A good author, Sue Monk Kidd, once wrote that a serious artist knows to spend an amount of time devoted to having her (in my case, his) works read or heard equal to the time in creating the work.
Well, I am a serious writer, and this blog is, for the moment, my primary tool to find and encourage people to read and enjoy my books. So, where have I been for several months?
I have been Chairing the production of my 55th reunion at Harvard Business School. I took it on under the rubric that it will help sell books. Blame Sue Monk Kidd. That possible self-deception has yet to play out, but it has created a big, creative, exciting, intellectual and personal party for eighty-year-olds.
In a special appearance embedded in our schedule, Professor David Moss, of “Democracy: A Case Study,” has agreed to share his expertise in Is American Democracy in Trouble? For the bulk of the program classmates will lead afternoon discussions about global financial systems, climate warming, migration, wisdom, how to be happy, and writing and publishing.
It is the latter two that may have justified my abandoning this blog for so long.
Leaving out other Harvard events, here are the June 6-8 Class events:
Monday, June 6
6:30: Class Drinks and Section Dinners at the Faculty Club and The Harvard Club of Boston
Tuesday, June 7
2:00 – 2:40: Welcome. Review of 1965-1967: The Years That Started Not All Of It But A lot Of It. Presentation of Class Survey: What We Learned About Ourselves. A Poem
2:45 – 3:25: Can Capitalism be Sustained?
3:25 – 4:05: Thriving in the Time of Global Warming
4:05 – 4:45: Bringing Wisdom to Government and Society
6:30 – 10:30: Class Dinner at the Boston Public Library – 1960’s Music, Food and Chat
Wednesday, June 8
1:00 – 1:45: Is American Democracy in Trouble?
2:00 – 2:40: Happiness and Well-Being at Any Age
2:45 – 3:30: Refugees – Their Problem becomes our Problem
2:45 – 3:30: In the Pit: Classmates Discuss their Work, Published and Planned
3:30 – 4:30: Who Ever Told You That You Could Write? You Did!
3:30 – 5:00: Social time
In the Pit comes from my three semesters at the Gotham Writers Workshop. Everyone twice distributed 2500-word segments of their novel to the class. The next week they stood in the pit in front of the class listening to the criticism. No comment, disagreement, or interruption until all classmates had finished. Then. Ten minutes. These men (I tried for a woman out of the thirteen in our class) will be tested. The line-up: self-published 28 works; 24 plays and 5 novels; a book of advice to children starting their career; a book of poetry, a book by a professor of entrepreneurship, The Idea Isn’t Enough, a collection of privately published photos, and me with a minute on each of my five published novels.
Whoever told you you could write? opens a session devoted to publishing, traditional and indie; writing, and the writing process. The phrase summarizes the 350-word critique letter I received from the evaluation editor upon my effort to find a publisher for Fugitive Sheriff. All classmates will share learn-the-hard-way stories and all attendees will be invited to question. Note, social time runs parallel to this session. It might be difficult to sneak drinks into a Harvard classroom, but for sure, they will be needed.
In shepherding this reunion and putting together these sessions, I perceived that we have many authors who have published and writers who plan to write and want to publish. I asked Harvard to give us a website. That was a no go. So, I created an HBS ’67 Authors, Writers group on Facebook. It’s up and will survive the reunion to give classmates a permanent location for conversation as well as posting news of recent publications or fresh aspirations.
So, that’s where I have been. Will it sell books? Who knows, but you will as soon as I do. Forever Sheriff was published last week. A great review was posted right away and I look forward to seeing yours.