Queen for a Day

I’ve never been a queen before. Royalty does not run in my family. In fact, I didn’t even expect to be noticed while attending the very popular Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop recently. But by day two, I was being crowned queen of the conference. As I stepped to the mic to make my acceptance speech, these words came out: “It’s never too late. I’m going to start writing.” My daughter, standing by my side, had always heard me talk about writing “someday.” Today is my someday.


This morning, back at home and up before the sun rose, all I could think about was writing. Yesterday I had made a commitment in front of 350 people to start a new life as a writer, and the queen could not let her subjects down. While at the conference, bits and pieces of anecdotes had entered my mind -- old stories that I had scribbled down through the years. Some made me laugh, like playing in a disastrous bridge tournament that I thought was a class. Another was becoming a “Hot Flash” tap dancer. And then, of course, there’s yesterday’s crowning -- how scores of people I’d never met approached me with curtsies and hand kisses. I was a celebrity, a monarch to behold. I would never be the same. Ideas flooded my mind.


But where do I begin? Did I mention I was still wearing the plastic tiara? (The onset of dementia had not entered my mind until I looked in the mirror.) Should I just take a quick nap before I jump in? I’m a bit weary from the coronation. No, even though I am now “her highness” I have to start writing if the promise I made is to have any credibility. It is time to get to work.


Words from the workshops flashed before me, tips to be garnished for success: “Action words are good. Avoid clichés. Minimize adjectives and adverbs. Humor should be subtle. Just write; put it down.” But my problem is not only that I’m an “Erma Virgin,” it’s that I’m a computer virgin as well. I don’t know how to use a word processor. So in my excitement to begin putting my thoughts on paper, I pulled out my old typewriter from under the bed and placed it on the dining room table. Erma would be proud. My daughter was not. She insisted that I must use the computer if I plan to be a famous author one day. So we sat down together and began.


Of course I am going to be a writer. Me, mother of seven, grandmother of 19, performer at nursing homes, 30-year teaching veteran, queen for the day — and now a budding writer.


Her highness declares, “The best is yet to come!”


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12 Responses

  1. mollystevens@roadrunner.com' Molly Stevens
    As one of your subjects I am honored to be the first to comment and say 'Bravo!' I was an Erma virgin too, and you are an inspiration. I call you a queen that is supreme!
  2. b.cascio@sbcglobal.net' Beth Cascio
    You finally got crowned Queen? Why did it take so long?? So desiring for such a wonderful person! Oh, did I say a wonderful writer too? Keep writing Lori, I'll keep reading!
  3. 4katemahar@gmail.com' Kate Mahar
    Way to go, Lori! This is a great start and I look forward to hearing your stories. All hail the Queen!
  4. Indygardener@gmail.com' Carol
    I was honored to be one of those who curtsied before you, your majesty, Queen Lori! And then when I got home from "Erma", I found out we are both from Indiana. You are an inspiration. Thank you!
  5. lori@loriduffwrites.com' Lori Duff
    All Hail Queen Lori!
  6. Ivanduyn@aol.com' Ina Van Diyn
    Lori, I love your story!! Have to share I have a book that I wrote the first year of retirement that I have told my kids they can publish posthumously!! :). I think about doing it but never get around to actually checking it out!! :)
  7. sharon.tjadenglass@gmail.com' Sharon Tjaden-Glass
    Yay, Lori! So glad to read your first piece on this new path of writing. :-)
  8. Meghancookerly@gmail.com' Meghan Cookerly
    All hail the Queen! Grammie you can do anything you put your mind to.....you have taught me that! I can't wait to read more......I love you!!!
  9. janetjegen@yahoo.com' Janet Jegen
    What a joy to read your first or at least latest success in telling a good story and keeping your audience begging for more. I knew you were a woman of many talents. Who could forget your rendition of Frosty the Snowman. Now you can add accomplished writer to your life story. I love you. Janet
  10. amy@amyabbottwrites.com' Amy Abbott
    I'm pulling for you. You got this, girl!
  11. cwoods@aicinvest.com' Chip Woods
    Looks like you are on the "write" path Lori. Exciting!
  12. abelalan2000@yahoo.com' Alan Abel
    Lori, "let your fingers do the talking: and you will always be an Endangered Species. I've had 8 books published without an agent and even Jerry Seinfeld follows my blog, "Questionable Commentaries." Not to mention my recent 86th birthday and a special tribute from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam; they flew me over and back First Class, and I got to ride inside the magnificant KLM airplane rather than being strapped to the wings.