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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. An integral part of the homeschooling community, she has developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to homeschoolers and her fascination with the written word.

A Writer's Tribute to Honest Guys

6/15/2018 2:36:00 PM BY Susan Lyttek

Since it’s Father’s Day weekend, I thought I would write a tribute of sorts. Not to my dad directly, because I’ve already done that. But more to the influence of honest men in my life. (Of which, Dad definitely is one!) As a writer, I couldn’t do what I do if there hadn’t been plenty of guys along the way who let me get to know them. My first best friend, at preschool age, was a guy. And while I knew at the time that Glenn and I weren’t exactly the same, what was important to me was that he was a friend who liked mud and turtles almost as much as I did.

In grade school, I had a few guy friends, but the older I got, the larger that group became. They were all part of the gang of us that would hang out to talk, go for a burger, ride bikes, or just be goofy. Often, especially if no crushes were involved, I felt more comfortable chatting with a guy than the girls. I liked more guy activities. I’d rather talk about a video game or a historic battle than shopping and clothes, for instance. One male friend told me that I “spoke guy”.

To be perfectly clear, I’ve always liked being female. (Gary says that’s a good thing!) It’s simply that my interests more often line up on the masculine side of the gauge. And I think that, plus all those honest boys and men that I alluded to earlier play a part in the male main characters in my stories. They would tell me what bugged them and what was important. I’d listen because that’s preferable to talking most of the time. I’d treasure the nuggets of truth for the gems they were.

Over half of my short stories and books (published or not) have a male lead. And almost every story has at least a male supporting character or two. While I use some of the men and boys in my life—past and present—as templates, I will weave in my own experiences like hiking up a mountain, telling a pilot which vector to take or riding a sled down the hairpin curve. I also have a stockpile of fun events that will have to make it into a story someday like babysitting a friend’s snake (yea, it was a guy’s pet), taking a survival class for a weekend and trespassing on the site of an abandoned drive-in.

So, to all those guys who took the time to get to know this writer over the years, thank you. My stories wouldn’t be what they are without you.