Little Fumans


I was driving my youngest to Forest School, enjoying his chattering in the back. He was dressed up in his waterproof camos (he’d been longing for rain, just so he could wear his waterproof outfit!), and he was telling me about his buildings, and the creatures living in them. “They’re actually fuman,” he said, and I smiled. With three older siblings, most mispronounced words don’t survive very long, but fuman is still around. I love hearing him say it, for at nearly 8, he feels hugging and kissing me goodbye at Forest School is embarrassing, only to be endured with eye-rolling and a longsuffering sigh. I think 8 is still little.

Not many of my children’s stories contain fumans. They all love telling or imagining stories. My littlest one sits next to me when doing his morning Kindle time, and I can hear him whispering stories whilst wandering around his Minecraft village. My older boy has a very long-running, complex story called Angry Parrots, based on his teddies. Only one of the characters happens to be a parrot, and that parrot is hardly ever angry. In fact, the main character in Angry Parrots is an orange octopus that has seen better days. My son loves his Angry Parrots, and so do his siblings, who listen patiently to his stories, laughing and groaning in all the right places.

It struck me, when my son was doing NaNoWriMo last year, how much joy he gets from his stories. He will type a sentence on the old laptop, then laugh so much, he usually loses his balance and has to share the words with whichever sibling is near.

The story is very unlikely to be a bestseller (he disagrees on that one!), but his joy is a blessing and inspiration. It doesn’t matter where commas and question marks go, he finds every single sentence so hilarious, it just has to be shared. The way my son is, thanks to early years trauma, other people’s views are irrelevant. He will simply shrug if someone tells him they don’t like it, completely untouched by criticism. This isn’t always an asset, but sometimes I do feel it’s a gift.

Some of us would say we write for our enjoyment or we say, “I write for an audience of One,” and we all probably say we want to honour God with our writing. I’m sure the general public thinks we write because we enjoy it. Which we do. But how many of us are thoroughly thrilled with every single sentence we write? That is, even before an editor how made it look like an English sentence?

I love telling stories on paper. Though part of me thinks, “Will people like this? Who will ever read this? Isn’t this too shallow?” Maybe I should be more determined to thoroughly enjoy my stories. To be more determined to honour God with my writings, to only seek His blessing when I sit down to bash away at a story. And pray that my stories will bless others, especially other fumans.

My name is Maressa Mortimer, and I’m Dutch. I live in the beautiful Cotswolds, England, with my husband who is a pastor. We have four (adopted) children. I’m a homeschool mum, so my writing has to be done in the evening, when peace and quiet descends on our house once more. I love exploring questions of faith using novels, as it helps me to see what faith looks like in daily life. My debut novel, Sapphire Beach, was published December 2019. My latest novel, Walled City, launched on December 5th, 2020, and I’m nearing the first draft of its sequel! And Viking Ferry, a novella, has unexpectedly been released at the end of March!

Visit my website www.vicarioushome.comto read my blog or to buy signed copies from my shop!

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