Inspiration from Carolyn See

Sometimes–no, more than sometimes–being a writer gets in the way of being. It seems that I am always doing, and doing becomes tiresome.

Because of the doing–meaning “marketing” my books, which I find to be consuming–I completely missed the passing of someone who was my inspiration–the well-known author, Carolyn See. I would have known about her passing if I had lived again in Los Angeles and read the Los Angeles Times. I would have seen her obit and mourned her passing by picking up and rereading my copy of her inspirational book “Making a Literary Life” with its yellowed lines and turned down edges marking her extraordinary advice.

Instead, I went merrily on my way, living in the dearth of information here in Northern Arizona. I may love it here, but I also love the Times, and miss the information it provides. Instead, I learned about her passing from Carolyn See’s daughter, also a well-known author, Lisa See.

Some background here: I bought Carolyn’s book back in 2006, about three years after its publication. Carolyn noted how to reach her–I don’t remember if it was an email address or a web page, but I contacted her and we began a correspondence of sorts–me writing her short notes and Carolyn sending me amazing post cards of the Los Angeles I grew up in and remember so well. Her notes to me were one of a mentor, pushing me to keep writing.

One day, almost a year ago, while cleaning out drawers in my office, I found the stack of postcards from Carolyn. Although our correspondence had ended, I never threw them away because they seemed so precious and Carolyn noted they were from a collection of postcards from her father.

Not long after that I received a postcard from Carolyn’s daughter, Lisa, announcing her most recent novel, “The Island of Sea Women.” And, there was a return address…

Read more about Carolyn and Lisa See in my next post.

1 Comment

  1. Harriet Furuya on February 18, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Hello, Gerry,
    I, too, met Lisa See at a Delta Kappa Gamma conference and read all her excellent books. Quite a great happenstance that you knew her mom! I’m so glad to hear she was among your encouragers to keep on writing. I’m looking forward to reading your newest book.
    An enthusiastic fan of yours,
    Harriet Furuya