TIME TO CELEBRATE OUR FREEDOM TO WRITE! III
Long ago I figured out that I needed examples of whatever I was attempting to learn. Of course, my algebra 101 teacher was thrilled to give me all the examples I could fit into my folder. With her help, I quickly concluded that “higher math” was not the path that would lead me into a satisfying career. However, the reading assignments (examples of excellent writing) given to me by English and History professors definitely opened new horizons for me. Each book gave me the FREEDOM to safely explore eras of war, famine, faith and pioneer courage—and imagine what my life might have been like had I lived in those times. So, today, I offer you examples of excellent writing in the genres of Memoir and Fiction (action). These books are from self-published authors who took advantage of their FREEDOM to publish when, where and how they wanted—giving us fresh perspectives that can enhance our own book projects.
Larry Clayton tells us that his book My Memories Are My Testimony is “the true tale of a working man from a working-class family who never forgot from where he came,” including his “youthful misadventures that involved drugs, shoplifting, and a little bit of hustle.” However, at some point in his young life he realized he had the FREEDOM to choose his next steps which took him into an Air Force career followed by his adventures in the corporate world. This inspirational and compelling memoir is proof that a man’s life need not be defined by his beginnings. Proof that the freedoms we enjoy—written into the Declaration of Independence—are alive and well today.
S. Michale Siegal is another amazing self-published author who has now produced his second fiction novel: Contra Legem. After retiring from nearly thirty-six years in law enforcement, Siegal has dedicated this novel to all of the men and women behind the badge who daily serve and protect our communities.
His main character, Officer Harold Cohen, has become a police officer, a very nontraditional occupation for Jewish men and women. So even though the scenarios of the story are fiction, Siegal’s personal life experiences and education bring significance and value to each chapter. This is especially true as Officer Cohen deals with the concerns of a mother who does not believe Jewish boys should become policemen, but would rather he find success as a minister, doctor, lawyer or entrepreneur. This highly accurate portrayal of the day-to-day life of a police officer demonstrates the balance they must find between a person’s heart desires, family and career—a career that literally has criminals aiming guns in his direction.
These two authors are, indeed, excellent examples of writers who have the purpose and desire to publish. They are following in the footsteps of highly successful “independent authors” such as Irma Rombauer who printed her book, The Joy of Cooking, in 1931 with A.C. Clayton, a company that had never printed a book before. Both the author and those company owners were practicing their FREEDOM to print want they wanted published; and such independent thinking remains “alive and well” with authors and self-publishing houses this very day. I am blessed to be a part of this Freedom Legacy, and I hope you are—or will be—too. ⚓︎