Biographical Non-Fiction posted September 5, 2022

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Who is she, really? Read on and find out.

Debi Pick Marquette Interview


Interview A FanStory Writer Contest Winner 

An Interview with a FanStory writer. 

The Debi Pick Marquette Interview 

by Gary MacLean 


Debi was one of the first FS authors I had contact with. She took a deep interest in my work and I in hers. This interview was as much for my edification as yours. Please read about this amazing woman and you will find a genuinely loving, caring individual who wants nothing more than to love everyone and be accepted for who she is.  

The interview is long, but after reading  and editing, I found nothing I could take out and do justice to the initial intent of this project. Please read it, I think you will be blessed having done so.  


I see from your profile you joined FanStory in August of 2021, yet your first Milestone post was not until March of 2022. Was there a specific reason for your delay in posting? 

I was in the process of creating my most important bucket list project, writing poems for everyone in my entire family, many that I had written throughout the years. I had found an online site to create my own book, in which each person had two large pages with their poem and numerous pictures of their lives. This book included my husband, children, their spouses, each grandchild, mother, father, each of my siblings, and a few prayer-poems. The title of the book was, “Expressing Love for my Family, with my Prayers, Poetry, and Pictures.” 

It was a very costly project, but a remarkable success as everyone received their own copy of it for Christmas last year. ‘Not a dry eye in the house,’ as they say. And I got to scratch it off the ole bucket list. 

With that done, I missed the excitement of writing and having my poetry have some purpose. I had been writing on a Christian woman’s site, but that had so many limitations on what I could write about. Plus, there was no real interaction with others.

I became bored and because of being so confined, I knew it was the perfect time for me to do something for myself. That was hard for me as I had always been quite happy just doing for others. I decided to do what I had always wanted, but never had the time or courage to do; follow my lifelong dream to continue writing poetry, but on a more public forum where I could be reviewed and enter contests. I decided to watch and learn for a while. As it turned out, I was happy I had, because so much of what I had learned earlier in life, regarding punctuation, capitalization, and the rules of using connective words ... seemed to be almost obsolete. 

I did join in August 2021 but did not spend much time on FanStory until after Christmas. Then I received an email in March to join the more advanced membership and on a brave whim, I paid my fee and thought, why not try? Best decision I have ever made. 


What was your reasoning for joining FanStory in the first place, what did you expect to get from it? 

I wanted to learn about different types of writing, mostly poetry, and continue with my need to learn something new every day. And that I have. I've learned so much and tried different styles of poetry. I even stepped out of my comfort zone to write some stories. But I had to stay true to what I love the most, and that is rhyming poetry. That is what my mother wrote for so many years. 

Speaking of my mother and her love for poetry, I would never have had the deep desire to write if it were not for her. These are the last two stanzas in my “Why I Write” poem explaining why I write the way I do. 

My mother taught me a lesson that day 
Doesn't matter what people think or say                                      If you love what you're doing and do your best 
Then throw out the bad and keep all the rest 
So, continue to write and don't compromise 
Your sense of self-worth is your greatest prize 

Before she died, she told me these words too 
"Always remember, to yourself Please be true!" 

She had the most loving spirit and could strike up a conversation even with strangers. (She too was a talker) She died young and would only have been 89 on her last birthday, which seems young considering I was second to the youngest of seven children. 

It meant a great deal to my mother that I loved writing poetry, as she was a wonderful poet and shared many of her own poems with the students she taught and in a book that was only written for her personal feeling of accomplishment. 

One more interesting fact about my mother; she was the reason or inspiration behind Oprah Winfrey's naming, “Acts of kindness for teachers.”

One of her students, Susan, from years before had written to Oprah, telling her how great a teacher my mom was and how even though she had seven children at home, she would sacrifice much to help her. 

Sue was overweight and was not taught anything at home about nutrition or exercise. So, my mom would stay late and teach her about eating right and would exercise with her. Plus, Susan's family was so poor that she didn't even have a pair of gloves, boots, or a hat. So, my mom gave Sue her own and my mother went without, as money was scarce for us as well. Oprah invited this girl and my mother to the show. However, by then my mom was in her end stages of pancreatic cancer and was not able to attend. Oprah was crying after hearing all the beautiful things that Susan had talked about regarding my mom. That was when they did a closeup of Oprah, as she announced that if anyone had a wonderful teacher like Joyce Pick, to write in and tell her. She named that day Joyce Pick Day and honored her as being the reason for naming acts of kindness for teachers. 

Also, they sent a transcript of the show home with Susan. (They normally do not do that until the show has been aired) She brought it to watch with my mom, just in time, as she died two weeks later. 


I notice you have met 100 posts. Most have been “Recognized,” many of them are “All Time Best” and over 75% have garnered a six-star overall rating. Would you have any suggestions for other beginning authors on what best to do to realize that sort of success?

For me, it does make a difference to promote my work and get more reviews, which brings more feedback to learn. Which is one of my daily quests, to learn something new every day. However, I know it isn't always doable to promote to a high level, so I am thankful to have many fans and many that I am a fan of. And of course, to review as much as possible, which helps in return to promote your work. I do not believe that promoting has influence in contests. When I am in the voting booth, I read all the entries even if I have already read and reviewed them. That gives everyone the same chance to get a fair vote. 


Much of your work seems to stem from experiences in your early life. Do you feel those experiences have been addressed? 

I refer to them as life experiences and very unfortunate circumstances. Those things I cannot change, so I try not to look over my shoulder at the past but will never again allow anyone to steal away the future and the time I have left here on Earth. There has already been too much wasted time. So, I throw out the bad and keep the rest, every day. 

One other thing I have struggled with since childhood and is still hard for me to this day is accepting compliments or gifts. I love to give but feel awkward when receiving anything. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude, but I guess I just don’t know how to explain why or the feeling it gives me, even with a wonderful six-star review. I absolutely love getting them, but I just lose my words when responding. I do believe it's getting a little easier since feeling so close to so many now. I think it may stem from that little girl, not feeling worthy or deserving of love after having to live with such deep dark secrets.

Writing about those feelings is such a creative outlet for me. When they are about critical issues, I stay serious. They may never completely be out of mind, but I can free myself of some of the pain by helping others. For instance, my poem “godfather” received many reviews from women who said they had similar experiences and never talked about them. Some said it felt good to share that part of themselves with a friend who had also been through it. That was such a gift for me! 

However, my favorite poems to write are the ones that are carefree and fun. I have such a need for joy and laughter, that just writing them makes me happy. All of them have a little surprise or twist at the end. They account for much of my writing.

I had been writing that type for the last fifty years, but being the naïve woman that I once was, I sent all my handwritten poetry to a company that agreed to publish them. Unfortunately, I never saw the published works, or the folder of my poems again.

I pray before writing some of my poems. I feel a need to have the Lord’s guidance on ones that are more controversial. After I do, God won’t seem to allow me to use anything that he doesn’t put in my head. I have tried many times, and it just isn’t possible for my thought process to go in any other direction. Therefore, I wrote, ”God Wakes Me Up.” 


I know from messaging you that both you and your husband, Glen, are currently having some health challenges. Does this impede your activity on FanStory? 

We just decided this was the summer to take care of some of our health issues. He needed both hips replaced. I procrastinated too long but decided I couldn't stay in the wheelchair any longer. My surgeries are touchier as they require putting hardware and rods on top and bottom and reconstructing so they could straighten and strengthen my legs, with a new knee to boot. So, he is done and doing quite well. I had my first leg done on July 7 and my second surgery will be on September 12. So, since being immobile for years, I am so tickled to have found FS and all the people that have made such a difference, to the point of maybe saving my life.

It looks like you depend on your faith a great deal in many of your everyday situations. Is this true in and out of FanStory? 

Absolutely! Every morning before I get up. I thank God for this day and ask Him to please let me be a blessing to everyone I am in contact with that day. And I know for a fact that God put me on the path of FanStory. However, I thought at first it was so I could be a blessing to others. Well God sure fooled me, because I wasn't there for long when I realized that I was the one being blessed. Now I thank God over and over for placing me in FanStory when He did. 


If you are a believer, which I feel you are from reading your material, when did you first accept the Lord, and what was your experience? 

After being an off and on Christian for so many years, I accepted my Lord and was born again, when the pain of addiction had taken over my life. It didn't matter that the doctors pushed the narcotics on me when there was no other way to control the pain of what my Lupus had done to my body, or that I was carrying more pain in my soul than anyone should have to. I needed freedom and only Jesus could break those chains of bondage for me.


You tend to write about your FS friends and acquaintances. Has the FanStory interaction helped you manage your everyday challenges? 

I just love so many people here that I cannot imagine my life without them. These bonds that have been formed have given me a sense of extra security and trust. Little by little they help erase the specks of residue left from all the years that I ran away from everyone, with the feeling that someone would hurt me again. I have my friends and family, but I do not feel comfortable burdening them with my past pain. They all know about it, but to bring them up again, would put them back in that painful place again. So instead, I write about it, I get responses from other writers, and suddenly, it's not so lonely anymore. Does that make sense? I rarely share my writing with anyone in this other world that I live in. Yet they have access anytime they want. You might say, my life is an open, 'poetry’ book. 

I know that I use the word ‘love’ a lot and there is a good reason for that. I never use it unless I truly, honestly, and humbly feel it. But before my youngest brother passed away, he and I had an argument about something that he had done, and I had a tough time letting go of it. The following week, he was killed in a car accident, and I never had another chance to tell him how much I loved him. That ate at me for years, and I swore that I would always tell people what they meant to me. After they are gone, it’s just too late. The life-threatening complications that caused my body to crash, during my last surgery in July, were a reminder to me to keep up with that practice. 


Are there any “Words of Wisdom” you would like to add for your fellow Fanstorians? 

We have been given a gift to have so many caring people in this writing circle! Embrace it and see it for the beautiful experience that it is. I tell people how I feel because it's what is in my heart. I could not do that for years, so now I wear my heart on my sleeve. That's who I am and for once, I no longer feel the need to change me. I am truly the happiest I have ever been; In my world and in the FanStory world. 


I have one final question. Now you have completed the interview, are you pleased with the process, or do you wish you would never have agreed to participate? 

Gary, I feel touched and honored you asked me to do this. So often I express myself and my feelings in my poetry, but rarely have I had the chance to do so in a platform such as this. I thank you for giving me this opportunity. 


Interview A FanStory Writer
Contest Winner


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