Guest Post from Rebecca Hendrickson, author of Lessons from the Mountain

In the author's own words...

Cover of Lessons from the Mountain“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I went to live with my mother for a month as my husband works in health care and I was working remotely as a teacher with two very young children in desperate need of some help while I attempted some sliver of normalcy for both my children and students. With the slowed-down pace of life and reversion back to being a child in my mother's home, I suddenly began to seriously reflect on what had been a very turbulent few years before this worldwide catastrophe began. I had lost my father after a two-year battle with an unexpected and unexplained illness, overcome my own mental health struggles after my children were born, and moved back to the Northeast after a very trying few years in the North Carolina school system teaching both elementary general education and special education. I realized that I hadn't taken a moment at all to digest it, grieve it, and feel it. It was like a waterfall through my fingertips that I couldn't contain as I just began furiously typing a fictional story based on elements of my experience that I needed to rehash, yet keep separate from what actually happened to me personally.

While I have always found writing cathartic, typically in the form of journaling, I had never before crafted a fictional novel. Every free moment, which with the introduction of a global pandemic had become more available, the story just kept spilling out of me. At the time, I was writing for selfish reasons, to feel my feelings in a way that I could control. However, after a few months of working in this manner, I had created a work of fiction, my first novel. Throughout my experiences, I had felt quite lonely, and did not openly share them with many people for fear of feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or like a failure. I began to think about how I could use my novel to serve as a support for somebody else. While my experiences were challenging, they were certainly not solely unique to me.

I decided to reach out to publishing companies in order to have some assistance in sharing my novel with the world, in hopefully helping even just one reader looking for support with postpartum depression, mental health issues, the loss of a loved one, or the many hardships that exist in the world of teaching. My goal for this book is for it to help someone else going through any of these obstacles know they are not alone.”