Good Morning, everyone. If you are a returning follower, you may have noticed the music that now accompanies my posts. After my son successfully launched his own blog, I asked him to put a player on mine so that he could practice the steps and become competent with them. This way, when his mom forgets how to do it, she has someone with a younger brain with better recall ability to take her through the steps once again.
I chose Welcome to My World for my theme song for a couple of reasons. First, it’s always been a favorite of mine. My world in cyberspace consists of all my wonderful friends who support me in my love of writing. The writing part of my life is like a completely different world, because I live through my characters and their situations. So, of course, I want to welcome all of my friends here every time they care to drop by. While they are here, I want them to leave their cares behind and enjoy their time with me.
Another reason I love this song is the overall message that it contains. When we welcome others into our lives without reservation, we receive so much. Sometimes it is friendship, other times it is love. It can also lead to opportunities for writers to expand their knowledge of human nature, which is great for developing believable characters and worlds. It’s a win-win situation.
But long after I heard and fell in love with this song, and before I accomplished the task of completing a full-length novel, I met the man who wrote this song. His name is Johnny Hathcock, and although our friendship was brief in the overall scheme of things, his influence will have a lasting effect on my life.
I met Johnny in 1983, while I was living in Amarillo, Texas. I had never worked up the courage to make any of my writing public, other than papers my English professor at West Texas A&M read aloud in class from time to time. My self-confidence level was near the bottom of the well, and so I didn’t take my writing seriously. Besides, I mostly wrote humor, so I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously.
Then came time for the Tri-State Fair, a pretty big deal in the Texas Panhandle. While perusing the fair brochure, I found a writing competition. As they say, whoever they are, the rest is history. I entered the competition, and my poem won first place. One of the judges for the competition invited me to join their writing group. That’s where I met Johnny Hathcock.
Many of you may not have ever heard the name, but Johnny Hathcock is the man who wrote Welcome To My World, along with over 400 other country songs. He was also a writer of poetry, and his regular day job was as a writer for a Texas newspaper. I say was, because Johnny passed away in December of 2000, at the age of 81. But while he was with us, he influenced a lot of people, including a woman who didn’t have much faith in her ability to write a cohesive sentence. He encouraged me, and showed me strengths and weaknesses in my writing. He also thought my particular brand of humor was funny and worthwhile, and told me to start taking myself seriously, because no one else would until I learned to do it first.
So this post is my little tribute to a man who helped me become the writer I am today. There are others who have helped me along the way, and I will mention them from time to time. I don’t know how long I will keep the player on here, because it tends to distract me. But every time I hear this particular song, I will remember Johnny Hathcock and thank him for welcoming me into his world.