A Very Simple Secret

Every time I read The Little Prince I get more out of it. If you’ve never read it, or it’s been thirty to forty years since you did, I recommend you find a copy and spend a couple of hours with it.

I first read it in high school, I think, and then when I was looking for a name for the boat. Once again I read it when writing the chapter on buying and naming Little Prince and this latest time on editing that chapter. This time I learned something I should have paid attention to a long time ago.

Some lessons take a lifetime to learn. No matter how many times we are told a thing, sometimes it takes an experience to finally understand. The school of hard knocks provides a fine education. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. That hackneyed phrase “I’m going to write the great American novel” has been with me as long as I can remember. Besides the fact of having little time to myself when I wore many hats, mom, wife, graphic designer, school board representative, cook, and keeper of a half a dozen animals, the word novel was firmly implanted in my brain.

Once upon a time I worked as a correspondent for The Peterborough Transcript, which is no longer. The two newspapers in Peterborough merged. That was longer ago than I care to admit. I stayed in publishing for many years but moved over to the design side. That in turn led me to visual arts– photography and painting. Still that idea of writing a novel lingered.

The Great Reveal

Now, deep into writing my memoir, I love working on it. I get up early, sometimes 5:30 a.m. That is a shocking revelation to anyone who endured seeing me early in the morning, in my past life. Along this path I realized writing a novel is not in the cards for me, or at least a complete fiction. I enjoy reading historical fiction. Add that to my writing pleasure and you get Creative Non-Fiction. It’s the non-fiction part that grabs me.

Years ago, I sat on the beach reading alongside my sister-in-law Debbie.

“Do you ever read anything fun?” she asked.

Huh, I thought what I read was fun. That conversation should have yanked that novel idea right out of my head. I am more interested in non-fiction, that’s what I need to write, when my memoir is finished.

Now back to The Little Prince. He traveled from planet to planet learning all he could without losing himself in the process. When he completed his journey he understood the importance of the creatures he cared for and their uniqueness. My favorite quote from the book goes like this:

“And now, here is my secret,

a very simple secret.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,

what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

On another note

I’m up to Chapter 24 and counting….getting close. Soon I’ll need Beta readers.

2 responses to “A Very Simple Secret”

  1. Barbara,
    I’d be delighted to be a beta reader.
    I humbly offer my services.
    I was an “ editor” of the high school newspaper, and have assisted others with proof reading of books and scripts. Send things along whenever you’re ready; I’ll be waiting.

    Like

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