Here’s something I didn’t consider before I got into this writing business: As soon as you’ve published something, various groups start wanting you to talk to them. My first invitation came from one of my sons’ classroom teachers. What I (terrified!) wanted to say was: “I don’t talk – I just write.” What fell out of m mouth instead was, “I’d love to come speak to the class!” I decided leaving town under cover of night would be a shabby thing to do so I showed up at the appointed time (heart pounding, kneecaps rattling) and I spoke to this highly intimidating audience of fourth-graders. Dozens of speaking engagements later, I realized that, somewhere along the way, my heart had stopped pounding and my kneecaps had stopped rattling. I realized that I liked talking about books and writing – two of the most important things in my life.
After I’d spoken at the Edith Wharton Writing Contest awards presentation, held at The Mount, I watched the winners step up to the microphone and read their stories and peoms. I wondered about the condition of their kneecaps and their hearts. I wondered if they had considered leaving town under over of night. What I could see and know was that each read clearly, none faltered, and none fainted. I suspect, though, that their first reaction, upon learning that writing an award-winning piece meant speaking at the awards event was: I don’t talk – I just write.
Note: The photos on this page were taken by Mr. John Seakwood