Some Reminiscences

The interview I did for the Pagan Writers Community led me to think about a few things I haven’t remembered in a while. One of those is my aunt Marjie. I can’t say how she would have spelled that; when she wrote her name it was always Marjorie. But I know my family always called her Marjie, or maybe Margie. We saw her occasionally, but her influence on me was through her letters, not her presence.

Marjie was determined to be a published writer. For some thirty years she took creative writing classes at her nearest university. Her letters to the editor appeared occasionally in her city’s newspaper. She subscribed to Writer and Writer’s Market, and probably a few other writing magazines. She wrote steadily, and I was the fortunate recipient of some of her writing. She sent me some of her magazines, and endless encouragement to write. At the time, I was more into reading.

One of the things she wanted to write was my grandfather’s story. I was barely twelve when my grandfather died, so I never really got to know him well. My grandfather was a sailor when sail was being replaced by steam, a young German seaman caught at sea when the First World War broke out. His story is certainly worth telling, and writing. The nonfiction version has already been told, in a book called Santa Rosalia, Further and Back, by Harold Huycke.

But he was also very deaf, and spoke English with a heavy German accent. Following my mother’s lead, I wrote notes, but my limited ability to understand his accent limited our communication. Nevertheless, thanks to my cousin, I have a recording of Marjie interviewing him for her novel, testing his patience by shouting questions better answered by a history book. I don’t know if she ever finished her novel, or what became of the manuscript. I heard about this project when I was still a child, and would dearly love to have read her manuscript. I’d have been glad to edit it for her.

Anyway, it was Marjie who wanted me to write. And, perhaps partly for her, I do.


This entry was posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 2:12 am and is filed under On Writing, The Serpent and the Stag. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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