Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bless all ye saints and sinners! I'm a published author with a cover article yet ... !

I'd almost forgotten it was out there ... the piece written for the California Historian last spring. But this weekend was the annual gathering of the Conference of California Historical Societies this year held in Martinez. The issue was printed and distributed " time for everyone to have a chance to read it before our visit to Rosie the Riveter National Park today," (according to editor, Mary Ellen Jones -- formerly of the University of California's Bancroft Library). And here were all 6 pages in fine print -- with pictures -- of the article I'd had so much trouble editing for space! All 6 pages! The editors didn't lay a glove on it except to improve the headings a bit -- and give it a better title.

You have no idea how honored I felt last night seated at the head table with President and Mrs. Richard Kimball, Ms. Jones, Ms. Andrea Bachman, my NPS colleague and archivist Carola DeRooey and husband, John, -- just like a "regullah" author with a resumé and bio and all.

Not only that, but during the lovely dinner Ms. Jones reached past my wine glass to slip into my hand a brochure and what appeared to be a press release for an about-to-be-published book by a noted author saying, "... Betty, I have the dummy copy of this new book in my car, and was wondering if you'd be interested in reading it and writing a review for me?" It is being published by HeyDay Books (publication date October, 2009), a publisher of progressive California authors. I remembered that Elaine Elinson, communications director of the ACLU of Northern California, was a guest on one of the bus tours I'd guided a few years ago with Ranger Lucy Lawliss -- and how enthusiastic she'd been about the experience. I also read the short paragraphs from two other reviewers, Dr. Robert Allen, author of The Port Chicago Mutiny and actor Mike Farrell, a leader in the anti-death penalty movement. Pretty impressive company to be in, right? This was a serious proposal being requested of Betty Reid Soskin, newly-acknowledged somewhat over-ripe fledgling author at the absolute top edge of life.

Wherever There's a Fight
How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets
Shaped Civil Liberties in California

Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi, co-authors

Looks like my kind of folks, right?

Never has "better late then never" held more meaning than now.

The magazine is a limited edition that I believe is distributed mainly within the organization and perhaps to history museums and libraries, but I've been given multiple copies for our NPS staff. This issue also carries a fine article about one of our other parks, the John Muir National Historical Park, so it becomes a twofer for us.

This Saturday morning I will not wash clothes and match socks. This is a day to do something of relative significance. Maybe Dorian and I will take a trip over to the new Aquarium in Golden Gate Park. Been intending to do that for some time -- and this is the day to reward myself in some meaningful way. There's no better way to rein in one's ego than to bear witness to the wonders of the natural world; especially in watching such wondrous life forms as giant jellyfish and/or watching synchronized schools of silvery smelt slithering silently through the water in their primordial dance ... . Been thinking about that since Tom and I chatted recently -- mulling over the possibility of a visit there before my work schedule intervened, again ... .

Now I'll call my daughter to see if she'd like to go out and play with me today. No one will be able to see my invisible C-List badge of celebrity, but I'll know it's there on my lapel. Maybe I'll even wear my celebratory hand-painted Dorrie-designed happy jeans. (You'll notice that I've moved myself up a notch from the D-List.)

1 comment:

Mage said...

Delightful to meet you via Ronni Bennett's blog. Congratulations on the publication of your article.