Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wedding Anniversary

Our wedding anniversary is coming up on August 12th and I am recalling the young, naive girl I used to be. I am that same girl, just not so young anymore.

Back in 1970, Greg, my husband-to-be, and I had just finished our undergraduate degrees at Illinois State University. I was living at home for the summer and working full time in a clerical job at the local telephone company. I was looking forward to starting graduate school in the fall. Greg was working full time as a motel and restaurant manager.

Somewhere in our preoccupation with work and school was the mutual understanding that we would get married. We didn't know when, and frankly we had done no planning other than contacting Greg's brother-in-law who was an Armenian Orthodox priest. In order for him to perform the wedding ceremony, he would need permission from his bishop to travel to Illinois.

A whole summer would go by with no word from his brother-in-law until we received a call one day asking us if next week would suit us. Huh? A whole week to pull off a wedding? Well, that's how naive we were. No church. No wedding preparations. No money. Nothing. And we were getting married in a week.

The first thing we did was call on an Episcopalian minister for whom Greg had done some Arabic translations. Somehow we thought he might be able to help us. Neither one of us belonged to a church and we needed some place to stage this wedding. It was strange being ushered into the minister's office and greeted with a knowing smile. "I bet I know why you two are here."

We explained our quandary--no planning and totally clueless. He proceeded to tell us that his chapel was at our disposal for a candlelight ceremony and that whatever we needed, he would help provide, including vestments if they should be required. We would have been stunned if we weren't so naive. Even the realization that we only had one week to pull together all the arrangements didn't throw us into a panic. I guess we thought it was divine intervention.

Everything seemed completely effortless and magical. Greg's family arrived from Toronto and Washington D.C. It would be a small intimate wedding which was fine by me since I never had any interest in a big wedding and all the frills. Nor did I have a father who believed it was his duty to provide such a wedding.

The only glitch I remember was calling to invite my mother who lived in Minnesota. She was surprised at the short notice and inquired if I "had" to get married. I was shocked by such a question from a mother who hadn't really been in my life since I was twelve years old and she was equally shocked by my sharp reply. She didn't come. I didn't mind. It was never an issue between us, but she never forgot my hair-trigger anger.

On the evening of our wedding, the Episcopalian minister had taken it upon himself to see that all was in order for our wedding. He personally placed all the candles up and down the aisle and lit them. There were beautiful flowers on the altar. Five minutes before I walked down the aisle, he insisted there should be music and he summoned an organist.

Standing before the altar, I don't think my husband and I had any idea what was going on. I certainly didn't. There had been no rehearsal and the Orthodox ceremony was mostly in Armenian. Strangely, only the part about the wife being subservient to the husband was in English. My stepmother Rose later told me she expected me to reply "in a pig's eye!"

Here we are in all our bliss and naivete. His family was shocked by my short, unconventional, wedding dress that I had made myself. They were also displeased with my husband's choice of wedding attire. (It was the only suit he had.) My family was probably in their own state of shock at my marrying into an Armenian family. In the end, it all worked out.

So how will be celebrating our anniversary? Surfing competition. That's a story for another day, but rest assured, I will not be surfing.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for sharing this story about your wedding! Fun photo too!
    I've got to get to bed. It's 4:58 A.M.!
    I need at least a couple of hours sleep before the children wake up.
    The linky is not yet up at RFWers.
    Best wishes & hugs,
    Anna
    RFW No.42 - 'I need a change'

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  2. August 9th, 2012
    Hello again, Linda,
    Oh, forgot to say 'Happy Anniversary!' Hope you have a good time at the surfing competition!
    Yours,
    Anna

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  3. Thanks, Anna. What is keeping you up at 5am in the morning?

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  4. Such a beautiful story, Linda and Greg!! At a mere moment's glance, you look like Midhelle does today!! Just beautiful!!

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