The Rag

Star Wars Rag


The panel

In order from left to right: Barbara Phillips, Alva Underwood, John Hope and Cheri Roman

Last Saturday I was in Tampa, Florida at USF’s second annual Star Wars Reads event. The event is held annually at colleges and other locations nationwide and it is intended to promote literacy.

USF invited me and several other authors, among them fellow FWA Its a Crime winner, John Hope, to participate in a panel on writing.  It was an amazing experience, not just because it was well organized and well attended, but because it was a sanctioned opportunity to do one of my favorite things – talk about writing.

The event impressed me on many levels, but the realization I’m taking with me is very simple: this is what I want to do. I want the writing life. The best part of a great day came when I got to answer the questions of budding writers, both while the panel was in progress and after wards with individuals who stopped by the table to talk.

The writing life means writing, talking and teaching about writing, editing, publishing and more writing. This, or some version of it, is what most writers dream of and it is not an easy goal to reach. Getting there means stepping out on what often look like very thin limbs and praying they will hold you up. Sometimes it means learning to fly because there is no limb to stand on and stepping out makes absolutely no sense. That’s where faith comes in.  Faith in yourself, faith in the dream, faith in the future.

In the current economic climate that kind of faith can be a challenge to hold on to. I don’t know if I am strong enough to do it. I just know I don’t have a choice.

What kind of challenges are you facing? How do you find your faith?

Me with the guest of honor. Luke apparently couldn't make it, so he sent his dad.

Me with the guest of honor. Luke apparently couldn’t make it, so he sent his dad.

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