Starting in April, author William Bernhardt will be teaching a writing class at the library once a month. I have been mulling it over and over. Will I register for the “Just Fiction” classes or not? On one hand the fee is $89 a class. On the other hand it is the only time I will ever, EVER get a chance to learn the art of writing and be mentored by a New York Times best selling author. And the only time someone will take me by the hand and help lead me step by step through writing a book.
You may not know this but every librarian is secretly a budding novelist. Each of us has the perfect novel in our head and it is almost always set in a library with caricatures of the different folks we’ve met. Mine was about an eccentric librarian. The plot hinged on the climatic scene where the librarian drinks too much coffee causing her to rearrange the whole library by color. My dream of writing that novel was shot, when several years later internet pictures of a bookstore organized by color started circulating. It was shot again when I waited six years too many to write my book craft instruction manual. All of the sudden, four or five books popped up on a subject that just a few days before had zero titles.
It comes down to being too scared and too busy to get my thoughts down on paper. I’m not sure when writing somewhere other than in my head became so scary, because I actually began to write complete pieces at a very young age. As a fourth grader, I wrote a 75 pager in pencil on lined notebook paper. It was a thriller/family saga about a slumber party killer/school problems. The highlight is a poignant, if lengthy, description of the root beer candies our student teacher gave us on her last day. The troubling portion of the book, as I reflect back today, may have been my unfortunate inclusion of a titillating, end of chapter teaser where I imply that my sister may have been adopted. Unfortunately, I was so ensconced in the root beer candy description that I finished the book without ever picking back up on the adoption story.
Regardless of its shortcomings, it was at least complete and I’m not sure there have been many more thrilling experiences than having said “I wrote a book!” So, I think I’m pretty sure I’m signing up for this class (http://justfiction.okstate.edu). I think. If you’re a little scared too and need a nudge in the right direction, let’s talk!