Friday, May 16, 2008

The Eclectic Word Lover

This is from a blog I posted at ANWA Founder and Friends to introduce myself and since I thought that there may be a few visitors to my blog who do not know me well, it might be fun to post it here as well.

For those who do not know, ANWA stands for American Night Writers Association and I have been a member for many years. It is a network for LDS women writers. So, here is how I introduced myself on that blog:

I am a lover of words… I love the sounds of words, the various definitions and often hidden meanings of words. I enjoy delightful and funny alliterations and the way certain words just roll right off your tongue while others are like a gentle breeze, soothing and relaxing. Some words are as meaningful as a hug or sadly, as hurtful as a knife.

Everything about words fascinates me… the etymology of words, their power and their magic. I’m grateful for a mother who knew just the right words to use when one of us had a difficult day or when she wanted to share the beauties of this world with us. I’m also thankful that on many occasions I have been prompted to do the same. Words are just the configuration of letters on a page and yet they can bring you to tears, warm your entire being with hope and love or cause joyful and often hysterical laughter. Words can mend relationships and heal hearts. They can also cause harm and even start wars. This line of thinking really intrigues me. I guess it is because of my love of words that I am a writer. However, a writer is only one small facet of who I am.

My favorite word is “eclectic.” If I had a middle name, it would have to be “eclectic.” Sounds strange, I know. But it is the most all-inclusive word I can think of to describe me. I love “picking and choosing the very best” from a wide range of options, etc. I am so random sometimes; I can be quite the paradox and I just love the sound of the word “eclectic.” I guess that’s why I use it so often.

I figured I’d just give you a quick “run-down” of some of the other facets that make up Stephanie Peterson Abney:

I was born in 1951 (doing the math?) in Burbank, CA in a hospital across the street from Walt Disney Studios and raised in Studio City, CA (in the foothills about a quarter mile from Universal Studios). My parents, Steve and Geneal Peterson, were both from Utah and I have one sister, Camille. I gradated from Hollywood High School (I drove past the famous “HOLLYWOOD” sign every day on my way to school) and met my husband, Jim, in a snowball fight at B.Y.U. We will celebrate 38 years of marriage this August and are the parents of 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys). We currently have 14 grandchildren.

We have lived in Mesa, AZ for the past 31 years where Jim works for the church taking care of many of our local LDS buildings and I am a substitute school teacher (and part-time writer who dabbles in network marketing because I love the business model of helping those on your team).

Like everyone, we’ve seen our share of heartaches. The hardest thing Heavenly Father has ever required of us was to watch our healthy and bright 10 year old son battle leukemia for 5½ years and then say goodbye until the next life just 2 months after his 16th birthday. He was an incredible kid and it was a year of great loss. My mom passed away nearly ten years ago and then eighteen months later, my dad died suddenly; six weeks after that, Jim’s dad died from an accident in the home; five weeks later Jim’s mother died due to (preventable) complications of surgery and just three weeks later, with all of his grandparents awaiting him, our sweet son, BJ, passed away. In a four month period we buried 4 immediate family members. We are grateful for the gospel, a strong faith in the Lord’s plan of happiness and wonderful family and friends who loved us and blessed us during those trying times.

My life is also one of great joy. I am an eternal optimist and truly feel I lead a charmed life. All I need do is sit back when I’m surrounded by my family, watching them interact together, look around at our modest yet welcoming home and know that I am indeed a very blessed daughter of God.

Some of the things I enjoy are reading, writing, doing research (my personal choice for relaxation… I love to hunt up facts and stories), being in nature, hanging out with family and friends, playing the Native American Flute and watching great movies.

I have been a member of ANWA for about 19 years and it has been one of my greatest joys. I have developed sweet friendships, learned much and am a better person for it. This year I am the General Vice-president. I look forward to taking my turn on this *blog (that would be *ANWA Founder and Friends) and getting to know many of you better.