Sun City, CA
You know the old saying, “Jack of all trades” that was often applied to men in times past? Perhaps I could be best described as a “Jill of all writing.” As far back as I remember I’ve been involved in writing, one way or another; in fact, many different ways.
I started a neighborhood newspaper before I started kindergarten. Editor, I sat at my small child’s table with my younger sister opposite. Together we cut out and pasted a colorful variety of decorations (similar to child’s stickers available today) on a few sheets of paper. Then we wrote our “news” with care in our best penmanship around the illustrations. A few copies made that way wore out our creative spurts, and then we ran outdoors to knock on doors and sell to the neighbors. As soon as we sold two copies for a nickel each, distribution shut down and we raced to the corner grocery to buy 5 cent ice cream bars. (Yes, they were 5 cents then.)
Growing up, I was always writing something, mostly poems and short stories that I collected over the years in a box I saved one Christmas. I picked up a Mrs. in college, and our family started soon after. I’d had meningitis as a child, and it left me with a lot of hearing loss. So I got in the habit of sitting beside the doorway of the babies’ rooms until they went to sleep, in case they cried instead. Sitting there I started writing again, with fervor. A variety of publishing followed as the children grew up.
I became poet, book reviewer, columnist, feature writer, genealogist, and author. I cared for two horses, my feisty Moonrise whose antics demanded my full attention, and Beau, a courtly gentleman, in my care while my daughter was in college. My horses were so tolerant of my shortcomings I was soon writing at the stables too, sitting with them, sharing their content while they munched hay after their workouts. I had dogs to cuddle and warm my heart in quiet moments. The last two, Basset Hounds Scarlett and Buddy, were very special to me, warming my mind to create more story images.
For me, life is a black and white sketch waiting for me to color in myself with my writing.
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
Receiving the Fellowship was a great inspiration to me because I had written the book "How Can I Talk With You?" about compensating communication to assist a young woman. She had asked me how she could communicate with her new deaf boyfriend. I have only one-fourth hearing in one ear, but she never had any trouble speaking with me and wanted to know what made the difference. An Arizona group of sign language assistants purchased a large quantity of copies!
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
The award was an inspirational springboard. I have been quite active in writing and leadership. Currently working on book seven of my "Place in the Heart" Western Historical book series contracted by Desert Breeze Publishing. For the past ten years I have been president of the Goodrich Family Association international genealogy group, and I write many articles that appear in the Quarterly. I also serve as an annual judge for two different book contests and am a regular reviewer for the Hope Chest Book Review site. See my books at: http://goodrickbeggs.wordpress.com/wip/ You can also see my work, print, and ebooks at Amazon and other book sites.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Try, try again - it is a constant learning experience for all.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
Constantly evolving, opportunity abounds.