Did you have a favorite teacher or two?

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

Did you have a teacher who inspired you  to do something beyond your dreams? Like telling you, you had the talent to write a novel? I was lucky enough to have two. My sixth grade teacher, Nancy Brooks, and my tenth grade teacher, John Ruppel.

I had every intention of mentioning them when my first novel was published, but for some unknown reason I didn't. When I wrote the acknowledgments for Passion's Race, I concentrated on the people near and dear who supported me on my journey. It turns out there was something a little more Mystical behind my omission of their names.

They both came to mind as I wrote the acknowledgments for Mystical Connections, my third release. Mystical Connections has a paranormal edge, and I realized there was a more Mystical Connection to these two teachers.

Ms. Brooks left teaching to enter Human Resources at Burdines - now known as Macy's - in Florida. When I graduated from high school, I applied for a job at Burdines, and Ms. Brooks was the person who reviewed my application and interviewed me. She remembered me as a bright student with a creative soul. I got the job, and it was the beginning of my business career.

While going to college, I began climbing the corporate ladder with Burdines; from sales person to general manager - and almost everything in between, I continued to grow my knowledge of business through hands-on experience while I earned my degrees. This led to a 20+ year career in retail.

It wasn't until we were living on Guam, working for a large company, LVMH, that I decided to write that book I always dreamed I'd write. Business suffered after the World Trade Center attacks, 9/11 changed everything. We lived on a tropical island. Why not chase a dream?

So I started writing, and my new career took shape. It was a long road of writing, editing, submitting, handling rejections until one day I signed with my agent and within seven months, I signed my first contract.

When we returned to the mainland, we build a house in St. Augustine, FL. My inspiration was the view of the ocean from the dining room table!

So, fast forward to writing the acknowledgments for Mystical Connections, which I did in June. Once written, I decided to Google both names. I found a connection to Nancy Brooks through LinkedIn and learned John Ruppel retired in 2008 and moved to St. Augustine, living just eight miles from our Florida home. Sadly, he passed away in June of 2009, but his wife still lives not far from us.

I'd like to visit with her and give her signed copies of my three books to show her how her husband inspired his students. He will be remembered fondly by many.

The world is small and magical things happen on a daily basis. We simply need to pay attention!!

Do you think about your teachers, their inspiration, and what you've accomplished or wish to accomplish because of them?



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