Already it is the Past

Posted by Edith Cook on Monday, February 27, 2017 Under: Writing

Already it is the Past

Dear Readers,

Last week Brian Martin informed me me he would no longer run my columns. Brian has been editor at the WTE ever since the paper’s new owners gave the boot to Reed Eckhardt.

Martin wanted me to write a good-bye column a la Jack Pugh. I told him I’d rather he published my Scully material, suggesting that “our readers will learn something interesting and delightful.”

I'd got to know Marlan Scully & spouse Judy in Texas. They are Wyomingites who attended Casper College and UW. Since then Marlan Scully has become an internationally recognized quantum theorist. I’ve heard it said that he is hands down the most eminent scientist ever to come out of Wyoming. Both he and his wife’s family have contributed (and continue to contribute) materially to Wyoming’s educational and economic well-being.

Martin wrote back complaining of my “pattern” about “random people” and “books reports.” I shot back an email which, should you be interested, is reprinted below. The Scully material has ben pasted on another page of this website, namely "2017 Columns."

Sent Saturday, February 18, 2017, to the editor of the WTE:

Dear Brian,

These past nine months your snide remarks have affected me more than I care to remember. You say you’re “trying to be polite”? Let me tell you: there’s nothing like subterraneous needling to smother the creative impulse. Though a following has come my way in the Cheyenne and Casper areas--I’ve earned some speaking fees as a result--you know something? I’m relieved it’s over. 

I began submitting to Reed in fall 2011. About twice a year he’d reject a column that wasn’t up to snuff, but these were rare occasions. Most of the time he went with the flow. He began paying me after I’d absolved a sort of apprenticeship, which he took pains to laud. Sometimes when we talked one-on-one he’d comment that my submissions resembled essays more than a columnists' fare. Know that your dislike for my “pattern” doesn’t make you right and my followers wrong.

Women do write and read differently than what men tend to prefer, especially “manly” males who insist on heroes and action and climax. But “manly” priorities aren’t so much in demand any more, associated as they are with colonialism and subjugation. Women enjoy commentaries on community and its people. I personally stress anecdotes that reach for self-disclosure, a system of living developed by Sidney Jourard and his (male) followers more than fifty years ago. Should you be interested, his website is still up and running.

You mentioned Rodger McDaniel and Kerry Drake as implied role models. 

Rodger McDaniel is a valued friend and mentor. His wife, too, is an endearing writer. Patricia McDaniel contributed a gut-wrenching personal essay to Recover Wyoming’s “Watch My Rising,” on which I recently wrote. That you object to such information on the basis of “random people” and “just a book report” is beyond me. What, exactly, do you consider “legitimate” writing?

Drake was a mentor when, as opinion editor at CST, he ran my columns. I’m certain he would have published the Scully material, for I often appeared in CST’s Saturday Forum. When CST sacked Drake, I was pleased to see Dustin Bleizeffer picking up the slack. BTW, I also admire Bleizeffer’s writing and continue to learn from it, as I’ve told him in person. Needless to say, I regularly support and read WYOFile.

Again, I’m relieved it’s over. Your underhanded nagging has robbed me of joy. Partly in defiance, I’ve published much of what I write on my website and to my readers’ group. Inasmuch as “Windy Acres,” a personal essay of mine, has been included in the recently-published “Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers,” I’ll continue my “pattern,” thank you, editorial disapproval be damned.

In : Writing 

About Me

Edith Cook Though I now live in Wyoming, I make frequent return trips to California with visits to travel club members along the way. At home I play classical guitar, enjoy gardening and cooking, and participate in group yoga. Getting together with family and friends is high on my agenda. I value people who write or make music and love it when my adult children and their offspring play their instruments, sing songs with me, or discuss what they read and write. Such gatherings help me cope with the losses in my life, which have been severe. Next year I hope to visit family in Germany.



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