Let The Writing Begin

May 27, 2016

May is a special time in Atlanta. The air is heavy with the sweet scent of honeysuckle, jasmine, and magnolia.  Gardens are full of color as tulips and daffodils emerge from their wintry pine beds, and the cheerful sounds of nature greet the sunrise. Mothers are honored, and I celebrate two of my four granddaughter’s birthdays. It’s also brain cancer awareness month and a reminder that this past year has taken me on an amazing journey.

I was fortunate enough to self-publish Obsidian Rose, my second memoir, in time to start raising funds for brain cancer research last May. All proceeds from sales of both Afterglow and Obsidian Rose are donated to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (now the National Brain Tumor Society). Their mission is to fund research to find a cure for brain cancer.

Throughout the year I have had the honor and joy of attending book club meetings to discuss my books. I have been inspired by the discussions we’ve shared and truly grateful for the feedback and encouragement I have received. What has surprised me most is how readers classify my memoirs as “love stories.”  Though not my intent, their comments spark a beautiful realization.

And so, this May I endeavor to set out on yet another writing journey. This time it will not be my story, but the love story of my parents written through the voice of my mother. I have been doing research and interviews while reading and rereading the love letters my dad wrote to my mom in the fall of 1946. I am touched by their innocence, devotion to each other, and determination to better their lives post WWII. It is a slice of time worth exploring and revering.


As I began, I faced a dilemma: the pine desk where I wrote my first two books is no longer here in Atlanta. I loaded it in a trailer and took it on my first trek across country to my new home in Bend, Oregon last fall. What to do? I did what my mother would have done—go to the flea market! And there, in the middle of the clutter of one of my favorite shops under a mountain of glassware, vases, and china, I discovered the table. It had chipped green paint on the base, but the tabletop was a lovely heart of pine. When I opened the hinged top, it made a larger working surface. Perfect! With excitement I helped the aged store clerk, ignoring his grumbling, anxious to get my find home so I could reclaim it for my special space above the garage—my artist’s garret.

After some scrubbing with steel wool, a wash down, and clear varnish applied, my new desk is ready and I am set to write! I wonder what next May will bring.


  1. Dan Swift on May 27, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Kirby-how great. Good luck on your book. Not always easy to look into the private thoughts and emotions of your parents. I inherited the letters my Dad wrote my Mom during WW2 and after the first 2 paragraphs I just couldn’t go on. Too personal. I’ll have to let the grandchildren do it. Best to you and your family. Bill would be very proud.

    • Karen on May 28, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks dear friend. It has been fun so far, we’ll see where it leads…

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