For the past ten months I have been able to claim “Newbie” status here in Graham, Washington, three months of which I have had the privilege of writing for the Mountain News under its hard working, able-bodied editor, Bruce Smith.
In this short time frame I have had experiences both new and inspirational.
During my assignment covering the Dennis Kucinich fundraiser several weeks ago, I met a woman named Sharon. We shared not only an interest in Kucinich but also, as we conversed, discovered many parallel life events and similar interests. We have been corresponding via email ever since.
Sharon, who lives in Tacoma, is a woman with five grown children who, like me, changed the course of her life by thinking more about self-sufficiency and protecting the environment. She grows many of her own vegetables, makes a lot of her own clothing, and works from home writing for a school over-seas. She is also writing an international cookbook containing recipes she created while working with her husband in other countries. The emphasis is on simple, inexpensive and nutritious meals utilizing homegrown vegetables and beans.
During our conversations we both discovered that we have very meager financial resources, and have found it difficult to meet again in person due to the cost of gasoline and the lengthy distance between Graham and Tacoma. Interestingly, Sharon was raised in Eatonville and is familiar with the town. Nevertheless, I hope to do an interview of this very interesting woman in the future, and in the meantime we’ll continue to grow our friendship via telephone and email.
Sharon is an inspiration.
One of the Mountain News writers, Judy Spiers, is one of those women who has so much going on in her life and so much energy that she makes me dizzy. Not only does she cover stories for the Mountain News, she also sketches (beautifully), takes a photography class, gardens, enjoys an exercise class with her husband, and is writing a book besides!
Judy is an inspiration.
Last week, through a referral from Bruce, I had the opportunity to become acquainted with the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) by attending one of their monthly meetings, which was held at the University of Washington bookstore in Seattle.
One of the featured speakers, Laura Munson, author of the book, This is Not the Story You Think It Is, gave a talk about how to make money by using life experiences to write a memoir. It so happens, this is exactly what I have been working on for several years myself.
Ms. Munson spoke about writing as work, in the grandest sense of that word. She stated: “Don’t obsess about publication, just do your work. That’s where your power lies. Everything you need is within you and always has been. Just do the best work you can.”
Laura is an inspiration.
As a result of meeting these three wonderful women and experiencing some uniquely synchronous events, like first meeting Bruce by running into him in the Le Cupcake coffee shop, I’ve fallen in love with this wet and wild, rough and rocky land, and I’m not sure how much longer I can claim Newbie status.
Of one thing I am increasingly certain; I was destined to live in Washington State. I have been presented, by fate (?), with three women reflecting, as though in a mirror, images of possibilities, and I now walk my path with a heightened awareness and wakefulness.
I aspire to be an inspiration.
© 2011 Paula Morris
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