Dennis Ellingson (back, center) leading a group of women from a local church in Arizona, on a “plants of the Bible” walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
(Photos by Kit Ellingson)
Guest Post by Dennis Ellingson:
Event after event after event . . . Blessed and busy. I have been published now for eighteen years. But the last few years have been busier than ever. Many factors contribute to all this author activity. I’m now long established and known locally and through social media. I have nine books in current publication, that present interesting subject matter, and that touch readers. And certainly the great Hand of the Lord gives us the desires of our hearts.
For a long time now I have believed these two things:
- If you write something that matters and is helpful, God will use it.
- You are your own best salesman.
And you better be, otherwise you may have closets full of unopened cases of your books! The reality is this: I may need to spend more time selling than writing. But if I believe what I wrote will help people, then that’s a great motivation.
Because of the subject matter of most of my books, events can be built around them such as lectures and workshops. The plant-centered books lead to walk-and-talk outings and tables and booths at community festivals. These events help sell books, I meet interesting people, and my author life expands beyond anything I realized or anticipated.
A local history book I wrote expanded my knowledge of an area we live in. But more than that, it put me in touch with wonderful people I may not have met otherwise. Some of these people who helped in my research are now best friends to my wife and me. One such regular phone conversation with ninety-year-old Selda always ends like this for Kit and myself; Selda always says, “Love ya, honey.” It means the world to us!
I have been doing plant walks at the internationally famous Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona. I get to do “The Plants of the Bible Walk”. Can you think of any more fitting thing for an herbalist and retired pastor to get to do?
Opportunity may come knocking. But prayer for direction, the willingness to get out there, to knock on doors, and even to suffer a little failure now and then—sure pays off.