Why I will Never Write a Book like The Death of a President

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Photo- John and Judy Manchester  in the Haight (San Francisco) that day with me in February

 

Written in 2012.. and missing my life and the people I once knew and will never forget.

It must be February because fellow writer Luminous Muse (John Manchester) and his Musette are back in the Bay area for their annual visit. The three of us get along so well that we were asked to leave a local sushi restaurant yesterday because they needed to close after the afternoon lunch. Last year I thought I knew everything I needed to know about John and Judy, but I didn’t. I came home after the delightful outing and told Steve that John’s father had written some sort of book about President Kennedy. Steve gave me one of his looks and asked me if I knew who his father was.
In the next five minutes I was told that John’s father was William Manchester who had written “The Death of a President”. The book was published in 1967 by Harper and Row and became one the great American Classics. Seeing that my likes consist of celebrities, Madonna, and Sweet Valley High I brushed it all off. All I knew was that the Muse and his Musette were great people and we could discuss the world of writing and the hamburger chain IN N’ Out Burger like Olympic champions.

 

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William and John Manchester —Baltimore, 1954

 

Last week John wrote a blog about his father and how he spent 95% of his time locked away writing. For 15 hours a day, 7 days a week he conducted over 1000 interviews to write a book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I read the blog three times, rolled my chair back, and started to think.

For the last six months my daily outings into the world have consisted of an 11 block walk to the Post Office and then back home to sit in front of my laptop the rest of the day. I will never be William Manchester, but I am very persistent in my goals. I begin at 7 am and sometimes finish around 8 pm. Let’s face it– I am almost 61 years old (65-2017) and time is of the essence if I want to get anything published.  I wondered if I too was becoming obsessed. Could a gal that grew up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and lives in rural Lanark County, Ontario ever make a difference?

Everyone says they want to become a writer, but to be a real writer you have to dig in and write every single day and put up with lots of criticism and rejection.  A month ago I hooked up with my literary doppelganger called Elizabeth C who owns the site Crabbygolightly (now closed 2017) which is simply pop news with a snap.

E.C., as she is fondly known is one smart cookie who has worked as a senior producer for Oprah, a reporter covering news, politics, trend stories and features for several daily newspapers and, most recently, for Time. Again friends thought I was nuts and over-extending myself– and why on earth would I want to write about celebrities?

I knew from the word go that Ms. Elizabeth was not going to put up with bad writing and I could learn how to write entertaining information in a short span of words. Writing for her is very similar to newspaper writing. Did I add more literary obsession to my day I asked myself? Was I going to end up going mad like Poe and end up writing about ravens?

 

 

 

Am I obsessed in my work ethic like William Manchester? Am I a writer now? Of course not; even with 6 published books– I will forever be a blogger and will never become even close to becoming a great writer like William Manchester– but I do know one thing. I have figured out that I can tell stories with my words just like the people that sat around the pickle barrel a long time ago and I am quite content with that.

John Manchester is a real writer and his words made a difference to me—and that my friends is what it is all about in the very end;  to be able to write well enough to make a difference in someone’s life.

Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Update 2017- Nothing has changed LOL

Related Reading

Lunch with Linda in the Haight- John Manchester

 

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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