Seven years! It’s hard to believe even for me, but I’ve submitted a column to First Monday every month for the past seven years.
Some of you have asked where I get my ideas. Well, they come from everyday life experiences. And yes, it’s all true. You’ve made me aware that you experience the same embarrassments, frustrations, anxieties, joy, and depression that I write about each month.
Some of you have asked how I get away with writing what I do, especially when it concerns family or friends. Well, I never mention names. That helps. And I always give them a heads up. Usually, I read them a draft to see if they have any objections. In all cases, they had no issue and were amused at my take on the situation.
Your emails mean a lot to me and so does your recognition when I’m out and about. It’s always a surprise when readers approach me and at the same time, it makes my day. There’s nothing a writer likes hearing about more than her writing – unless it’s her grandchildren. One time, in a customer service lineup I was doing a slow burn over some kerfuffle or other and was prepared to set it straight when a voice stroked me with recognition. You write for that paper, don’t you, she said, followed by a cheery discussion on a particular column. Instant attitude adjustment. So, thank you for taking the time.
It was getting tedious including the word ‘write’ in every heading. Whether it was ‘right’ or ‘write’ it was Write. You know what I mean. I’d decided to change up the headings and forget ‘write’. It was silly. Then I was at Shoppers when a man stocking the shelves recognized me. You’re the woman who writes articles. Write? he said, as his thumbs and forefingers made the letter W. And that decided it, ‘Write’ would have to stay. Another time a grocery clerk rang in the regular price on a sale item. When I brought it to her attention, she was displeased that she’d have to leave the register to check. I turned to the people in the lineup behind me and apologized for the delay. A stranger in the line called out that she’d read my column a couple months before about being overcharged on grocery sale items. She agreed with me and the five people waiting behind me were in full discussion on the subject when the red-faced clerk returned to adjust my bill.
While writing this Up Close and Personal column, I continued with my fiction writing. My short stories were published often enough to keep me submitting, but I was coming up dry with my novels – although I did have some exciting close calls. But just like horseshoes, close doesn’t count.
Recently, there’s an interest in contracting one of my books for publication. They’d like to publish my book next year. And possibly a sequel. Wait! Did you hear that? Yep, a huge squeal of delight
To focus on making this happen, I’m taking a break from my column. But don’t forget me. I’m still here. I’m still experiencing crazy stuff in my life. I’m still writing and I’d still love hearing from you.