Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stories that Need to be Told

A WASP, an Chicago opera singer singing with Pavarotti, a civilian military hostess working at the 49th Parallel on June 25, 1951 feeling the eyes of North Korean soldiers as they enter her commissary, a young British college co-ed becoming a radar expert during WWII, a self-taught poet, a stunningly beautiful retired graduate of the Harlem School of Dance brushing off Sammy Davis Jr.'s propositions while performing as a teenager on Broadway: all are writer's whose stories "Need to be Told."

Quiet, seemingly simple personalities have stories sequestered within their memories; never to be shared, validated or published by the mass press. Why? Of course the answer is that, to "come out", a writer has to totally bare her naked soul in public.

Secret stories that are truer than fiction are shared weekly around the nation within a millennium of writer's groups. For those of us who have exposed our real identities within a secret society of writers, the rewards flow continuously. I have felt the excitement of flying a B-17 the first time as a self-taught woman, I have experienced Milan on a magical misty evening, I have laughed until my sides ached, I have fled the enemy by way of a leaky barge, I have climbed to the top of a tower listening for the drone of enemy airplanes, I have brought along a chaperon to my elegant luncheon date. Who was that who said "The only books that get published are written either by crooks or by politicians?"

Just Goggle "Writers Groups" adding the name of your state. A place is waiting for you at the table.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Bookseller to Remember

Quartzite, Arizona is a two hour drive from our winter home in Phoenix, Arizona. Normally a pit stop along I-10 for travelers heading west to Palm Springs and LA, flea markets, rock shops, diners, and RV sales abound, each flapping colorful advertising streamers as a lure to voyagers. Exiting the freeway on to East Main Street Paul Winer, owner and operator of the Reader's Oasis welcomed my participation at his outdoor "Author's Fair" last weekend. An author, publisher, musician and all around nice guy, Paul who has been a nudist all his life generously invites self-published authors to congregate in front of the store to sell their books without charge or any profit sharing. Last Saturday hostess Debbie Hilbish, to my right as you see the photo and Ceil Stetson huddled within the tent provided by Paul until strong winds and rain chased us into the shelter of our cars. Joe Gerard, a WW II Navy veteran and I were the last to leave this amazing place which is a delight for both writers and readers.

The Reader's Oasis store is filled with impeccably preserved and displayed volumes. Each book is carefully cataloged and displayed using Paul's easily understood system. Two friendly, well-fed cats, mother and daughter, patrol the premises between naps. This bookseller is a 5 star attraction. Look for me to be back there again next year!