Treasures of Writers

Posted: October 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Fifteen and a half years ago, I wrote “Amelia,” simply because I loved the name and it was Post Civil War with a romantic twist, and tastefully written with characters that one could easily get into his or her head.
Somehow, life catches up, you get sidetracked, and take a job that carries you in a different direction, or you have too many “arms in the proverbial fire.” That the book draft gets backburnered and lost in the process, although it’s never lost on those floppy discs, DVDS, or floppy drives. And get this: it was first written by hand–thirteen handwritten, labeled notebooks  of partially illegible handwriting. Everything of value was saved.

At the time I finished the book, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. We both gave birth with different results. I named her first daughter and she asked me to help name her new baby. My first thought was a sixteen-year-old character from my lost-not-lost novel, so my youngest niece became Serene. I loved the name so much and was bonded to the book and my niece like a very proud aunt and writer.
Fifteen and a half years is a long time in some respects and in others it is a flit of the lash. My niece became fifteen last month and is absolutely beautiful and intelligent for her age. The book is dedicated to her.

Moving on–I had to dig deeper to locate some of the original people who helped me. Tragically, some are no more, or have moved to unknown parts. So my book that was lost-not-lost is still going to make it, after all. A manuscript is an adventure and challenge after it leaves hands far more than when you wrote it. Anyone can write a story or book, it’s the afterward process and experience that is larger than life, and to me a moment of perfection which slowed things down.

Being a writer has a method of patience, impatience, intellect, and madness about the way he or she sticks with it from beginning to end. And to think, I had very few gray hairs when I wrote it.

Over passages of time, the river of life took me with it. Recently, the manuscript surfaced, and I read it again to find that it might be better than the novel I am finishing, in present day. I simply could not put the thing down. An author’s heart and soul, and everything else that makes him or her the person created from birth, goes into their creations–fragments of the author are in there-one and the same. It’s a lifetime of experiences that culminate. Speaking for myself, I am never finished even when it leaves the proverbial nest. Always thinking of what I could have done for refinement. Praise, encouragement, and advice, from others helped/help more than words can say. And so my “Amelia,” that I spent years writing–you do me proud, even in re-edition.

As one of my favorite authors, Hemingway, used to say–he bleeds on the pages and he could not live without writing. I understand, for I bleed on every one of my pages. A toast to all writers, authors, and dreamers who inspired me since youth: Hemingway, Poe, Stephen King, and the honorable author of historical non-fiction, *Shelby Foote of Memphis. All live on in this protégé’s mind to create something original that is indistinguishably mine. I cherished all your works and I am gratitudinous of all I have learned. I don’t write to be well-known. Money helps, but it is not the goal of  my writing, for I know what it is like to survive. Starving writer has it’s pressure points to keep a person going and lives up to its name–to be sure. Inner satisfaction of a reader who enjoys my words enough to read them is enough.

 

*Tribute: to Shelby Foote

1916-2005

A special gratification to #Shelby Foote, born of MS. May you rest in peace. Your non-fictional history and written words of the Southern Cause, and the American Civil War are forever in my head. I can still hear your voice, the older accent of the South, the love of Southern history, your rendition of the infamous “Rebel ¥ell,” along with the yearly rituals you remained faithful to traveling to Shiloh in April, in observance and reverence of the Battle of Shiloh 1862.

Every spring when peach trees blossomed, you were there–rain or shine, whenever possible, to walk that hallowed, sacred, and seemingly endless battlefield. You are never forgotten and because of you, brave and valiant men will never forgotten, through your remarkable wisdom of verbal and written words of truth. “That plough won’t wash,” sometimes battle related by you, at times, and mentioned in some conferences and your rendition of the infamous “Rebel Yell,” I knew well what they all meant and I heard it from you––first. There should be a monument erected on those grounds in your remembrance for re-telling the story of all valiant, courageous ones in your many books. RIP with your favorite Generals.

Shelby Foot’s remarkable Southern voice and wisdom:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0HohpJKANk&list=PLFHg4E2nM8LwnulGFIr6rhqEHZz3xZozi

Shelby Foote’s books can be found in libraries,  book stores. and archives.

He was also one of the narrator’s of The Civil War, a film by Ken Burns.

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