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Writing is in the air

A former colleague, Vicki Larson, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of a book she co-authored on the "new marriage." Her celebration was one of a series of writing "prompts" that came on my radar recently.
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Now that I’m an editor, the allure of writing is everywhere.

Like a signature perfume that haunts the senses from the past, it reminds me that I once, in sixth grade in Philadelphia, wrote in my elementary school “graduation book” that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

I don’t think anyone would argue that I am now “grown up.”



Some would say being a reporter for several decades is certainly chops for calling oneself a writer. I imagine that is true; yet, there is a whiff of something else. Of creating a story that makes people completely engrossed in the characters — as I have been myself with many books — and losing themselves inside a novel.

I was reminded of this the other day, when I spoke with Nevada City poet and author Molly Fisk.




Fisk was one of three presenters last week at the first Yuba Lit community reading that drew more than 50 people to The Open Book in Grass Valley. The event was a success; apparently there is quite the appetite for good writing and poetry in Nevada County.

Yuba Lit will hold another community reading in November. One of the speakers is expected to be San Francisco-based writer Janis Cooke Newman, author of the recently released novel, “A Master Plan for Rescue”​ (Riverhead).

I inhaled sharply when Fisk said her name. I had taken a few writing classes with Newman when I lived in the Bay Area; I never followed up, as I was then — as now — working at a newspaper and lacked the extra bandwidth to focus on honing the literary craft.

Then today on Facebook, I saw that Vicki Larson, a former colleague at a Marin County newspaper, is celebrating the one-year anniverary of her book about the “new marriage.” Last time I saw her, we talked a lot about the book, then in the early stages. Now, it is quite the reality (see accompanying photo).

Finally, Judy Crowe of the Nevada County Arts Literary Committee tells me that former Nevada City residents Charles and Gail Entrekin will be guests of NCArts Unscripted as they read from their new collaborative book of poems, “The Art of Healing,” on Friday, Nov. 20, 7–9 p.m., in the Granucci Room at The Center for the Arts. A workshop will follow.

Maybe the multiple writing “prompts” are happening more lately as I spend most of my time editing other people’s writing. Or maybe I am just now opening up to the abundance in writing connections that is already there in Nevada County along with those in music, film, stage, art and so many other creative pursuits.

For whatever reason, may we all be blessed with “scents” that stir the inner muse.


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