A writer’s first draft often pours out as a “jumble of thoughts and emotions” from the heart and mind. Contributor, Linda Wisniewski gives excellent advice to writers. After writing the first draft of anything, on the top of the first page, she writes in red, “What is this About?” She then gets up from her desk, leaves the draft to stew on its own, and takes a walk outdoors. The answer to her question typically comes during her walk and the jumble becomes crystal clear.
Her story, Dinner for Five, was inspired by a memory of waiting for her son in the parking lot of his elementary school. She recalls seeing an older couple in a car looking sad, and imagined them as estranged grandparents hoping for a glimpse of their grandchildren. Their heartache kick started a story in which she hopes to highlight these difficult situations and encourage parents and grandparents to preserve relationships for the sake of the child. She’s a strong believer in hope and forgiveness. It's never too late to say “I'm sorry” or to change your mind, to let go of a grudge, and make peace. People don't have to give up themselves to show compassion.
Both Linda’s mother and mother-in-law suffered from memory loss. Both were great readers. She submitted her story because she “liked to imagine someone reading to them when they were no longer able. This book makes it possible for others to have that experience.”
Ten years ago, Linda had the good fortune to publish her memoir, Off Kilter, after a career as a librarian. She’s currently looking to publish her first novel, Where the Stork Flies, loosely based on the life of her ancestor who was born in Eastern Europe in 1778. The plot involves a confused Pennsylvania librarian, a 19th century Polish peasant, and a wisecracking medieval queen who join forces to fulfill a mission from the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.
When she’s not traveling with her sculptor husband, she’s volunteering as a docent at the Pearl S. Buck Historic House and teaching memoir workshops in the Philadelphia area.
To read more of her story, check out the anthology on Amazon: bit.ly/READFLASH
Stay in touch with Linda’s writing and workshop events on her website: https://lindawis.com/
photo credit: Pearl S. Buck Museum Library ©Donna Beckley Galanti
Anchala Studios, LLC is a micro press based in Chapel Hill, NC which selects projects appealing to broad audiences and which enrich the community. The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory is its first publication.