While some write to entertain or pass time, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College professor of communications and local author Carlton Hughes uses his writing to touch lives.
“Sometimes you say something and touch a life and you don’t even realize it or remember it, but that person will. That is why your words are so important,” Hughes said.
A graduate of Morehead State University and Marshall University, Hughes said his passion for writing began early.
“When I was in eighth grade, my English teacher was also my journalism teacher at Jenkins High School. He saw some talent in my writing and asked me to be the junior high correspondent for the high school paper,” he said. “I became interested in writing through that and realized that it was really cool to see your name in print. Even though it was only in the high school paper, it was a really neat thing.”
Hughes was recently selected to have an essay published in a book titled “Simple Little Words,” which is designed to help anyone who deals with the public to realize the influence their actions and words can have on others.
“The essay that I wrote is about an encounter with a former student of mine. I had encountered the student at a store. She had recently gotten married and had a child and decided to stay at home and raise her child rather than go back to work. She said that it would be tough financially, but she thought it would be the right thing to do. I talked to her about how that had happened to me and my wife. I told her it would be tough, but that God would honor her sacrifice,” Hughes said. “About a year later, she stopped me and told me about the influence that talk had on her. I couldn’t remember the conversation, but that shows the influence that words can have.”
He added that he was honored and humbled upon learning that his writing would be used in the upcoming book.
“This was a door that I could have never opened myself. I was really humbled by the fact that God would use me,” Hughes said.
Hughes has appeared in several magazines and said that he has several other essays that could be published soon. While he said not everything he writes is influenced by his beliefs, he added that a majority of his writings are influenced by religion.
“I think as a Christian no matter what you write it is going to be informed by your view of the world. I do write things explicitly for the Christian market, but I have also written things that would be considered secular,” he said.
“Simple Little Words” is scheduled to be released Tuesday. Hughes said he will have copies of the book for sale, and it should also be available in many bookstores.