Sunday, March 19, 2006

Warren County Library

Yesterday my friend Fern Hill and I traveled to Belvidere, New Jersey, to give a talk called "Get Writing, Get Published!" at the Warren County Library. If you've never been to Belvidere, it is a quaint county seat in western NJ with tree-lined streets, Victorian houses, and storefronts that encourage walking rather than driving.

Fern and I made a great team, if I do say so myself, as she is a historical fiction writer. She gave a great talk on research and its role in establishing credibility with readers. I talked about nonfiction and the process of publishing.

There were about 20 people there, and their interests ran the gamut: poets, children's writers, screenwriters, etc., very much like the mixed-bag dynamic in our writers group, the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG). We were there to promote GLVWG and the Write Stuff conference, but also to provide a community service and talk about what we love.

I felt like we were celebrities when so many people came forward to share their projects and dreams with us. One woman even told us about her trips to New York City as an extra in commercials. It reminded me of the Bufferin commercial the back of my head was in when I was a college student. I had returned from spring break to my PT job at a law office and found a film crew there. The office was kind of cool, being on the penthouse floor of the old McGraw-Hill building. [Look for the green skyscraper just west of Times Square.] While they were filming, the back of my head ended up in their footage, so they paid me $1 and had me sign a release form. I never did see my hair on the air. ;-)

But anyway, my point is that everyone has an interesting story, if we take the time to seek them out and listen to them. I often marvel at my interviewees' interesting lives. I recently interviewed a housing developer who was an efficiency expert for Burger King and who ran operations in 15 European countries while living in Munich and Paris. It turned out he was conversant in 4 languages, and I felt like Jamie Lee Curtis in A Fish Called Wanda when he spoke Spanish, German, and French.

After the talk we went to a casual eatery called Thisilldous (This'll Do Us) and shared an ice cream dessert while talking about our allergies to portion control. ;-) All in all a fabulous day, so I thank Fern for making it so enjoyable.

To learn more about Belvidere, NJ, visit

1 comment:

F.J. Hill said...

Hey Mel, great article. I, too, enjoyed the day.