A Discussion with Self

May 28, 2015 | 3 comments

History Press, 2014

History Press, 2014

It’s like the beginnings of a bad cold. You know it’s on the way; all the symptoms are there. The best you can do is get through it with as little disruption to your life (and the lives of your loved ones) as possible.  Occasionally, with diligence and a positive attitude, you can dispose of the misery before it really takes hold.

But I’m not talking about a physical ailment, exactly. I’m talking about the urge to get another book project underway. Thus far, I’m staving off the impulse by reminding myself of the work involved (as in forget having a life beyond the computer for a few months) and, also, the slim-to-none monetary rewards (as in my royalty check for the first six months of sales in my recent Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula came to less than the cost of a new pair of blue jeans – spiffy ones, but even so…)

Chinook Observer Publication, 2006

Chinook Observer Publication, 2006

Not that I’m complaining. I love that book and it’s been very popular locally. That’s the operable word – locally. When your passion is local history and you live in an area of limited population, you can figure that any money to be made by writing about said history comes to fractions of a cent per hour expended. So, obviously, the writing end of things has to be about passion, not income.

So… here’s the discussion I have with myself: Am I ready to go to ground for the next few months in the name of passion or do I take time to smell the summer’s roses? Somewhere in my noodling, I am remembering a discussion I had not long ago with Bob Pyle. He is gathering up bits and pieces of unpublished work he’s amassed over the years and re-working it with the thought that it may come to life in a new and different form.

Washington State University Press, 2007

Washington State University Press, 2007

We writers often have a lot of those bits and pieces. I actually have two series of articles I wrote for the Chinook Observer some years back – “North Beach Girls of the Teens and Twenties” and “Behind Bars in Old Pacific County” – that I’ve dusted off a bit for use in my current class at Grays Harbor College. The stories have been well received and I’m thinking that it might be time to make them available in book form…

“Self,” I hear and not too quietly, either, “are you crazy!” And I know the jury will not be out long on that one if I succumb. “Yes, stark raving mad!”

3 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Now that the recession is over, I hope you can find a home for the Willard book. Ever since you did a reading from what you had done thus far, I have been itching to hear “the rest of the story!” And I still believe that you could do a novel about Mrs. Crouch, not to mention the Fredriksen murder case! Maybe a graphic novel? I am related to a good illustrator. Could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship to quote Casablanca!

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  2. Caroline Miller

    Oh, I’ve had this conversation with myself and my books so many times. Completely understand. Still, go for it.

    Reply
  3. Claudette Ferriter

    Well, Sydney, as I recall we about the same age! At this stage of the game, I woildn’t want anyone to take over the tasks I began! If you did that it just wouldn’t the same! I encourage you to bite the bullet! Your friend, Claudette. ???? huuuggggs

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