- Valerie Hurst was born in Tarentum, Pennsylvania on April
7, 1925 to Italian immigrants from Rome, Italy. She was one of
had five children; three of them died before her death in January
of 1997. She has written thousands of poems, Christian writings,
and she also wrote about her children that died before her. Valerie
loved to read as a child, and had a wonderful imagination.In
addition to A Snowman With Feelings,
- http://www.oldmp.com/snowman.htm she also wrote a 5 - Part series of Giraffe
stories. The Giraffe was her favorite zoo animal because when
little Valerie was 5 years old, she thought that the Giraffe
could see all over the world, because of its long neck.
Visit The Giraffe That Wore a Necklace! website at http://www.oldmp.com/mrs-giraffe.htm
- Also visit www.Poetry.com
andType in Joyce Trzaska to view 60 of Valerie's Poems.
*Note: The Valerie Hurst Q&A was taken from
a radio show interview. The Q&A with Valerie's daughter Joyce Anne (Hurst) Trzaska was conducted by
-- Valerie Hurst interview --
Q: The things you write
are very inspirational. Why do you write and why do you write
Valerie Hurst: I do have
a background in journalism and I just loved it in high school.
And I have worked in nonprofit organizations in different capacities.
I had never written any articles until March 2, 1980. Someone
had called me long distance and was very very troubled and my
husband said, 'call this person, we need to talk to her.'
It so happened that this person's father had died
the day before and he had been at Knoxberry farm all day and
couldn't be located and was not with his father until the last
moments. He didn't even know he was going to die.
So, I just said, 'you are all just suffering from
a broken heart. And I talked to them for about 40 minutes---
they had two phones so they could both speak. Then twenty minutes before midnight March
2, 1980, I wrote my first two and they were just one after another
I wrote it. I don't know why but I put a title "Poetry to
My Lord" --- The next day I wrote several more. I wrote
about everyone I had known - It's just God and me. I just write.
Everything I write is true.
I write about wisdom and insight. I believe wisdom
goes hand in hand with common sense. I just write from my heart.
When I'm writing I've not slept thru the night once.
Q: Share something with
Valerie Hurst: "Hello
Lord" I wrote this July 16, 1982 Tuesday at 8 a.m. ---
Hello Lord, Is it a busy morn? Is it too early to call? Shall
I wait on hold until you are thru with someone else with burdens
abound? Lord I could wait until the light turns green. I could
silently wait and pray on bended knee. Or I'll just wait the
whole day thru just to get a bit of attention - from you.
Hello Lord ---You mean I don't have to wait?
It's never to late? I don't have to be put on hold? I don't have
to bide my time not having to pay the usual dime to talk to you
on the royal telephone? Your majesty with all of your royal glorious
fame to one and all we are to you one and the same? A mighty
cry O' holy God of glory - I do in part to fervent thank ye with
the humble servants enriched heart, never from you prince of
peace do I intend to part. For all I disclose you never divulge
any secret as they are safe with you. I'm riding on a crest since
I called to be encouraged and comforted not to be turned aside
but to abide abide for I know that I know your definitely on
Q: As you write - The thoughts
are good, the ideas are great. Your writing is encouraging --
Your writing speaks to all of us.
Valerie Hurst: I do have
a burden for children nowadays. I have three children. I've always
loved my children and I worked with them. I always had books
around. I've been an avid reader
all my life. My daughter asked me in August 1979, "If you
had made a career instead of being a housewife what would you
like to do?" Without pondering too much I said, I'd love
to have been be a journalist." She said about my work which
is the greatest compliment of any, "They all sound like
you." I write everyday. It's a God given gift.
-- Joyce Anne (Hurst)
Trzaska interview --
Pageonelit.com: Where did
you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?
Joyce Trzaska: I grew up
in a small town approximately 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles, CA
& about 7 miles from Taft, CA in a town called Fellows.Yes,
reading was a very big part of my life, as I was at our local
Library at least once a week checking out books, mainly about
Pageonelit.com: Who were
your earliest influences and why?
Joyce Trzaska: My earliest
influences were books written by Walter Farley, as I loved anything
written about horses. I also enjoyed books by Laura Lee Hope,
the wonderful adventures of the Bobbsey Twins because I always
wanted to have twins. I loved The Diary of Anne Frank, it was
just wonderful reading.
Pageonelit.com: How did
the publishing of your Mother's 'Giraffe' stories come about?
Did your Mother talk of publishing her stories? What has it been
like seeing your Mother's stories published? Tell us about your
Joyce Trzaska: Well, my
Mother told me right before she died, that I wouldn't know what
to do with any of her writings for at least 2 years. I knew that
she had always wanted to have her stories published, but she
didn't really know how to go about doing it. I also knew that
the 'Giraffe Stories' were her favorites. First I typed out her
5-part Series of 'Giraffe' stories and I sent copies of my Mother's
originals to Washington D.C. to have them copyrighted; this took
6 months. Next, I went searching on the internet to see what
I could find out on the subject of publishing, and I sent out
e-mails to several Publishing companies and I stumbled on one
that I really liked. It was a self-publishing company in North
Carolina. First, I published a Christmas story called "A
Snowman With Feelings" as a Musical E-Book that plays the
song 'Frosty the Snowman.' The story
is about a young girl from a small town in Pennsylvania who celebrates
the holiday season with a Delightful 'Magical Encounter' with
a Snowman one wintry day. This is just the sweetest story about
a girl who finds her Snowman crying and has such a sweet conversation
about why he is crying. I then proceed to publish 'The Giraffe
That Wore A Necklace' and Mister Giraffe Bow Tie & Long Gold
also as musical E-Books. These E-Books also play music; "Honeypie"
& "Reggae." The CD that is included with the hardcover
book also includes "Speech-to-text Software that reads these
stories to your child in any one of four voices; highlighting
each word that is read.
Seeing my Mother's stories published is such a
"Thrill" and it has meant the world to me to do this
for her because I loved her so much and I wanted to do something
'Special' for her because of the tragic life that she led; to
maybe in some way try to make up for all that she suffered &
endured by the loss of her 3 children and maybe even help someone
along the way. My dream is to first become profitable and if
I do, I plan to donate a portion of my profits to the American
Cancer Society in my Mother's name. I also would like to have
someone write a 'Review' of my book because my Mother always
read the 'Reviews' and I think that would make her happy.
My Mother, Valerie Hurst was born on April 7, 1925,
in Tarentum, Pennsylvania to Italian immigrants from Rome Italy.
Valerie & her 3 sisters, Beatrice, Iris, and Alba were all
named after famous opera stars from Italy by their Mother's brother,
Louis Quinio. The Guerini family were a very close-knit family,
and Valerie's Mother & Dad, Janet & Sundy were 'Storybook
Grandparents' the Ideal; and to just be in their home was "Heaven"
to me as a child. They were both Gourmet cooks and worked together
in the kitchen. The food they prepared was heavenly! Valerie's
Mother sewed for all 4 girls, all of their clothes; she was so
Valerie was a 'Story teller' and would sit the younger children
down and just make up the most wonderful stories, right out of
her head; She was just blessed with a wonderful imagination.
I believe that my Mother became a writer because
of her 2 children that died so young - the first, Allen Frost
Hurst died at 8 months old from a tragic slat-type bed accident
in Oklahoma in 1947. My Mother told me that she cried every Saturday
for 2 years at 4:00 for over an hour because that's when it happened.
Valerie's daughter, Brenda Lee Hurst, who had down syndrome died
at 6 years old; 2 days before Christmas Eve in 1957. My Mother
could never talk about these losses, and after her death, I found
several poems that she had written about my little brother and
sister that no one has ever seen but me. My Mother also lost
her 46 year old daughter, Janet, in a tragic auto accident in
New Mexico on the first day of summer in 1994, 3 years before
my Mother's death. She then lost her husband 3 months after Janet
was killed to Alzheimers. Valerie had taken care of her husband
for 10 years by herself. Valerie found out that she had terminal
cancer the day before her husband's funeral.
Valerie Hurst had written as an inspired poet,
since March 2, 1980. On some days she had written as many as
16 pieces. Her writings consist of daily devotions, universal
messages, prophesy, words of knowledge - insight - wisdom and
some have said that she writes in the style of a Psalmist. They
praise God, and she has also written many short stories for Christian
children. All are creative writings at one sitting. Everything
that Valerie writes is
true, as this is what she said in her Radio interview on the
'I Believe' Radio program when she was interviewed by Buddy Holbrook
in Taft, CA on October 19, 1983. My Mother was a very positive
person, and even when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer
and told that she had only a few months to live, she said to
me, 'Joyce, I have 'good News' - my doctor told me that he isn't
going to let me suffer. One day in the hospital with the family
present, Valerie said, "Am I complaining too much?"
When she said that, I broke down and cried, and said, "You
have never complained about anything in your life, Mother."
It broke my heart, because here she was, in pain, dying, she
had a colostomy and she lost 3 of her beloved children, and her
Mother, Father, & husband, and I never once heard her complain.
She was a wonderful Mother, a role model for her children, and
she adored all of her children; I will miss her for the rest
of my life.
Author: Valerie Hurst
'A Writer of Encouragement'
An Ideal Christmas
by Valerie Hurst
It's not the Jolly Santa Claus
that sets my heart
a pounding --
nor the Pines
with all their glitter !
Even the sack of toys
and brightly wrapped gifts
gives me not the pleasure
it once did.
But, to me, an ideal Christmas is
the realistic, true tale
of the holiest Holiday
of the year, being read in
the gospel of Luke, Chapter two,
and Verses one through twenty !
It's a joy only out of knowing
that the little sleeping
Prince of Peace
came and stayed
being the hope --- the Christ
of Christmas !
Joys of Christmas !
by Valerie Hurst
My Christmas list burdens me not,
for My love is piled up high
in Joys for bountiful blessings.
Bring out the best for Kin and friends
lighting up their faces with
the true meaning of Christmas !
Bless them with Kindness !
Bring added peace by listening to their woes.
Be a giftbearer on Christmas Morn.
The joys of Christmas throughout this
Holy Season lets us
see, clearly, what happened,
on a 'Midnight Clear !'
He is the Live Christmas Tree ! by Valerie Hurst
On every glistening branch I see Him,
in the old fashioned bulb
Shaped like a bed
where He lay !
Even the Sweet fragrance of newly mown hay -
awakens My senses.
From limb to limb covered with twinkling
memories evoke, and I recall the story
of the first Christmas.
Then I stand back in awe -
for what I witness is no mirage,
and I fall quickly on my knees !
I discover tiny flames that leap
He is the 'Live' Christmas Tree - all aglow
in the bright light that hast made
an unscheduled appearance
right before My eyes !
Count Them ! by Valerie Hurst
They are now coming down
in rapid succession
I have Kept them controlled
far too long
but now they can't be
pushed back any longer !
No one is here to see the life
of one wasted Soul
who up until now refused
So much as a Cheerful greeting
from anyone !
The secret is out, as the heart
hast been Made tender !
Today I cried out and asked Him
into My hardened heart !
Count them, the released tears that
stained my pillow, one for every
year of my once lonely, forlorn,
He Saith, 'Come forth, my son. Come and
drink of the living water that I Shall
give you and thirst no more .'
and I came ------- running !
Lively as a Sunbeam
For Brenda Lee Hurst
who never grew old
but has finished wearing
and now Walks with
No time for tears --
and lively as a Sunbeam !
He Has a Season Reserved for You!
For Allen Frost Hurst
I've come to say Hello --
thinking of you
in a big way !
You just came to mind
when I thought of
and eyes of Heavenly blue.
I've come to cuddle you
to wish you good - day.
It's all I can do is sit
that you could open this gift --
a furry hat and muff
if I could but find you.
For a Moment
you were safe and sound
within My grasp---
but when I opened my eyes
you were light miles away -- having slipped from my fingers.
He let me have a brief 'Encounter' with you,
and it helped to
cure the ache within !
I'm leaving now,
but I'll be back
to say all the things I forgot to say ---
but all in the right moment of
time for He has a Season reserved for you!
Valerie Hurst & Daughter Joyce
One Month Before Author Died
December 22, 1996
This was their last dinner out together: