Short & Sweet

By Gayle Bartos-Pool

This might not be my usual type of post on our Writers-in-Residence blog, but stuff has been happening in my life as it has been with everyone at the moment, but I still wanted to encourage you writers out there to keep up your writing.

As for me, since my life has changed over the last several years, I have a few new directions to travel. First, let me mention the fact that I lost my beloved husband Richard about a year and a half ago. It wasn’t something I talked about or posted because Richard and I were never ones who wanted to open up all over the Internet.

During this Covid thing and being basically alone here in California, I needed family around, so I decided to move to Ohio where my brother and his oldest daughter and her three kids live. So I bought a house after looking at photos and a video my terrific niece took. It’s a cute house with room for my miniatures and vast Santa collection and all the other holiday decorations I have accumulated over these many years. And the house is near my family.

So at the end of August the movers come. My brother is flying out here so he and I and my dog Candy will drive to Ohio.

But during all this change I thought it was time to start writing what I call My Scrapbook Life story. For over 60 years I have been making scrapbooks of my life. From my family’s travels when my dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed on the island of Okinawa, to the three years we were living in France and I got to attend a terrific boarding school, to college and then my short stint as a private detective, to my move to California and the various jobs I had here, to meeting and marrying Richard at one of those jobs, to our 34 years together and the dogs and cats we had, to Richard’s illness and his strength during that time, to losing him and finally me moving to a different life.

The scrapbooks are full of pictures and memories of this life that I am having, so I thought I would share it with people. But writing this saga isn’t just to show what an interesting life I am living, but to let people know that everybody is living an incredible life.

During the past five years it has become apparent to me that all the people I was meeting were incredible from a lady I met in a hospital cafeteria who was fascinated by the fact that I was a writer. But while we were talking she mentioned things from her wonderful life. I told her that her life was so interesting that she might want to write about it for her family and friends. She had things to share with those folks as well as other people.

Then there is Art, the young man who regularly serviced our air conditioner and heating system. He told me about his late father and brother who added all the beautiful touches to the leather saddles of famous movie stars like John Wayne. Two of their saddles are sitting in the Gene Autry Museum. Art also does leather work and wants to move someday to Tennessee or someplace where he can continue doing that beautiful craft.

And my neighbor, Shawn, has written a book, though not yet published, about his fascinating journey from Iran to America when his dad got him out of the turbulent country to avoid being drafted into the Iranian army. So at 17 he was smuggled out of the country, sent to Turkey and then Sweden and finally after several years he came to America, got a college education through hard work and now has a terrific family and living that American Dream everybody has heard about. We found him an editor and I bet that book will be published. I got to read a first and second draft and it is marvelous.

What I am saying in this blog is that everyone has a story of their own life. Each is incredible, different, and worth telling. Your story might be read only by family members and friends, but if the stories are anything like the ones these folks have told me, they are worth the telling. Who knows whose hearts and minds they will touch.

Start writing about where you came from, who your parents, grandparents and relatives are. How they influenced your life. We all learn both the good and the bad. That’s how we grow. Tell the world who you are after you uncover the real you under all the life you have lived. You might be surprised by the person you are.

I can guarantee you, we all have a story worth telling.  Write On!

Author: gbpool

A former private detective and once a reporter for a small weekly newspaper, Gayle Bartos-Pool (writing as G.B. Pool) writes three detective series: the Gin Caulfield P.I. series (Media Justice, Hedge Bet & Damning Evidence), The Johnny Casino Casebook Series, and the Chance McCoy detective series. She also penned a series of spy novels, The SPYGAME Trilogy: The Odd Man, Dry Bones, and Star Power. She has a collection of short stories in From Light To DARK, as well as novels: Eddie Buick’s Last Case, Enchanted: The Ring, The Rose, and The Rapier, The Santa Claus Singer, and three delightful holiday storied, Bearnard’s Christmas, The Santa Claus Machine, and Every Castle Needs a Dragon. Also published: CAVERNS, Only in Hollywood, and Closer. She is the former Speakers Bureau Director for Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and also a member of Mystery Writers of America and The Woman’s Club of Hollywood. She teaches writing classes: “Anatomy of a Short Story,” (The Anatomy of a Short Story Workbook and So You Want to be a Writer are available.) “How To Write Convincing Dialogue” and “Writing a Killer Opening Line” in sunny Southern California. Website: www.gbpool.com.

22 thoughts on “Short & Sweet”

  1. Good heavens, Gayle, what a great post to encourage everyone to write their life. You are so right, we all have great stories, just need timer out to write them! I keep promising myself and my children to set to and get it down on the page but then I get sidetracked by other people’s lives – ghostwriting their stories, 18 so far. One of them is an Iranian, like your Shawn, who also left his country to realize his dream in America. Good luck with your move, it’s a brave one and I am sure will open a new life for you..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jill, You have told us various stories about your life around the world. It is definitely a story worth telling. You’ll find the time even if it’s a new chapter every month. And who knows it better than you?

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  2. What a beautiful commentary on your full life. I’m glad that I’ve known you here in California. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures in Ohio.
    Thanks for the challenge to “Write on!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Jaxon. Your life has been pretty eventful. Not only your trips to Africa and all your newspaper ventures and when you were photographer for all those local plays here in Sunny Cal. But remember the “breaking and entering” we did when you were helping that lady take care of her house. And your kids, and granddaughters, and… You have stories to tell, too.

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  3. Gayle, best wishes as you start another chapter of your most interesting life. And thanks for inspiring and encouraging all who write, or who will write. I’m sure you’ll be missed in SoCal, but the Internet keeps our connections alive.

    I moved from LA to Virginia 25 years ago this month. While I still miss SoCal, I’ve never regretted the move. I’m closer to family, and enjoy an easier lifestyle. And this is where I started writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, Maggie, about the Internet keeping us in touch with friends. We will tackle Zoom and that will keep the gals in my writing group close. And I bet Virginia is beautiful.

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  4. What a wonderful way to keep track of your life, and share it whenever you choose to!
    You will be missed here in L.A, and I hope you keep in touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We will try that Zoom thing, Linda. I will remember what you said about the right lighting so I won’t look like a mug shot in the police station. And we will be able to see your dogs… current and the new ones that enter your life.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh, Gayle. I’m teary eyed. You hit on something wonderful. Every human being has a story, and we should stop and listen. Beautiful, but I’d expect nothing less from you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard really terrific stories from people I have met and am now encouraging them to write them down. Family and friends will appreciate it.

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  6. Dear Gayle,
    I will miss you terribly but wish you and Candy a wonderful life in Ohio, full of new wonders and adventures.
    As to telling one’s stories, you were one of the few people who read mine, other than family.
    Bon voyage and God bless you.
    .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alice, your life’s adventures are even more reasons why people should write their own stories down. And you have yours published. Thank you so much for letting me share your adventure.

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  7. Oh Gayle, how I – and the rest of us – will miss your physical presence here in California. But I am excited for your wonderful new adventure and comforted knowing how close you will be to your family. Thank goodness for the internet and telephones to keep us in touch. I look forward to reading your fascinating life story. Thank you for encouraging us to ‘write on’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just listening to the stories you shared with us at lunch today says that you, too, have some terrific stories to tell. I have heard many from our beloved Rick. Sharing them in a book would be a great way to let others know that we are all very interesting in so many ways.

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  8. Gayle, I’m misting up as I read this post. So many wonderful memories of our group, when we all lived in SoCal. We began as talented amateurs and have flourished over the years, thanks to the support and encouragement we gave each other. And now you’re leaving, too. I wish you and Candy the best in your new home, surrounded by loving family. As for writing one’s own story, so many consider their lives too ordinary or undistinguished to write about, but they always seem to have the most interesting tale to tell. Supporting and encouraging them to share their lives on the page is a great gift.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Through the years we in our writers’ group have had the privilege to get to know some pretty exciting people. Some of our life adventures have turned up in our books under various disguises, so putting those same interesting adventures down in biographies just might be a great way to continue telling those tales. Everybody is interesting.

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  9. Proud to be your friend, Gayle! Like others here, I’m misty-eyed. In this electronic age(with Ohio being just as close as Southern California!), you won’t be far–nor your pictures, insights, and cherishable celebrations. New adventures and interesting people await you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m new at this writing business, Gayle, and appreciated hearing about your life and journey. It’s easy to get discouraged with wondering if this writing thing is worth all my while. Hope you like being back in Ohio. I’m originally from there as well and think the possibility of moving back there from Arizona could be real for me as well. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsie, Don’t get discouraged. You will read hundreds of blogs and articles about all the things you must have like a website and a blog for yourself and the classes you should take or books you should read. But if you do only those things, and there are a bunch of them, you still won’t have anything written. Write. Jot down your ideas. Get to know the characters you will be writing about by writing a short biography of the main characters. But write that story. Without it, even if it’s just a first draft, get something down on paper or in your computer. Because without writing… you won’t be a writer. Write On!

      Liked by 1 person

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