By Jackie Houchin
A journalist among published book authors…what am I doing here?
I’m a “Writer In Residence” in a book emporium with only a pencil and pad and a rampant curiosity about everyone and everything around me – all of them possible subjects and mysteries to write about for the weekly (daily) news readers.
My newspaper articles (back in the day) were flashes in the night. Written fast, submitted, run through processors onto newsprint, placed in supermarket stands, picked up by semi-disinterested shoppers for a quarter, a buck, or even for free. And then gone; in the trash can, recycle bin, as puppy papers or to line a bird cage. (Does anyone have birds in cages anymore? Hmmm…. I must research and interview someone and write about that!!)
Today, my daily (hourly?) posts are on Facebook – yes, I know, that gobbler-of-time social media outlet that most people have a love/hate relationship with. I love it. I enjoy posting a variety of things on my “timeline page.” I share tips (how to make cookies either crisp or chewy) & fun facts (12 million adult coloring books were sold in 2015). I talk about people who do marvelous things (like my fellow writers), post upcoming events (Baskin & Robbins 31st-of-the-month discounted ice cream), and tell my friends and family what I am doing that is ho-hum or adventuresome.
And if you know me well, you also know I post a lot of things that I learn in my Bible study reading. And photos…. whoa, do I post photos. (Throwbacks from my photographer and photo-journalist days.)
But again… flashes in the night. Sure, you can scroll down to see former Facebook posts, but any more, about 10 days is all you can see without major effort.
My fellow fish in the sea of writing, Writers In Residence in particular, have finished products that are enduring; books bound in soft or hard covers, given as gifts, re-read, treasured, shared among friends, and at the very least, end up on Friends of Library book shelves or even at yard sales at discounted prices to be bought and re-read again.
Flashes in the night versus beloved tomes held erect by sturdy bookends. (Sigh) But we are all valuable, as I discovered recently.
Our Writers In Residence (formerly Wednesday Women Writers), had a brainstorming lunch-meeting about our blog. (I was taking notes, figuring in the back of my mind what kind of articles could come from it.) The others were discussing how to promote their books, encourage reading in general, and inspire others to write and write well. And entertain. We all want to entertain in some way – to inspire, enlighten, and make readers ponder… or laugh.
Hey… did you hear the one about why the French like to eat snails? It’s because they hate fast food! Get it? FAST food, SLOW snails?*
Or… How many cars does it take to fill a mall with shoppers? Why, a whole lot, of course!
About being the odd man (woman) out…I actually feel comfortable among my book writing and selling sisters. And if I can promote them, inspire them, write about them or their books, I will. (Look forward in the next months for some blog posts in which I feature these WWWs, or WIRs – you know, the talented, passionate, fun, interesting friends in our little lake of scribes.)
Well, if you will pardon this stream of consciousness post, I promise to do better next time. Meanwhile….
1) Check out my fellow writers (here and on their websites)
2) Buy and read their books (Amazon or other places)
3) Write reviews about their books (Amazon or Goodreads, etc.)
4) Tell your friends about them and this blog
5) Link our posts to your Facebook or Twitter page
6) And comment, oh please comment, on our posts (it’s how we know you are out there!). And it will delight us so much!
Okay, time for a swim among all the other amazing and eclectic fishes in the sea. SPLASH! Notice that we are all swimming in the same direction.
(Can you find me? Color me different, but blended in.)
*Joke submitted by Richard Pool.
(PS: If you don’t see a comments box, or an icon to Facebook or Twitter or a “like” and “follow” us button, GO TO THE TOP OF THIS PAGE (or any of the posts), click on the title (it will change to blue for a fraction of a second), and then………… Voila! All those possibilities are right here below.