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Desert Tales No. 14, Vol. 2

Foreword To Writing

Several years ago, a friend (?) entertained by my antics decided she was going to write a book about me.  But first she needed me to fill in some juicy details, which I was not going to give her.  If anyone was going to capitalize on my escapades it would be me!

I did not tell her that she had been my serendipitous muse, and that I had started writing a pseudo-memoir camouflaging characters and avoiding embarrassing incidents. I also felt a strong compulsion about finishing the “novel” and getting it published fast to present it to her on Christmas. I will never forget the astonished look on her face. “I am only on chapter two about you.” She exclaimed in disbelief.

“Now I own the copyright of my life, so you might as well discard your manuscript.”  I said triumphantly thinking I had outwitted her.

A few weeks later, she called to say she had recognized every protagonist in the book, hinting she would call them and encourage them to sue for libel.

“That’s going to be fun!” I retorted not in the least bit concerned, knowing full well that most of my accomplices would never own up to things done that would not even be mentioned in confession.

From that day in 1979, I have never stopped writing.  Even when my legal writing professor told me I should stick more to the dismal facts of the case, with less emphasis on adjectives, I let my emotions

and vivid imagination be a conduit to my words.  I do like the differentiation of facts but they often lead to neurosis.  On the other hand, life lived on an impulsive nature always leads to adventure, as Oscar Wilde would have concurred.

Since then I have written poetry, novels, travelogues, Spanish flash cards, and recently a book about Word War Two history.  For if I see a humming bird I want to know where it has been.  It is not just an innate curiosity that propels me to put words on paper, but the need to share the wonder with others. I don’t write because I am a communicator, “a wee chatterbox” as Granny Lindsay would call me, but because I love words in any language and hate numbers.

I find numerals to be truthful, easily manipulated depending upon which political party you belong to, and quite offensive.  Sometimes they can evoke excitement if the tax people are bored, but if you were to cut my head open with an axe numbers would not sink in.  That is why my public accountant and I get along fabulously; he laughs at what I write, and I cry at his bills.

What my husband can’t understand is that I am fast at work while staring in the mirror!

Alinka Zyrmont -


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