Tandy Balson is an inspirational speaker and writer who uses the ordinary to inspire. Tandy blogs at Time with Tandy, and she has written two inspirational books, Inspirations from the Everyday and the newly-released Dragonflies, Snowdrifts and Spice Cake.
I met Tandy last year at Write Canada, and I’m excited to have her visiting with us today.
Janet: Welcome, Tandy! What are a few things you’d like us to know about you?
Tandy: I am a wife, mother, grandmother and follower of Jesus who makes my home in Airdrie, Alberta. My hobbies are reading, baking, walking (to burn off the baking) and I give a really good foot massage.
Janet: Useful skills! I love the whimsical title of your newest book. I had the privilege of reading an early version, and it encouraged me in my perpetual struggle to remember to live in the moment. You have a real gift of seeing lessons in daily experiences. Has this always been part of your life, or is it something you’ve developed over the years?
Tandy: I’d love to be able to say that this has always been part of my life, but that’s not the case. When I look back I can see where there were glimpses of this many years earlier but nothing I paid enough attention to. I have only been consciously aware of the lessons in everyday experiences for the past five or six years.
Janet: Tell us a bit about Dragonflies, Snowdrifts and Spice Cake.
Tandy: This book contains 130 short reflections that point the reader to the lessons that can be found in everyday life experiences. Each story is only a single page long which makes for a quick read. To quote Friesen Press Editor, Janet Layberyy, “The stories themselves offer enough insight that the lessons and comfort found in them should impact and help readers even if they are unsure of their own faith.”
Janet: You were a speaker before you became a writer? What prompted each step?
Tandy: When asked to identify the dream I had for my life, I thought of a speaker/singer that I admired and said I’d like to do what she did. Through the encouragement of friends I set out to see if I could make this a reality. Although I studied both, more opportunities opened up for me with speaking so singing slowly faded into the background. After a few years of speaking I felt God giving me inspiration through ordinary things. I prayed about what he wanted me to do with this and clearly felt I was supposed to write these lessons down and share them with others.
Janet: I’m glad you obeyed! Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Tandy: One of the best things I did when starting out was to find a local writing group to join. There I found support, encouragement and critique that helped to improve my writing. I also joined The Word Guild and Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. These are both national groups and I have learned much through their active social media sites. Conferences have proved invaluable for learning from and connecting with other writers.
Janet: Do you have a regular writing schedule? And is location important, or can you write anywhere?
Tandy: As much as I have attempted to keep a regular writing schedule, life seems to get in the way! I do try to write every day but it may not always be at the same time. I have found that I can write anywhere once the inspiration strikes and keep a journal and pen with me at all times. If I’m at home writing, I need to be in a quiet area as I get easily distracted.
Janet: Is there a particular song or Scripture verse that’s made a big difference for you?
Tandy: Key Scripture verses for me are: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight and Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Janet: You can’t go wrong with those verses. What do you like to do to recharge?
Tandy: Going for a walk often helps me to recharge. The best place for this is on a tropical beach!
Janet: Tell us something you appreciate about where you live.
Tandy: We moved from the Vancouver area ten years ago and at first missed the tall trees. Now I appreciate the big open sky with unobstructed views of interesting cloud formations and beautiful sunsets.
Janet: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve ever done?
Tandy: Right now my answer would be writing and publishing books. I’m getting ready to go on my first cruise and have an unusual shore excursion planned, so the answer may change soon. I’m sure to write about it on my blog when I return!
Janet: We’ll be watching! (Tandy’s blog link is below.) Enjoy your cruise, and keep that journal and pen handy!