A friend of mine loved the scrapbook entry. By way of explanation:
Once a month, I attend a writer's critique group. We meet at the Rockridge Public Library in Oakland, read each other's work, and offer suggestions. They all offer positive reinforcement - something every writer needs - but also give helpful guidance. I'm indebted to all of them, but one in particular.
Anne is in her eighties, has grey hair, gets around with the help of either a cane or a walker, and is sharper than a damn machete. I adore her. She always, ALWAYS finds the problems with my writing, but does so in a positive, helpful manner.
The other night, I e-mailed Vienna's scrapbook post to Anne and said, "Have you noticed how some singer-songwriters write beautiful lyrics, but lack the ability to write even serviceable prose? Vienna is NOT one of them." Within a few moments, Anne wrote back:
Anne wrote:Oh, Bob, how stunning. And what a tribute under the circumstances of the recent tragedy. I can see why you appreciate her ability with language, because it's true, not all verbal people are articulate in all ways. Thanks again. Beauty is always welcome in whatever form.
Great story about Anne: A few months ago, we had a first-time visitor to our critique group. His submission wasn't bad, but it needed some work. After we made our comments, he turned up his nose, tilted his head back, and informed us, "I can't accept any of your criticisms. I can't compromise my artistic vision.
I have to remain true to myself."
Anne leveled him with her Retired English Teacher gaze and said, "Then ... why are you here?"
I fought the urge to giggle. We haven't seen him since.