Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Guest ~ Karen Dupaix

Karen Dupaix was born in Portland, Oregon, the second of nine children. She met her husband, Paul, while attending BYU. Together they have been blessed with seven children, two of whom are currently serving missions, with a third child waiting in the wings for his mission service in about a year.

Karen enjoys many creative endeavors, including knitting, sewing, book binding, gardening, and of course, writing. She loves to learn new things by taking community education classes. She took the Master Gardener course and other advanced gardening classes through the USU Extension Service, earning her Master Gardener certificate in 2002. She has recently breathed new life into a faded dream by beginning to write her first novel.

Some of Karen's favorite things are: spending time with family, eating good food, creating beautiful things, reading good books and enjoying good, dark chocolate.

You can visit Karen's blog by clicking here.

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At some point in life, each one of us has figuratively thrown our hands up in frustration and declared: "This is not what I signed up for! This was not a part of my life plan."

Maybe this sentiment is in response to a devastating loss, or a disappointment. Loved ones may have made poor choices. Maybe it is a financial problem, or perhaps our health takes a turn for the worse. Life's trials come in many forms, and often cause us to feel that it just isn't fair that we should be required to suffer so.

But, suffering beyond our control has a purpose. In D&C 122, Joseph Smith is having one of those "not what I signed up for" moments and he complains a little to the Lord. In response, the Lord gives Joseph these words of wisdom, after describing more trials Joseph may be required to endure: "...know thou my son, that these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

Entire Sunday school lessons could be taught on the purpose of suffering, but I would like to focus on one aspect of having trials that is unique to this audience. As writers, we try very hard to present believable characters. How can we accurately portray a loss or heartache a character is experiencing if we have never experienced loss or heartache?

Having difficult life experiences adds depth and believability to our writing. Think about your life 10 years ago. Would you have been--or were you--as good a writer then as you are now? Have the difficult circumstances you've waded through not made you a more mature, better writer? I would suggest that they have, and that they will continue to painfully enrich your life and understanding.

Next time you feel like lifting your eyes to heaven and asking, "Why me?" remember that life must be experienced to be described. I'm not suggesting we volunteer for difficult experiences--most of us don't have to. I'm only suggesting that we allow those hard times that we will naturally encounter to create depth in our character, so that we can create characters with depth.


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Thanks, Karen, for being our guest today!

Next week, we are excited to have Rebecca Blevins as our featured blogger.

If you would like to be our guest, email Connie for information.

8 comments:

Angie said...

Great post! I have often thought about that--how my trials make me a better writer, because then I really know something that I didn't before. It's funny how when I sprained my ankle, part of me is going. "Yes! Now I know what it feels like to try and walk on a sprained ankle!"

Michael Knudsen said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post, Karen. It was meaningful to me and filled with truth. You're right that we don't need to volunteer for trials - eventually lack of trials becomes a trial by itself!

kbrebes said...

Loved it, Karen. Well written and inspirational.

RaShelle said...

Hi Karen - Thanks for the post. I needed to hear it - inspiration received. =D

Jolene said...

I think it's hard to remember that every time we come out of a trial, we're stronger for it, especially when we're in the middle of something we don't really want to be in.
Thanks!

Taffy said...

Great and timely post! THANKS!

Karen Dupaix said...

Thanks for your great comments! It's fun to be a guest blogger.

Lindy Leigh said...

Karen...what a wonderful post. I am grateful to have found this blog and your guest post being the first one I read...I really needed it today.