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#40880 - 03/07/06 05:39 PM Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
Emily Hanlon Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 18
Loc: Yorktown Heights, NY
by Emily Hanlon

I am the daughter of an obsessed writer. My father, a math teacher by vocation, a writer by avocation, brought me up believing that writing is a fine passion and that the highlight of a writer’s life is being published. He gave me his love of the English language, great literature and great writers. He instructed me on the importance of realistic dialogue, creating characters we remember, and good plot twists. I was drawn to his typewriter before I could spell. In fact, one of our memorable photographs is of me at about age three, kneeling on a chair at the table where he wrote. My little hands are poised above the keys of his sturdy, black Underwood. My expression is thoughtful and fixed. By the side of the Underwood is a bottle of Schaefer beer.



When I was a child, I breathed in my father's passion for his own writing and being published. Before I was old enough to read his stories, I filled the manila envelopes with his manuscripts (the onion skin carbon copies ceremoniously filed away), pasted on the stamps and, holding the precious envelope in one hand and his hand in my other, walked to the mail box where together we slid the envelope into the slot. Then the wait began, ever hopeful, for the news that his story had been accepted. I’m not sure I knew what would happen when it was accepted, but I knew it would make him, and thus me very, very, very happy. Invariably, what happened, of course was that the manuscript was returned. I felt his dejection as if it were my own.

“Don’t worry, Daddy,” I remember telling him. “When I grow up, I’m going to put all your stories into a book and publish them myself.” It was a palpable dream for me.

When my father died, he left suitcases filled with short stories, only two of which had been published, both in Esquire. In addition, he’d written three novels about a private eye named Michael Oliver O’Toole, who remained his companion during his final years in a nursing home. Even when my father couldn’t remember who I was, he talked about Michael Oliver O’Toole.

This durable friendship with Michael Oliver O’Toole is one of my favorite memories of my writing father, and I have come to the conclusion that it is better to have a friend like Michael Oliver O’Toole than the memory of signing a fat publishing contract.

I wonder if Dad would agree with me...

To read the rest of the article, please go to: http://www.thefictionwritersjourney.com/article_Publish_or_Perish.htm

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#40881 - 03/07/06 08:24 PM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
TVC15 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 2538
Loc: North Carolina
What a great story Emily!
Your Dad sounds like he was a real gem.
There aren't any other writers in my family. I'm on my own when it comes to this stuff.
And to be honest, this is the second time this week that I've had someone say to me that the publishing isn't important, the writing is what it's all about.
I think someone is trying to tell me something. I think maybe I'll start listening!

[ March 07, 2006, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: TVC15 ]

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#40882 - 03/07/06 08:58 PM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
Bluebird Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 2560
Loc: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Emily, what a great article! I think your father would agree with you and I bet he would also agree that having a daughter like you is the true reward of any man.

BTW - I used to live in Orange County, NY...not too far from you. Welcome to BWS!

[ March 07, 2006, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: Bluebird ]

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#40883 - 03/08/06 02:52 PM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Emily, your mention of the onion paper, stamps, and typewriter reminded me of how lucky we are today.

Dang, we can bang it out and push send. I give so much credit to the writers of yesteryear. Can you imagine how tedious it was? Running to the library to research everything? We are so fortunate to live in this day and age.

By the way, your dad sounds like a gem.

What are you doing with all his writing? Have you read it?

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#40884 - 03/09/06 12:19 AM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
Saundra Offline
Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1796
Loc: Daytona Beach, Florida
A great story, Emily. When I told my cousins about my book, they pretty much ingnored me and my father was too sick to understand, but I know he would have encouraged me.

Dotsie, running to the library is something I still enjoy. Can you imagine writing with a quill and an ink well?

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#40885 - 03/09/06 08:38 AM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Loved it Emily. Thanks for sharing.

JJ

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#40886 - 03/10/06 02:46 PM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Saundra, I hate to admit it but I rarely go the library any more. I have a ton of books to read without going there.

But some of my favorite memories have to do with taking my kids the the library when they were little.

I'd push that double stroller piled high with books and kids back and forth to the library every week.

I plan on spending more time there in my empty nest.

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#40887 - 03/13/06 08:17 PM Re: Publish or Perish: It's Not Only for Academia, an article...
Renee Russell Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 68
Loc: Tennessee
Emily - What a wonderful wonderful memory to have. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Renee

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