I’m still not used to thinking in blogs.  My Minnesota Chronic Insecurity whispers, nay shouts, “Who in the world is going to be reading ANYTHING you write??!!”  But write I shall! 

Actually I have BEEN writing busily for 2 weeks.  Gary partitioned off a room on the second floor of our garage, sheetrocked it, put in a heating vent, gave me a space heater, put a door on 2 file cabinets and locked me in.  Well, the lock part is not true, but the rest is!  I have worked on the authors through K, plus M – O when I didn’t have the first bin of research with me.  That’s a lot of authors – at least 100 so far! 

It is mind boggling what I am learning about these great authors.  Can you imagine how difficult it is to read fascinating biographical information in order to write a biography and NOT have time to read the great books I am reading about?  Today I wrote on Evelyn Sibley Lampman.  Her grandparents came to Oregon in a covered wagon.  Her father, an attorney, represented Native Americans in court and befriended many of them.  Evelyn grew up playing with the children of these people and fell in love with different ways of life.  Her books were some of the first written about other cultures.  I want to read them all!  They sound wonderful! 

Yesterday I did W.H.G. Kingston, a British author who, along with G.A. Henty and R. M. Ballantyne (why did these 3 all use their initials??!), were the top selling authors of the last half of the 19th century.  He was one of C. S. Lewis’ favorite authors as a boy.  His books sound wonderful, too! 

And then there is Eleanore Jewett, and Deborah Avery, and Leonard Everett Fisher… so many amazing people I’ve learned about and have come to admire. 

I still have (maybe) 45  or 50 authors left to do.  It is tedious to type in book titles, and it is a mental stretch to condense pages of information into a few paragraphs highlighting the interesting facets of a person’s background.  I feel like a broken record – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve written, ” this author was highly  regarded” , or “this author wrote very well”, or “this author is excellent”.  OF COURSE they all are excellent!  I would not have chosen them to be included had they NOT been great!

Which authors of today will be written about 4o, 5o, or even 100 years from now?  Whose books will last?  Whose books will be among those labeled “classic”?  And will the classics of today still be classics?  I think so – classics, as I have learned, are books that speak to the human condition and reflect lasting values.  These values may LOOK different at different times in history, but they are the same: the importance of love, the need to belong to a group, the agony of betrayal, the joy of a happy family life, the wonder of birth, the questions of our existence, the indifference or goodness of a Supreme Being…the list goes on.  

I’m excited that I have an opportunity to reacquaint people with these great authors who have been largely forgotten.  Gems are gems whether or not they are buried deep or displayed in a setting worthy of their beauty.  I am hoping that my work allows some of these gems to see the light of day once again and astound us with the way they reflect the light of truth.

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