Find the Good

A book.

We’re publishing a book. We’ve got a publisher lined up. We’ve got committees in place to select the stories and choose a title and edit the manuscript. We’ve even got a professional editor lined up to proof the manuscript next spring. Our yet-unnamed book will debut in September, 2009. This is a good thing.

This venture belongs to the Council for the Written Word, a nonprofit organization with a mission of encouraging, educating, and empowering writers. I am president for 2008-2009, when this project will be active and will see fruition. The book will be an anthology of short fiction and creative nonfiction written by our members and by the noted authors who have been selected for our Hall of Fame of Williamson County writers.

Yesterday, the Selection Committee met for the first time in the atrium of The Factory. Louise, Currie, Nancy, Angela, Bill, and I have the honor of reading every submitted story and selecting those appropriate for the anthology. We left the meeting on a high — with the first 8 stories — well-told, unique, memorable!

One story in particular that provided encouragement to me was written by Alana White. In it she mentions a quote from the bottom of Alex Haley’s letterhead: “Find the good — and praise it.”

For me, the GOOD came when I checked my mailbox yesterday after arriving home from the meeting. I pulled a brown manila envelope from the stack. It was from a high school classmate whom I have not seen in xx years. In the enclosed letter he sent condolences about my husband. He lives near the nation’s capital now, and he’s been reading my blog (where he learned of my husband’s death) after he saw a newspaper article about my book Pink Butterbeans in our hometown paper, the Bolivar Commercial, three years ago. Most of my stories are about the Mississippi Delta, from whence he hails, as well. We were post-war babies and grew up in the 50s and 60s in that hot, flat land — it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. My memories are fond ones, though, and it is good to re-connect with those who were part of those days.

JPH, you made my day! Thanks!

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