Special Needs Children, The Angels On My Shoulder by Jody Sharpe has placed second in the category of Autobiography or Memoir in the NFPW At-Large Communications Contest.
Says Jody, this is a memoir of my twenty-five years teaching children with special needs. It’s a love story about the special students and others who over the years graced my life with just that, their grace.
With hearts of angels and challenges to face, the children took me along their journeys and inspired my own life’s journey of self-discovery. When sorrow came, their kindness helped me through. The synchronicity of events from high school to retirement changed my life for the better, turning my face toward heaven.
APW Central Chapter hosted Jody Sharpe in January on the topic of “The Angels On The Writer’s Shoulders.” Writing about angels became healing for Jody after losing her daughter. The valuable lessons learned about moving forward have set her on a mission to tell stories with love and spiritual awakening, which she shared with the attendees.
Central Chapter Director, Barbara Lacy, said of the meeting, “I have been thinking about ‘my’ Angel ever since!” Two memories came to mind. Here’s one of them in Barbara’s words”
“..two things that happened because of Amazing Coincidence’s. . .that I never could have imagined.
“In 1977, my family and I lived on the Navajo Reservation. I was working on a book about Navajo plant use—being careful to leave out anything about sacred plants. I even had a publisher.
“Then, the Navajo Medicine Men’s Association heard about the book and, as men who were charged with protecting the Tribe’s sacred knowledge of plants, they banned my book. I had finished my project by then. . .and left the Reservation that week.
“Almost 10 years later, a woman professor from Illinois who came to the reservation every summer to research Navajo music, walked into the (now defunct) Navajo Press Bookstore to see what was new. Sitting on the counter was my manuscript!
“’Oh,’ she said, ‘Are you publishing Nanise?’
“’We want to, but we can’t find the author,’ the clerk said.
“My friend (or Angel!) pulled her address book out of her purse and gave her my Phoenix address! (I had met her the summer I stayed behind, after my family had moved to Phoenix, to finish up book details. She spoke Navajo and had been in the room when the Navajo Medicine Men banned the book and told me of their decision right after the meeting. I knew her for all of three days that summer and had no contact with her once I left the Reservation.)
“Did my Angel put the manuscript on the counter that day and direct my friend to the bookstore? Had that meeting almost ten years earlier been directed by my Angel?”
Next month we hear from Jan Cleere who researches interesting Arizona women and writes about them and will talk about sources for research.
Saturday, January 11, award-winning author Jody Sharpe will be speaking to members and guests of Arizona Professional Writers in Phoenix on “The Angels On The Writer’s Shoulders.” A light lunch will be served.
DATE/TIME: Saturday, January 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: the Fireplace Room of Shepherd of the Hills Church, 5524 East Lafayette Blvd., Phoenix, AZ., 85018.
COST: $15, which includes a light lunch. Pay at the door.
RSVP: by January 7 to Barbara Lacy- firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-620-1358.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jody had a rewarding career as a special education teacher. Writing about angels became healing after losing her daughter. The valuable lessons learned about moving forward have set her on a mission to tell stories with love and spiritual awakening.
Says Jody about her writing, “I believe angels have always been guiding me. After my daughter’s death, experiencing messages in dreams, meeting a man who might have been a real angel set me on the spiritual journey of writing novels where angels live as humans, and no one knows the secret.” Books in her Mystic Bay Series are: “The Angel’s Daughter,” “To Catch an Angel” and “Town of Angels.”
Jody Sharpe’s interests are in writing novels about angels living as humans in a town where no one knows the secret. “Writing gives me peace and joy!”