Local writer, Sara (Sally) Conkle, has recently published her second "Chicken Soup" article, this time in Messages From Heaven and Other Miracles. The volume has been on the New York Times Best Seller List. Her story is about an incident during which the author connected with a dear friend, Fran, moments after Fran’s death.
Conkle described her friend as the kind of person you want in your life who also wants you in theirs, accepts you exactly as you are and who would do anything to see you smile. Publishers of the "Chicken Soup" books promise that all books will enjoy popularity. The stories are written by ordinary people who have had extraordinary experiences. Miracles, answered prayers, cases of divine intervention are intended to deepen faith and show that good things do happen to good people.
"I had written a story on my grandparents’ piano, and it was just sitting in the computer. When I read about the newest Chicken Soup book soliciting articles, I sent it in, and they sent a contract shortly thereafter," Conkle said. "I didn’t really believe that I would be able to publish a second one."
Her first story was a memory of an odd coincidence in which the author accidentally found her grandparents’ piano in a house that was scheduled to be torn down. Today, the piano resides in the Conkle home.
Born in Newcomerstown, and raised in Dover, Conkle, 60, graduated from Dover High School and Aultman School of Nursing. She is currently a Home Palliative Care nurse. Her family includes husband, Dan, sons, Nate and Alex, and granddaughters, Kaylee and Rylee.
Conkle said writing was her favorite subject in high school, but once she began her career as a nurse, she never thought about it.
"However," she said, "Sixteen years ago when I was working in Hospice, I began to realize how many wonderful stories I had witnessed, so I took it up again. It was a way to process the heavy emotions involved with Hospice."
After joining a writing group, Conkle was encouraged to attend writing conferences. She first published a devotional in "Machiado," then several hospice articles in newsletters and an article in "Pulse." Her book will be available for signing during the May 3-4 Canal Town Book Fest at Dover Public Library. Conkle currently facilitates a writing group that meets at 6 p.m. the last Monday of each month at the library. Any writers interested in publishing are welcome.