"We all have natural and innate abilities to do some things better than others. Our genetics determine, to a certain degree, our predispositions and inclinations. We are endowed with gifts from birth that make us uniquely competent in ways that others are not. "Talent is only the starting point," as Berlin accurately points out, and it's up to us to develop our natural abilities into strengths, if we are to truly maximize our potential.
People who learn how to develop their talents into strengths are the ones that tend to stand out. They are the star athletes, innovative scientists, popular artists and successful entrepreneurs. These exemplary performers understand the value of shaping, polishing and perfecting natural abilities."
When we discover our talents, we should magnify them and not let them go to waste or we may lose them, and that would be a shame.
This past week, I had the opportunity to read The Road Show, a new LDS novel by Braden Bell. It's a quick read, which I love, and it's a heart-tugger.
Scott Jenson hates everything he knows about road shows: cheap costumes, silly songs, and bad acting. Being asked to create a road show is his worst nightmare come true. Can flawed but talented artist create a piece of art that testifies of Jesus Christ? And is there any way that something so trivial can have a healing effect on the lives of five troubled souls? A pornography addict, a depressed young mother, a sick older woman, a lonely outcast, and a spiritually numb elder s quorum president are about to find out. Braden Bell gives a five-star performance with Road Show: Beauty for Ashes. With true-to-life characters, humorous situations, and tender realizations, this book is guaranteed to make you smile and applaud for more.
I loved all the characters in this story and came away from the book feeling uplifted with a renewed knowledge of how God is truly mindful of each and every one of us. It's a great story.
Braden was kind enough to answer some questions about himself and his book. Here are his answers.
Me: Braden, tell us a little about yourself.
Braden: I was born in UT and grew up in Farmington. I have a BA and MA in theatre from BYU and then went to NYC for 3 years to go a PhD at NYU. I now live outside of Nashville, TN with my wife and we have 5 children. I love to garden and read and go on walks with Ginger, our German Shepherd. I teach music and theatre at a small private school.
Me: What got you into writing?
Braden: I have always wanted to be a writer. Since I learned to read and write, I have always been working on some project.
Me: How did you come up with the story for The Road Show?
Braden: About 7 or 8 years ago, I was called to direct our ward's road show. While waiting for our turn to perform, the idea flashed into my mind. It was more of a series of questions, really. "What if the director had a secret?" "What if the leading lady was depressed?" and so on. Within a few weeks, I had a very clear idea of the opening and closing scenes.
Braden: Yes, I write compulsively! I have several things in various stages right now. The WIP that is probably the closest to being finished is a middle grade novel for a more national audience. I call it a suburban fantasy because it takes place in a small, private school.
I definitely look forward to reading more of Braden's work in the future:-)