Friday, December 16, 2011

The Essence of Rosemary

The Essence of Rosemary (Something I wrote some years back about Rosemary Upton, the best writing mentor ever:) She went to be with the Lord yesterday.

The Essence of Rosemary

     She is as fragrant with the Lord’s essence as the name Rosemary itself, implies. My writing mentor has made such an impact on my life and the lives of many others, with her gentle words and encouragement. Yet there is so much more to this woman that few of us ever glimpse.
     Only looking at her from afar I would’ve never known from whence she came. Yes, we all have a story, but how many of us dig deep or take the time to listen to each one? Even those we love sometimes get by-passed because we don’t take the time to listen to them or do the research.
     I first met Rosemary at Winning Women where she was serving on the Board. Many of the ladies at our Pt. Orange Bible study were signing up for her Writing Strategies Course. “No, Lord, that is not for me, putting my life and thoughts on paper. I’m sure everyone else is more educated and talented and there is no reason for me to go," was my first response. Although I could see Rosemary was a talented and educated woman with such finesse, I bypassed the class.
     But over the years the Lord was prodding my heart and at a certain time I decided to take the course. Procrastinator that I am I decided against turning in any assignments or attending the monthly Critiqueshop.
     But for the Lord………..and Rosemary.  As I read her books and came to know her, I was compelled to write and go to the excellent critique meeting each month at her home. She chisels her critique with kindness and encouragement that has helped me be tenacious in spite of my lack of education and many obstacles at home.
     The next year I was faithful to Critiqueshop, bringing my small, amateurish offerings.  Among the people in my group consistently at that time, were an editor, a published author and speaker, a retired missionary doctor, a local professor and a published author who I’m sure must have a genius IQ. There I was, a homemaker who aspired to write. My education was in the school of life. What was I doing there? Didn’t I know I was out of my league? At times I had to force myself out the door of my home to go to the meeting. But Rosemary has always been my biggest encourager in the field of writing and the things I have learned in her presence will forever be ingrained in my heart.
      One of our dear Critiqueshop members, Kistler London has moved away but in correspondence I was able to glean some of Rosemary’s story.
      Rosemary was raised in a mostly Irish family, whose father worked with his hands. She and Hugh married at age nineteen and raised two children. She assisted her husband in a career that started with his working in his parent's one small motel that he eventually built into a business empire based on Christian principles. The development of their business ventures was directly tied to their discovering much more freedom in Christ than was "allowed" in their home church in a northern state. Hugh eventually rose to President of the hotel/motel association (state, maybe even national), and she was his gracious "first lady." Although Rosemary couldn't wait to get out of high school, where the thing she most enjoyed was leading her own troop of prize-winning majorettes, she later thirsted for more education, eventually getting her MA in Biblical Studies. She served as a counselor for CBN, watched her daughter go through partial lung removal surgery, saw her mother through eight years of Alzheimer's (and wrote a book that still helps caregivers), and has a generous and tender heart.
     She played a considerable role in developing Sunset Harbor alongside her
husband, Hugh. These High School Sweethearts have been married over fifty years now and each supports the work of their mate. Rosemary credits her husband with helping her realize her gift of a writer long before she was officially published, when at a social function involving a lot of business people Hugh introduced her by saying, "This is my wife, the writer."
     Rosemary has said, "My attitude is that any one I meet may be a better
Christian than I am," and that quote has captured my heart as the way we all should live. It shows a truly humble heart and I believe it is the essence of Christ and the essence of my dear friend and mentor, Rosemary Upton. I will be forever grateful to our Savior for the things I have learned in her presence.

Donna Collins Tinsley 2005

If found a poem written by Rosemary in some of my files yesterday. It is called Sustained or Detained.
Sustained or Detained
If you don't mind, just let me be

I want to die in dignity

No life machines to breathe for me

No fancy drugs to set me free,

No hovering about my bed.

No tubes hooked up by which I'm fed.

For traveling has always been

An exciting, frenzied spin,

And this last rip to which I'm called

Must not be stopped

Or stayed, or stalled.

My master and myself agree,

I'm ready for eternity!

Rosemary Upton from Glimpses of Grace
Kistler London, an editor and writer, who was a wonderful part of our Critiqueshop for years, filled me in on information about Rosemary.

American Pen Women  Bio-sketch
By Kistler London

Who¹s Who in Daytona Beach Branch (2001)

Rosemary Upton (Active, Letters) has been a member of the Daytona Beach
Branch since 1989 and has served as Chaplain, President, and Secretary.

She worked as a draftsman in her early career. Later she earned a BA in
Theology and an MA in Biblical Studies.

Rosemary¹s published short works‹stories, poetry, plays, skits, radio
commentaries, and articles‹deal with moral issues. Her first book, Glimpses
of Grace, A Family Struggles with Alzheimer's, was published by Baker Books
in 1990.

The Court and the Kingdom, released by Harold Shaw Publishers in 1993, was
republished by Guideposts Condensed Books in 1995 and again as Joanna
(Guideposts Hardcover) in 1997.

She uses her talents in communication as counselor, teacher, speaker, and
writer. Rosemary also read Glimpses of Grace for the audio version published
in 1998.

She hosted a monthly Critiqueshop made up of students from her courses,
Writing Strategies for the Christian Market and/or Building the Novel. She
is listed in Novel & Short Story Writer's Market and Christian Writers'
Market Guide.
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