There’s a girl 20 years my junior who is featured on the front page of the Washington Post’s Style section today. New author sensation, drum roll, please: Ms. Danielle Evans. She’s been writing since she was a babe. Oh, and did you know she spoke eloquent and precocious phrases before her peers could recite the words, “See Jane pet Spot?” She’s a Columbia University graduate who also excelled at the Iowa Writers Workshop, had two of her stories chosen for publication in the Best America’s Short Stories collection, and teaches creative writing classes at American University. She’s done sooooo much, despite being sooooo young!
I’m trying to be mature and Christian about this and not be envious of her. I’m truly feeling more admiration than envy–. Seriously. I’m proud of the young woman and all she’s accomplished! As you’ll recall, I said in an earlier blog entry that I would not compare myself to other writers. I’m running my own race at my own pace–, yaada yaada yaada. Right?!!
Besides, while Ms. Evans was but a little girl, writing stuff, honing her talent, and getting better with each crisp and sparkling paragraph–, I was out serving my country for 20 years. I was working, supporting my family, taking trips, hanging out with the girls, going on dinner dates, tending to my animals, and doing all sorts of other-than-writing activities. Whew. Now, why do I have the sudden urge to drink anything with lots of Tequila in it?
But this is what I’m going to do for inspiration: I’m going to tape that big Style Section article to the wall in my office. I’m going to cover little Danielle’s face with my own photo. And then I’m going to paste my own caption over the printed one. It will read something like: “Local author, Pamela Hart’s debut novel receives international acclaim for her strong character development and realistic, raw and punchy dialogue.” I learned this from The Secret.
I’m going to buy her book this weekend, to support her. I also want to see for myself the words that people perceive as being innovative and chocked full of talent.
Next, I’m going to finish my own first book, in my own voice–, and then finish my second one.
And when the whoopla dies down, I’m going to go visit that young girl and take her to lunch. A celebratory lunch. I might even offer myself up as a mentor to Ms. Evans, and vice versa, as we make plans to collaborate on a project.
Yep, you heard it here first. [chuckle]