————————————————We experienced a wonderful weekend with Oghma people. Some came in from out of the country. I’m impressed to see so many authors actually engrossed in their career. I don’t know of another publisher who holds retreats for its board and authors. We had a great time at Sky Vue up on the mountain only a scant four miles from my home. But I stayed there for the entire get-together. What fun to compare our work and our experiences.
Writing is an unusual and trying career with its reputation for fame and fortune, ie Stephen King. All sorts of things are imagined by the non-writing population. People lined up for books and autographs, being chased through the super market, attending fancy balls, etc. I can tell you, there is little fortune even if most of us are recognized in the small puddle where we splash out our lives. While we may be large frogs in that small puddle, we aren’t known in the next puddle over. Yet I can’t think of another career that would please me more, and I have had a few before settling on writing
Take those 20 years I worked and wrote for newspapers. Probably the next best career. Though it encompassed writing, there is also the other aspect. For four years I served as city editor for one of the newspapers, which is a trying job. One edit I missed and became famous for was one I had written in a story about Doug Jones, the famous Arkansas author. I said his latest novel was a adventuresome story contained within 85 thousand pages. It should have read of course 85 thousand words. That was probably the worst mistake I let slip through while editing. And it was my own work. Not unusual, as we writers can seldom edit our own work without making mistakes.
Of the snakes I handled and the tigers I petted, and the airplanes I flew in, including the well-known B 29 bomber Fifi, I cannot choose my favorite experience. I loved them all. Now, in the winter of my life I have tons of memories to look back on. The people I met over those years remain with me in my memories and always will. Many of them remember me as well when I meet them on the street.
You would think making memories would have ended for me as I pass the aged of 80, but because I can’t stop writing, I continue to make them, thanks to the people who give me a hand. My next experience will be Ozark Creative Writers in Eureka Springs where I’ll make more memories. This will be my 32nd year to attend this conference. Tess Gerritsen will be there. Will she remember meeting me at a huge writers book signing back in the 90s? Perhaps not, for it was my first one as a fledgling writer for Penguin, but I remember her and I’m sure we’ll find something to talk about that will stick in my mind.
No scrapbook is large enough to hold all the marvelous experiences I recall so vividly, but I don’t need one, for each is pictured vividly in my thoughts, as if I were experiencing it at the moment. Names I have trouble remembering, but lovely, sad, happy, concerned, compassionate faces remain within those paintings forever contained in my mind. Many of them have gone on. I expect I’ll meet them again, being a firm believer in the continuation of our spirit. I look forward to it. We will have a lot to talk about. This gorgeous animal and I locked spirits. What exquisite images in her mind