Inspired by a set of workshops given by John Peragine at the Midwest Writing Center, I’ve been venturing into the world of freelance writing. And I’m delighted to say that one of my novice efforts has just appeared in the spring issue of Muscatine Magazine, an award-winning magazine published by the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
I spent a wonderful hour with Sheila Chaudoin, archivist and historian at Musser Public Library, talking about the history of the library’s current building. Sheila led me to an amazing photographic resource I didn’t know existed, the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. While my current historical novels are set in England, as soon as I saw this resource, I saw a whole new story world open before me, and I can’t wait to explore it.
I could have spent many more hours in the crowded backroom of the library, hearing Sheila talk about the extraordinary history of businesses and entrepreneurs and photographers in Muscatine, pawing through the piles of boxes on her shelves with intriguing labels, including an especially provocative one labeled Pearl City Press. (As a secret between you and me, Pearl City Press is the name of the imprint I want to start up as part of Writers on the Avenue’s new, official Iowa nonprofit corporation status. Can you imagine me as the founding editor of a fantastic local publishing house? I can!)
The Muscatine Magazine as a whole is entirely beautiful, and I urge you to read all of it. In the meantime, I’m hoping to stretch my wings—and hone my skills—as a freelancer. After all, my dream is to write well and get paid for it. So if you come across any good stories, send them my way! This weekend, you can find me at the Rock Island Lit Fest in Rock Island, IL, reading as part of the lit crawl on Friday night and flitting around the author fair at the Rock Island Public Library on Saturday. More info on this fabulous event hosted by the Midwest Writing Center available here.
And as soon as Pearl City Press is up and running, I’ll let you know.