Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Writer I Admire

Wanda Bates is another writer I admire. I had the good fortune to meet her in a Sunday afternoon writers group that I attended a number of years ago. Once a month half a dozen members of the Kansas Authors Club gathered to read their work aloud, discuss writing and enjoy the common bond they shared.

When Wanda read her work to the group, I always paid close attention for her words were simple, but strong. Her essays and memoirs were filled with subtle wit and wonderful glimpses of life as it once was. A friendship grew from those Sunday afternoons. Wanda's one fault is in not tooting her own horn. So I encouraged her to submit some of her work to various online sites where I'd had some success myself. As a result, she has been published many times and even won awards at  She has also been published in other print publications through the years.

She wrote an award winning essay called "On Being Ninety" a few years ago. Yes, I did say a few years ago. Wanda will celebrate her 95th birthday in less than a month. She lives in an assisted living facility and is quite frail physically, but her mind is sharp and active, and she continues to write family history after a niece requested that she do so.

She is a stickler for using good grammar, and I admire that, too. In today's world of abbreviating when texting or e-mailing, I fear good grammar may never return.

Her work at OurEcho includes a three part look at war years, called "Wars and Rumors of Wars." Both WWI and WWII are included. "Three Years In A Teacherage" tells of her years living in what was termed a "teacherage" in the 1930's in rural Iowa. A brought-to-life piece of history. She has written of her few months living in a nursing home after an illness forced the decision to give up independent living. Unlike many others, she graduated from Health Care up to Assisted Living.

I am always encouraged after I visit Wanda. She is living proof that a writer doesn't have to give up writing as age creeps up. I know now that I can keep writing as long as my mind is all right and my desire to write still strong. Throw in a continued sense of humor like she has, and it's easy to see why Wanda is still writing at almost-ninety-five.

Read Wanda's essay on achieving the age of ninety at and then check her other stories listed at I can promise you'll be entertained.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Nancy,
    Although, as you say, Aunt Wanda doesn't toot her own horn she does let me know when someone else does! She is embarrassed and flattered but the latter is always good for the soul so I am delighted to read your blog piece about her. I am always so touched by her writings and her daily communiques with me. I wish for you the same longevity, sound mind a great wit! Thanks for your friendship and attention to her. Niece Penny