Life experience that is “worthy of a book” is not limited to a Baby Boomer or the elderly by any means. A turning-point experience can come to people of any age, and afterwards they may want to capture what happened and draw meaning from it for their own remembrance and for future generations.
On a cold April day in 2007, sixteen-year-old Ben Hylden tried on his suit coat for the upcoming school prom, then sped toward nearby Park River, ND, for an appointment.
Running late and driving too fast, Ben lost control of his car on ice, flipped it, and was thrown out the passenger’s door—plunging face-first into an icy field. Ben’s face and body were crushed, along with his dreams of being a basketball star.
As his battered body lay in the field, Ben’s life seemed to be coming to an end. However, this was the beginning of a remarkable journey of faith that showed him glimpses of life beyond this world, and gave him a new perspective on what matters most.
In October of 2012, Ben began to write his story, longhand in a notebook. His goal was to publish it in a book, with the hope that people reading it would be encouraged and built in their faith as he had been through years of struggling to recover.
Missy Ohe, a local radio talk show host in Grand Forks, ND, where Ben attended college, connected me with Ben, hoping that I could coach him in writing and the publishing process.
At first I suggested to Ben that we work on an informal basis until he completed a first draft. Frankly, very few first-time authors who attempt to write a book get that far. But Ben persisted, writing in longhand and then typing each chapter. Writing is not so much about inspiration as about sitting in a chair and staring at a page or computer screen until words come, and then doing this the next day and the next and the next. And he did it.
For a first-time author, Ben also showed great maturity and wisdom about the editing process. He persisted in the hard work to get the book the best he could make it.
When the first shipment of his book arrived at his parent’s home in Park River, Ben was very excited. His goal is to impact positively as many lives as he can. And his dream is coming true as he speaks and sells his book.
Copyright © 2013 by Mary Beth Lagerborg