It’s always a thrill (and a relief) to see a writing project come to completion. For the last year and a half, I’ve led a creative writing class once a month with a group of Senior Citizens. They bring wonderful stories to the table, two of which you can read here: Old Hat by Toshio Ninomiya and My Mother by Ted Johnson.
We talked of publishing a small anthology of their work, so, after several months of compiling and editing essays and stories written by hand or on typewriters, their words are now in print in a lovely little book.
During this process, I learned that 1) their stories do not grow old, no matter how many times I read them, and 2) the absence of technology makes pushing this kind of a project forward a bit more challenging.
The majority of my contact with the writers, including edits and reminders of due dates, happened through snail mail, as only one contributor dabbles in email. I love sending and receiving hand-written letters, always, but I’ve grown accustomed to working with other writers and editors online. In quick exchange. Incorporating the extra time to relay information via mail trucks and foot traffic made me appreciate how publishing worked back in the early days, and made the end result all the more sweet.
This Saturday, November 16th, at 2pm, the writers will give an official reading at Harwood Place in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. If you come, you’ll hear essays and short fiction–tales of community and relationship and even fashion–by Richard Borchers, Ted Johnson, Valerie Reynolds, Clyde Rusk, and Betty Sydow. There’ll be coffee and cookies and smiling faces. And, beautiful blue books.