Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Joy

I'm thrilled to pieces that my book, Albin's Letters is on its way to the final printing.

So many people are responsible for getting this project off the ground, starting with daughter, Phyllis, and Susie who began the tedious job of editing and having readers look it over for corrections and suggestions. There are so many parts to getting a story into book form, I am amazed at how they did it in such a relatively short time.

After leaving my job at The SUN in 1979 one of the first things I wanted to do was to get a home computer. Charlie found one for sale by a fellow employee at Boeing. He brought it home, plunked it onto a table and said, "There.  Now go ahead and write your heart out".  I had tried the fancy typewriters that recorded text onto little discs, but here was another piece of equipment that would do so much more. How much more was up to me. First I needed to learn how to turn the darn thing on!

Kitsap Computing Seniors to the rescue!  I joined this group of pioneers and began to learn what some of the kids in school were already into thanks to Apple Computer and the programs they were instituting in our public schools. And here I was with an Apple 2E just itching to get started. The internet was somewhere off in the future for me, but I had plenty to keep me busy what with untold stories taking up space in my brain clamoring to get out.

I began asking around and read about a new group of writers starting up close to home. Peninsula Chapter of Romance Writers of America had meetings going and it wasn't too far from home so I joined. I wrote and I wrote and I attended workshops, one given by South Kitsap author Debbie Macomber of romance writers' fame. Then I went home and wrote some more. Debbie was getting stories published as were other members, like Linda Lael Miller, and Kristin Hannah, also residents of South Kitsap County. I figured it would be only a matter of time and I would join that illustrious group. But there were interruptions along the way. I never stopped writing, but lost the incentive to do anything about publishing my work. For one thing it seemed so daunting and I knew nothing about  publishing books.

I learned to use electronic mail at Kitsap Regional Library and went through a couple of more temporary jobs,  serving as secretary to Ellen Craswell in her first two years in the State Senate, became volunteer coordinator for Retired Senior Volunteer Services and then working at a small resume writing service in Port Orchard for a time.

Charlie retired and we took off in a motorhome to roam the midwest and southern states finally landing in Yuma AZ where we purchased a couple of lots. We placed a manufactured home on one of them and established it as our winter home, traveling back and forth to our home in Harper until it began to take a toll on our health to the point where we finally decided to sell the Yuma house and move back to Washington for good.

Life was good once more, but our health continued to decline. First there was Charlie's stroke, and then my open heart surgery. Fast forward through the sale of our Manchester place and the move to assisted living after which Charlie had to leave assisted living for round the clock nursing care. After staying in Life Çare of Port Orchard for a year he was moved to Ridgemont Terrace. I had already taken up residence at RT Retirement Apartments so a short walk to see Charlie became my daily routine. We have "tea thirty" at five and he likes a cut-up apple and other goodies including sacks of sugar free candy he likes to give away.

Life is good once again. Different, but good. And I have a book eager to get into your hands!


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