I’m book ends

I’ve been asked to speak at our public library in August, as part of their “meet the author” series. Of course my first question was: Why me? I’m not an author.

I’m grateful to the librarian who invited me to speak in the Reading Room, Gawler Library, August 25, 11am – noon (see you there). She said: But, you’re very involved in writing. You review for Good Reading. You edit authors’ manuscripts. You have inside knowledge. And, you know what? She’s right. I do know stuff. After all, even though I’m not yet an author, I am a writer, reviewer and editor. I’m the literary equivalent of book ends. I edit (the beginning) and I review (the end product). The only thing missing is the middle bit: the book!

Lately I’d begun to despair about my so-called writing career. I wondered if I was kidding myself and if I should try to find a “proper job”. The sister who is 5 years older than me, and has a Bachelor of Arts and used to work in the law courts and was an assistant for a politician, is currently working as a cook/cleaner in a nursing home. I gather she’s too old for anything else. No one wants to hire someone in the  mumble mumbles. I fear that, if I looked for something else to do, I’d be in the same boat as her; except that I’m not physically capable of doing that sort of work. As it is I pay a woman several years older than me to clean my floors, because I’m too decrepit to manage the vacuuming and floor mopping. Sad but true.

There’s also the other problem of the yearning in my gut. I’ve wanted to write since I was old enough to discover story books. I’m almost there. Mount Everest is just over the horizon. I can’t let the dream go.

I’ve had short stories, articles, reviews and interviews published in various journals and magazines, so I’m definitely a writer. In fact I’ve written three novels and I’m working on my fourth. Books one and two are resting from their search for a publishing house, and I intend to do some intensive reconstruction work before sending them out again. No. 3 is currently floating around the cosmos in search of a taker. I have fingers, toes and other bits and pieces firmly crossed for it. Before sending it off again a week or so ago, I read it through for the first time in about 4 months, and even though I say so myself: it’s pretty good! I review stuff, so I should know.

So…dream back in focus; goal in sight; loins girded; computer on…I’m soldiering on. One day I’ll be a proper author and then I won’t just be book ends. (Not that there’s anything wrong with book ends. They keep things neat, tidy and standing up straight.) When one of my books finally makes it out into the wider world, you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Geoff Graetz
    Aug 25, 2012

    Hi Wendy,
    I enjoyed listening to your story at the Gawler Library today. I had to leave at 12 and didn’t have time to say thank you for your talk.
    I was encouraged by what you said about writing smaller pieces without necessarily aiming to have a book published. Your advice on writing stories was valuable. I enjoy writing short stories and poetry and this keeps me busy.
    Thank your for your advice on writing.

    • Wendy Noble
      Aug 26, 2012

      It was lovely to see you there, Geoff. I’m delighted that you were encouraged. I wish you all the very best for the future. Keep on writing!

  2. Ken Rolph
    Jul 15, 2012

    I wrote short stuff for 40 years before I got a book under my own name. I don’t think a book defines a writer. There are many short articles that meet a timely need that are well worth doing.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jul 15, 2012

      Thanks, Ken. You’re absolutely right. I am definitely a writer and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s just that in my understanding the difference between a writer and an author, is that an author has had a book published. Therefore you’re both a writer and an author. Well done, you!

  3. Elle Carter Neal
    Jul 14, 2012

    “I’ve wanted to write since I was old enough to discover story books.”

    Me too. I still remember that feeling when I realised an actual person created the books I loved, and that an “author” was something I could be.

    • wendy noble
      Jul 14, 2012

      You’re like me in many ways, Elle. You do editorial work, too. So you’re also a literary midwife, helping others birth their literary “babies”. You’re a writer and you do beautiful work. Hang on to your dreams. 🙂

  4. Pamela Wilson
    Jul 14, 2012

    I enjoy your blogs. I’ve already marked my diary on 25th August, to come and hear what you have to say. Cheers

    • Wendy Noble
      Jul 14, 2012

      Thanks, Pamela. I’d better do some serious thinking about what I’ll say. It’ll be nice to have a friendly face there to cheer me on. 🙂

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