser, I quickly agreed.

Author Kyle Pratt with Gospel Mission director Fay Ternan

Earlier today, I met with the director, Fay Ternan. She told me the mission was formed in 1996 as an independent Christian outreach to the widows, runaways, the homeless, poor and those just out of jail. In addition to clothing, bedding, shows, and other essentials, the mission provides thousands of meals every month. This is the work of Matthew 25:35 and 36.

The fundraiser is a dinner and live auction at the Centralia Christian School this Saturday. I’ve donated a copy of each of my four paperback books to the effort. I hope to see you there.

Working on the Bucket List

Kyle Pratt with ham radio mentors Lorin and Veda Moline

In a blogpost titled Bucket List, I mentioned that I was studying to get my amateur radio or “ham” license. Well, I’m still studying the book and working with my mentor Lorin Moline and his wife Veda. I know I could have worked both harder and faster and been done already, but with writing deadlines and life in general, I thought it best to take it slowly. Lorin and Veda have been both understanding and encouraging.

Earlier this week I attended my first meeting of the Chehalis Valley Amateur Radio Society. I got a chance to meet several of the members and hear an interesting talk on 3D printing. Amateur radio enthusiasts are using the technology to make many parts for their radios, antennas and ham shacks.

I’m looking forward to taking the test soon, becoming more involved with hams here, and around the world.  

Growing Reach

I received a surprising email recently.

Since I started, I’ve felt that the best way to promote and sell my books was online. While I’m thrilled when it occurs, I put little effort into getting them into stores and libraries. Still, over time, they have appeared in several brick and mortar establishments like the Strand in New York City, Powell’s in Portland, and my local store, Book N Brush.

So, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised when my friend and fellow author Jennifer Vandenberg sent me these pictures. She was visiting the local Chehalis library and found the book just as you see it in the picture.

I went to the library the next day and talked with the only person I know working there, Amy Flugel. She checked the catalog and informed me the regional library system three copies of A Time to Endure, all checked out, and three more of Through Many Fires at other libraries.

So, thanks to someone in the Timberland Regional Library system, the reach of my books continues to grow.

Gathering Together

Like most writers, I’m an introvert.

I spend most of the day alone, in a small office, writing. The room is in my home so, my wife is near, but she leaves me to do my work. Hours can go by and the only people I talk to are the characters in my stories.

From L to R, Wayne, Anthony, Holly, Amy, Lisa, Larry and Kyle Pratt.

Picture by Jennifer Vandenberg

Staring at the page I’ll ask, “What are you going to do next?”

“Why did you do that?”

“Are you going to take that? Are you angry? Do you want to hit him? Do something!”

Writers get a bit crazy when they’re left alone for too long.

After weeks of writing, I looked forward to last Friday, when the Lewis County Writers group, pictured here, gathered at the Matrix Coffeehouse for a potluck. What do writers talk about when they gather together? Like most people, we talk about what we do and the people we know. So, while we ate we discussed writing, publishing and other authors. After that, we talked about everything else.

My mental battery is now recharged for many more days of writing.