When I wrote and published my book I never envisioned the new friends I would
make because of it. But that's just what's happened - happily for me. I have met all kinds of
wonderful folks because they've read my stories, liked what they read, and because of that have
gone to the effort of hunting me up. Only on this past Friday I hunted them up. My new friends
that is. They happen to be the ten girls and two boys that make up Mrs. Vigue's Creative Writing class at Nokomis High School in Newport, Maine. I'm not exactly sure how this all came about,
but a friend who happens to be a librarian invited me to come speak to this high school class. I'm glad he did, because we, or at least I, had a blast. The kids are learning how to write stories and they had a copy of my book as an example of some local writer who'd figured it out. That would be ME and Sandbox Camp Tales. When I got introduced I told the kids there was no need to say more because they had read some of my stories, so now they knew all about me. I told them there's a little bit of my and my philosophy and my heart and soul in every one of those stories, layed out in the open for everyone to see. So if they had read the stories then they had a glimpse inside me. From there things just got better. We beat the subject to death. We talked about language mechanics and writer's block and Archemedes and publishers and pointy-headed editors who change what we write. We examined all the dirty laundry that is writing and selling stories at the Pay-On-Publication level of the craft. When those kids asked a question it was a good one. We could have probably talked for hours and then all collaborated on a poem or some piece of fiction. Being with the kids just energized me. They have such great ideas and their enthusiasm for the works they create is contagious. Too bad we ran out of time because I wanted to tell them their work has value even if they do it only for themselves. Even if they never publish a thing or never write another word, the stuff they're creating today in that class will be with them and their friends the rest of their lives. Really I believe if you're writer then you'll write anyway no matter how your life turns out. A housewife will sneak in working on a poem between doing the laundry and going to the school bus stop. The truck mechanic will scribble in his notebook at night after supper, or the nurse will find time after her shift to fire up the PC and continue on her novel. I hope my new friends all do well in their class and that the writing skills they learn this year will serve them well whether they write TV scripts or write excuses for their kids' teachers. As a result of this visit I now know there is a pool of undiscovered writing talent
right here in central Maine, right down the hall in Mrs. Vigue's Creative Writing Class. All I can say is "Go For It Guys" ....Go for it. and oh yeah....It was great to meet you.