It’s been a creatively rich time for Blackfalds author Marcia Laycock, who has been exploring her exemplary knack for storytelling again in her latest book A Tumbled Stone.
She also just released an expanded third edition of her landmark title Spur of the Moment, which was originally published in 2003.
As to A Tumbled Stone, it’s a sequel to 2007’s One Smooth Stone, explains Laycock who has been landing awards for years for her work on both sides of the border.
A book signing is also scheduled for this Saturday at Scott’s Parables Christian Store from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“As I was getting to the end of One Smooth Stone, I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the characters so I was starting to think of what I could do next with it,” she explains of A Tumbled Stone.
“Things usually come to me in scenes, and I had these scenes that were popping into my head.”
The book focuses on a woman by the name of Andrea Calvert. She ends up pregnant, leaves her foster home and decides to settle down for a while at a place called Evie’s Rocky Road Diner.
Andrea begins to learn much from Evie, and through the process discovers her mother’s diary and the story that reveals the reasons for the dysfunction in their family. The book has been described as a ‘powerful tale of redemption and belonging.’
As for the expanded version of Spur of the Moment, Laycock said folks have been asking for copies of it again.
The book consists of short reflections on the experiences we encounter in life, stories reflecting personal faith and each one includes a scriptural reference as well.
Laycock indeed has a way of capturing truths in well-structured and accessible ways. Page after page, an attractive authenticity shines through as well.
The book really opened doors for Laycock and it has resonated strongly with readers as well. She notes that many folks who have experienced hurt in their lives have seemed to be helped in particular.
“I’ve been amazed at where that little book has gone.”
One Smooth Stone has had its own poignant influences as well.
She relates a story of one young woman, who had experienced a traumatic event in her younger years, who ended up sick at home – with nothing to read and a broken TV. The woman’s mother had dropped off a copy of One Smooth Stone and the daughter opted to give it a try. “She called her mom at midnight in tears and said ‘Mom, I think I finally believe that God really does love me in spite of everything’. When I heard that, I said to my husband that I didn’t care if I sold another book – the purpose of it had been fulfilled in that one situation.”
Meanwhile, Laycock, who along with her husband Spence pastors Faith Community Church in Blackfalds, has had her own pain to deal with – and such experiences have enriched her writing.
Last year, she won a World Guild Christian Writing Award for best blog series.
To qualify each writer had to submit two consecutive blog posts he or she had written.
The two blogs that Laycock submitted were written during a trying time in her life. She wrote while she was struggling with breast cancer. Laycock was diagnosed in 2011 and finished treatment in early 2012.
For Marcia, who is originally from Ontario, writing has always been a natural means of expressing what’s on her heart.
Her writing began in the attic of her parents’ home where she wrote poetry and short stories for her dolls.
She says they never complained so she kept it up.
“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. My mom used to say she thought I was born with a pencil in my hand.”
She went on to Carlton University in Ottawa to take journalism in the 1970s. Journalism wasn’t her thing, but a passion for writing continued to grow.
Since then, her work has been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies in both Canada and the U.S. and has been broadcast on radio across Canada. She also writes a weekly devotional column, The Spur, which appears in publications across Canada and goes out by e-mail.
Her most recent endeavour is a Christmas novella An Unexpected Glory. It’s about a pageant in a men’s homeless shelter that seems to go all wrong. The story is one of a series of 12 ebooks releasing every two weeks as Kathi Macias’ 12 Days of Christmas.
They are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online retailers.
“I am excited to have this new book releasing just before Christmas,” she said.
Ultimately, Laycock is grateful for her gift to communicate via the written word.
“I really believe that God inspires me to write the things that I do,” she explains. “So I know that He has a purpose in it, and I’ve seen His purpose in it with the responses I’ve gotten to the columns and the books.
“It’s amazing what He can do with your words when you put them out there.”
Check out www.marcialeelaycock.com.