Editor’s Note: Lagniappe and Page and Palette teamed up for the “Ridiculously Good Life Essay Contest.” This contest is part of Page and Palette’s 2nd Annual Bay Jubilee, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 14 at the Christian Life Center in Fairhope. This year’s speaker will be Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs, but despite his disabilities, he says he has had “a ridiculously good life.” So we asked people in our area to tell us what makes their own life “ridiculously good?”

Today, we present the first place winner of the adult division, Liz Tetley.

Pen Up Girl

Chink. Scritch scratch. Swish. Tap. Writing instruments have made many sounds throughout history. Today there is technology to make writing and reading easier for visually impaired people. I love being able to increase font sizes and zoom in on my phone, tablet and computer. Whether I use a regular pen or a keyboard, as I increase and zoom in on encouragement for others, I magnify it for myself.


I turn scribbled notes from my low vision support group meeting into blog posts that I hope motivate readers to continue pursuing things despite vision loss. Penning, then typing those notes reinforces encouragement for me.

I have notebooks and scraps of paper everywhere with ideas for stories, poems or songs. The fictional characters that populate my mind as I try to write their stories all want to push past whatever obstacles are in their way. Although I’m struggling now, I’d like to someday write myself past my own obstacles.

In assignment details for devotion articles I’ve written recently are the words, “encouragement,” “uplift” and “motivation.” While preparing these articles, for a Gospel magazine, I’ve uncovered inspiration for my own life. A few years ago, I was on a church card writing list. Hearing that my words had eased someone’s suffering made me feel lighter.

While my pen rolls across paper almost silently, I hope it carries encouraging sounds to readers: chinking of falling chains; swishing wings lifting above limitations; scritch scratch of more pens writing encouragement to more readers.