Jennie Helderman and Nancy Julien Kopp
Algonkian State Park 2013
Jennie Heldrman and I have been cabinmates at each of our writersandcritters conferences. She lives in Atlanta and I'm in Manhattan, KS so we only see each other in person every 18 months at our gathering. I'd tell you that the bottle Jennie is holding is meant for medicinal purposes, but actually it was to add to our evening meal and to be shared with the others. Well, maybe it fits into the mental health category.
Jennie is the author of As The Sycamore Grows. (A Reader recently learned that she could click on the highlighted words to read more. Are you all aware of that? ) Learn more about Jennie here. When you read about her, you're going to realize that, besides being a published author of a nonfiction book and other works, she is a real person. She even threads worms on a hook.
Like me and other authors, she has many fine characteristics but she and I both have flaws just like everyone else. Don't expect me to list them here, however. We have dreams for our children and grandchildren. We do menial tasks in our homes--even if an author has a cleaning person once a week, there are still everyday housework chores. We cook. We read newspapers and watch TV to keep up with what is happening in the world. We get sick sometimes and look just awful. We snap at our husbands when we're overly tired. Sound familiar?
It's because we're just like people who are not authors in many respects. We like to shop. Enjoy going to a play, concert or movie. We eat at home and also in restaurants. We take walks and chat with our neighbors. The only difference is that we also write. Whether it is to make a living or as a hobby (in my case), we do something that many people have never attempted.
Many readers hold authors, especially the famous ones, in awe. Keep in mind that they are real people who one day became a writer. They have a skill that the reader may not have, but I'm willing to bet that many of those readers hold other skills that the writer could never accomplish with any success. Do you sing in a church choir? If I tried, I'd be asked to vacate the premises faster than a jackrabbit can run across an Arizona desert.
We all have our talents but they don't come with a crown. We're just regular folks. The only difference between us and non-writers is that we are dying for you read the words that come tripping through our fingers to keyboard to page. That and the fact that as writers we often feel compelled to write. As a writer who loves to read, I'm very pleased about that.
Next time you attend a book signing, admire the writer putting her signature on the inside of the book you've purchased but remember, she has to go home and do many of the same things you do.