Why We Write

The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.

Zadie Smith

I have just completed the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference in Colorado Springs. No, it was not atop the famous mountain. I am high-altitude and deep drop-offs averse, though admiring the snow-crested Pike’s Peak with my feet firmly planted in the valley below gives me joy, almost as much joy as meeting again with a segment of The Tribe. A group that understands that ridiculous need to put words on paper. Think of your own particular obsession (if it is not writing) in order to understand. It was a wonderful conference, but I am exhausted.

It is high irony that now in my dotage, I finally have the the time and selfish inclination to indulge my passion. Oh, I wrote through the years, as I could wedge it in while constantly moving, raising boys, working on advanced degrees (tons of writing there, but not always of my choosing), being gainfully employed, and fulfilling duties others were quick to assign me. And, honestly, I would not trade that life for the world. I managed even then to have an occasional bit of writing success. But, now, those I hold near and dear encourage me to immerse myself a bit in this endeavor. When I say it is all too late, they say it is not. I am not so sure, but I love them for saying it. So, whatever is your dream, I hope you allow yourself some time with it, no matter your stage in life—even if your dream is to win a bass tournament. That, I understand, is quite an undertaking. Go for it!

Well, back to the conference. I had the opportunity to pitch one of my novels to a couple of acquiring editors from well-known publishers while there. They were lovely people. One asked me to send her my entire novel to read, and the other gave me his card and said he’d like to hear from me and my projects. I am over the moon although I know it is still a long-shot that they will take something. But, if not, I will find it invaluable to get their feedback. I do have a children’s chapter book forthcoming from Pelican Publishing out of New Orleans. I’m quite excited about it, but the Publishing completion will likely still be several months out. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll try not to bore you on the subject.

Oh, and best of all about the conference are the people I meet. I met a lovely woman, Mimi Pockross, from Vail this week who wrote (among other books) a biography of Mary Coyle Chase, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Coloradan playwright who wrote Harvey, the Broadway comedy that was later adapted to a movie staring James Stuart. Remember the invisible rabbit Stuart talked to. Mimi’s book is titled Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat: The Amazing Story Of Mary Coyle Chase. I bought it and downloaded it to my Kindle today. Can’t wait to read it.

One more thing—the keynote speaker at our banquet last night was Robert Crais, bestselling author of detective fiction. I’m sure you fans of thrillers and detective fiction know his work. Before he started writing fiction, he wrote scripts in Hollywood. He wrote for Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice, and L.A. Law. And he was a hoot. So fun and funny.

Robert Crais, et al., at the banquet.

3 thoughts on “Why We Write

  1. So enjoyed your write-up on the Pikes Peak Writers’ Conference. I am flattered that you would take the time to mention me and my Harvey Book. I also wrote about the conference, but a bit more generally. Will send it to you separately. And I’ll make sure to pass on your blog to my network.


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