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Enthusiasm patch comes with friend’s book signing

October 16, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Writing is more than a job for me. It's a passion, and I don't have many passions.

My enthusiasm blew out last Sunday, but I plan to have it patched.

I need to have it patched. It must be patched.

After spending half an hour talking to my friend, Jane Curtis - who is, by the way, the fourth generation of family women to live in her home in Webster City - I'd better be using some hefty patching material on my writing enthusiasm. She's already waaaaaayyyyyy far ahead of me in the writing books category, and I just hate holding the last-place sign all the time.

Her newest offering, "Pigs Must Fly" is available on Amazon and CreateSpace, a branch of Amazon. But if buying over the Internet leaves a taste in your mouth, head to Webster City on Thursday and pick up a book at her book signing.

It will be 5 to 8 p.m. at Romancing the Home, 707 Second St. She'll be there to sign the books she sells.

Don't be surprised, though, when you see the cover - she published "Pigs Must Fly" under the pen name Edna Flannigan.

"I woke up one morning and I said 'Edna Flannigan.'" Curtis said. "It came to me in a dream one night."

You've got to wonder what else was floating around in a head that blurted out Edna Flannigan. Those are the dreams I'd like to be in.

When I worked in Oshkosh, Wis., years ago, the farm editor stopped at my desk one morning and said I'd been in his dream the night before, just sitting on a park bench doing nothing, saying nothing.

Next time, I want a speaking part.

But, about Curtis. Years ago when she was young (tee hee) she wrote a novel called "Funeral Food." It was a literary novel. I call it the look-at-me stuff; Curtis calls it a type of writing in the world of teaching writing. Just know, it's nothing like what my mind churns out.

But, for Curtis, it earned a scholarship for sending promising young writers to the Wesleyan Writers Conference, a prestigious conference.

"I was really full of myself and had a full head of steam," Curtis said. "'Pigs Must Fly' just came tumbling out of my head. It was the counterpoint to all that seriousness."

Besides, one of the characters in "Pigs Must Fly" had been holed up in her head for years. That would be Kitty Velour, "a real pivotal character."

The Pigs story started with a snapshot Curtis's mother had taken while staying at The Riviera in Las Vegas. She'd gone alone to her husband's Air Corps reunion, even though her husband had died. In the book, a main character goes to Vegas after her husband dies.

"I saw this snapshot my mother had taken with her Instamatic camera," Curtis said. "It had a blast of flash in the window with Mom in a hot pink nightie reflected in it and surrounded by the lights of Las Vegas."

That picture sent her senses reeling. "That book is me channeling what I think Mom would have said if she had been a writer," Curtis said. "This is what I imagine my mother would have written. Writing under the pen name Edna Flannigan is like an homage to my mother."

All that, and I'm left patching my enthusiasm.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or smickelson@messengernews.net

 
 

 

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