Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Family that Writes Together, or My Nephew the writer (with a nod to my grandmother)

Recently I had the pleasure of working on a project that was a bit of a departure from the stuff I usually do.

My Nephew, Patrick Alexander Walston, had written a piece of what he calls "zombie fiction", so I took it upon myself to edit it and format it for Smashwords.

Never say never, but I don't think I'll be cranking out any zombie fiction myself anytime soon—yet I was fascinated to read Pat's story. It's a little rough around the edges, but despite some of its gruesome aspects I found Twelve Days in Hell to be charming.

Apparently zombie fiction is a recognized sub-genre with a loyal cadre of fans, so I'm glad I was able to help him put his stuff out there. If he keeps it up, I may very well be known someday as that old geezer who's related to the famous young writer, Patrick Walston.

Writing does tend to run in families, I'm convinced of that.

My maternal Grandmother, Blanche Reinick, wrote a novel many years before I was born. I gather that it was set during the American Civil War and that it was partially inspired by Gone With the Wind.

I believe she wrote at least one other piece of fiction, too—based on a half-remembered conversation with my Aunt Marti—but as far as I know there are no surviving manuscripts of hers in existence today.

I inherited her portable typing table, though.

It's a sturdy old thing, built of heavy-gauge metal and originally spray-painted a dark green, with little caster wheels, and with two surface extensions that fold out like wings to give you some extra working space.

It was built to hold some weight—typewriters in the 1940s must have been heavy damn things.

My clunky old CRT monitor and Compaq Windows XP Computer are both easily as bulky as antique typewriters, so the typing table is serving me well. I don't  need a fancy desk—Grandmom's table suits me just fine.

I just wish she could have lived to see the e-book era.

There's probably still a market for Civil War fiction...

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