Writing serves as solace

Writing serves as solace over decades
by Liz Thompson

Published in Suburban News Publications, May 6, 2010

Memories are potent. Experiences with others help form who we become in life.

In March, I spoke to fourth graders at Grove City Christian School about what it is like to write for a newspaper and to be a writer. They had read “The Landry News” by Andrew Clements.  I read it, too, and recommend it for any age. The students were delightful, inquisitive, polite and funny. It was time well spent.

Why did I become a writer? Seems like I was always writing, making up new words to old songs, or imagining the “what ifs.” I simply love to write, read, and let my mind run with ideas. Libraries are my friend.

Recently, Dee Weaston Standish, a friend I’ve known since about 1956 in Westerville, reminded me of the name of the children’s book author our Girl Scout troop met; Ellen Snavely, author of “Shoes for Angela.” She lived one block from my home on Lincoln Street. I recalled sitting in her living room, listening to her and knowing I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

I went online to see if I could buy her book and for $50-$75 I sure can.

Steven C. Smith lived down the street from me in Westerville and I vaguely remember him as tall, with white hair and a ready smile. He published a 92-page book of poetry, “Life as I See It” and I read it from time-to-time growing up. There is no date of publication in the book but I still enjoy reading his thoughts.

After 28 years as a secretary, typing and organizing other people’s ideas, I’m taking time to put my own ideas in print. In 1998, I wrote my first column for Suburban News Publications.  I learned from then Commentary Editor, Cliff Wiltshire how to hone in my thoughts.

Then as a copydesk typist at SNP, I was again typing other people’s ideas and was gleefully hooked on reporting – telling other people’s stories; my favorite writing.

Marty Rozenman, Editor during my stint at SNP, taught me journalism. When I told him I loved reporting, and added I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do something so fun; he said it was amazing people pay us because we know how to put coherent words into sentences and stories. Marty was there during a turning point in my life, cheering me on. He still is.

My one grandmother had a wall of books in her home. My father read constantly and now both parents are avid readers. English teachers in school encouraged me. One does not need to hear to read and since I lost all my hearing by 50, books were always a solace for me; an escape, if you will.  My writing became another way of communicating.  

These people, and many others, remain in my life. The memories are woven into who I have become.  I doubt the Snavely’s, Smith’s or Thompson’s, of this world, write to become famous. I thinkthey have the itch to write and share their thoughts; something to pass on, to make this life better.

God inspires me with a desire to pass on good news. Until those words circling my mind come to a halt, that’s what I’ll do.  My granddaughter, Elizabeth, writes beautifully. The circle remains unbroken.

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