Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.
Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
My 98-year-old grandmother recently moved into a nursing home, and my mother and my aunts have begun to clean out her house before putting it on the market. The rule governing this difficult process: If an item can be traced to one of the three daughters, ten grandchildren, or I’ve-lost-track-of-how-many great- and great-great-grandchildren, it goes back to that family.
Over the recent holiday weekend, my mother brought the first of what will be several boxes of treasures from Grandma’s house for my brother and me to divide. Tucked in among cards we sent her when we were children, photographs of us at different ages, and cookbooks held together with duct tape were a handful of newspaper clippings from my first paying job as a writer.
The summer after I graduated from high school, the local newspaper hired me to type up the weekly society column announcements. I was ecstatic—I had a foot in the door, on my way to a career in journalism. But then the job got even better when the news editor took a chance and assigned me to write light summery features. My first writing gig!
None of these stories made anyone’s Top Ten list that year. They weren’t prizewinners or particularly noteworthy or even, I see now as I re-read them, very well written.
In one, I interviewed our librarian about the most popular books of the summer of 1982*. Another offered advice for parents planning summer snacks for their children (as I scan it, I see a typo in the seventh paragraph—cringe!). Other stories depicted a Sunday School class for adults with mental disabilities, profiled an 82-year-old woman who baked homemade pies for the restaurant at the tiny Garden City (Kansas) Airport, and delved deep into the idea that “Father Knows Best” the week before Father’s Day.
I remember how proud I felt that summer. I was a “real” journalist writing real stories for a real newspaper, and each story carried my byline.
And Grandma kept copies of them all these years.
Now, with thirty-five years and a lot of career behind me, it’s still cool to see my name in print. My hope, still and always, is that my words mean enough to someone to find a home on a bookshelf or in a box of clippings stowed in a closet.
* According to the article, the most frequently checked out novels of that summer were The Man From St. Petersburg by Ken Follet, The Cardinal Sins by Andrew M. Greeley, Thy Brother’s Wife by Greeley, North and South by John Jakes, and The Parsifal Mosaic by Robert Ludlum. Tops in non-fiction: A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath by John Toland, Weight Watchers 365-Day Cookbook, Jane Fonda’s Workout Book by Jane Fonda, and Never Say Diet by Richard Simmons—I’m sensing a pattern in these last three.