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Randy Ford Author-AMOUR PROPRE OR LOSS OF FACE

AMOUR PROPRE OR LOSS OF FACE  

by Randy Ford

Put aside commonsense. Disregard assumptions. Try to understand power of passion, power of passion. Passion and excesses committed by Moros, by Moros when pushed to desperation by amour propre or loss of face.

He was an impulsive youth, an impulsive youth, as passionate as any young man, and he went straight for her with his arms stretched out. His voice wasn’t aggressive. His voice was filled with passion.  His voice was filled with love.  He was in love.  He was in love with her.  It was a voice she knew, or she imagined she knew, and it was directed at her in a reassuring way. He was not from there, yet she knew who he was.  They were friends.  They were more than friends. They couldn’t have been friends. He was not from her world. They hadn’t spoken to each other.

As far as he was concerned he didn’t need to pass a test.  He was in love and didn’t need to pass a test, but he knew that there was a social code that he had to follow … a social code he didn’t want to follow.   His running toward a girl with his arms outstretched, while speaking to her in a voice with nothing aggressive in it, filled with passion and love was reckless. When you could attributed it to impulsiveness, she could also be blamed for not running away.

  She didn’t run away, so there was enough blame to go around, but he paid a higher price.   Yes, indeed a higher price.  He paid a higher price indeed.  For indeed there was a price to pay for a kiss, and a connection between a kiss and what happened years later, many years later.

By then the offense was forgotten, but loss of face wasn’t.  It wasn’t enough to say that the young man didn’t know what he was doing or that a kiss was a kiss and nothing more. While his intentions were good, he never wanted to hurt anyone. He was in love and didn’t intend to hurt anyone. Nevertheless, he was caught in the act, caught in the act of kissing her, and nothing else mattered. It didn’t matter how she felt, how she felt about him and that she would never have told on him. And the reasons she gave for not defending her honor were inadequate. She enjoyed it, though she never admitted it.

To the impulsive young man, and someone who generally got what he wanted, a kiss was nothing more than a kiss. He was in love and nothing else mattered. He could have married her. He could have, but they were young, very young and came from different worlds. And the girl hadn’t lost her virginity, but she was anxious about it and was afraid where a kiss might lead. And the idea that he wouldn’t keep it secrete was absurd, but it didn’t matter because they were observed. So it became widely known that he kissed her, which was the same as a proposal except that was out of the question because of his place in society. He was the nephew of the Sultan and wasn’t free to marry her. They were from different worlds. Hence he was sent away.

There were those who said it was only a kiss. But how much more serious would it have been had he touched her breast? How much more serious would it have been had he seduced her? Many offenses were more serious when merely touching a woman’s wrist or forehead, if intentional, was considered as serious as rupturing a hymen. Note the importance of the word intentional, and certainly kissing was intentional. Now a kiss may be forgotten, but loss of face wouldn’t be. And it was complicated even more because it involved a Sultan’s nephew.

The young man … “Where did he go?” wondered the girl, like any girl her age would. But it wasn’t long before the whole village was talking about it. “Where did he go?” The girl continued to wonder. She was taken by him … she more so by him than he by her, or else he wouldn’t have left. Not that a kiss didn’t mean anything to him. It did to both of them. He was in love. He knew the risk, but to him it was a risk worth taking. He was in love. He was young, very young and in love. Worth it because she was beautiful and he was in love but foolish because as they both knew he couldn’t marry her. Not someone of his status. He couldn’t marry her because they came from different worlds, and they couldn’t change it. What she didn’t know was that he was sent away because of her. He was sent away because he kissed her. He was sent away because someone saw him kiss her.

The young man would live to benefit the world, while the victim … she was quickly considered a victim… could never be more than a curse to her family. He was liked. She was blamed. She was beautiful and blamed. She was blamed because she was beautiful. She was beautiful, so she enticed him. He was royalty and destined to become an influential person. The victim’s family felt insulted and thus experienced loss of face.

The headman of the barrio listened sympathetically, but he should have responded before the offender got away. The situation called for a remedy, but because of who the young man was there wasn’t much the headman could do, or would do, and somewhere else it would’ve been the end of it.

They hadn’t thought of a remedy. She was startled seeing the young man run toward her with his arms outstretched. She was started by his kiss. She knew who he was and was startled by his kiss. It happened so fast and out of the blue that it startled her. Then she told her father, but he already knew, but it didn’t make sense to him. He knew who the young man was. He knew everything. And the kiss was already becoming irrelevant, and his biggest worry then was what the Sultan would do.

The Sultan was deciding what to do when he sent for the young man, the young man his nephew, and when confronted, his nephew could only answer yes or no. Yes, yes, he kissed her. Yes, yes, sir. Face to face with the Sultan, he confessed. Yes, he did it. He was made to answer other questions … some to the point and some of them not. Then he held his shoulders upright and accepted his banishment. And this should have been it. Or so he thought.

Could she then have thought that it meant more than a kiss? She was never sure.

She carried on as best she could. But God help her! What did she do to be singled out? Could it be her fault? He kissed her. Was it her fault? Was it her fault he kissed her. And talk? And why did she and her family listen to it … listen to all the talk … talk, talk, talk? Why did they have to listen? Why did they have to talk? And why didn’t they leave her alone? Why did they wallow in gossip? And why did the whole barrio engage in it? And she kept looking for him. And they kept looking for him the whole time he was in Mindanao. You understand that the young man and the young woman never had a ghost of a chance. They came from different worlds.

By now the whole barrio had gotten involved. This no longer had anything to do with a kiss, or directly, but rather loss of face. By now the kiss had been forgotten. The young man was a fellow who didn’t think or worry about other people, and he couldn’t believe it when his uncle sent him away. There were those who would’ve liked to see him squirm, though he didn’t think he did anything wrong. He didn’t think. He wasn’t thinking and never felt sorry. There was never indication that he felt sorry. There was never an indication that he ever thought of her again.

And never expecting anything from him, she was willing to forget it, forget him, only people wouldn’t let her forget it, forget him. They always brought it up. The barrio wasn’t about to forgive or forget. It was impossible. It was impossible for them to forgive or forget. What did they see? Not a kiss but amour propre or loss of face. You could be critical of him, but it actually fell on her and then her family. It fell on her and her family because she was beautiful and her beauty enticed him. Then just what did it mean for them? They felt ostracized. They were ostracized. They couldn’t escape it. Ostracized. But most of all loss of face. They couldn’t ignore it or ignore their neighbors. They were forced to do something about loss of face. So they kept an eye out for the Sultan’s nephew. They watched for him. And watched for him. They had to watch for him, you know.

The winds of the tropics were not constant and as such were as unfair as a winter’s gale, but don’t point fingers before you know everything. The young man shouldn’t be blamed. Neither should the young lady. Nature played a part, and we have it on the q. t. that the young man couldn’t help himself. And how wonderful it was. He let go of her shoulder after he kissed her, and she had to restrain herself. No one saw that part , but it could have been true, couldn’t it? Everyone was asleep, weren’t they? No. Evidently not. Those two fools had no notion of what they did. But weren’t they engineers of their fate?

The Sultan’s nephew should have known better than to come back. The authorities later thought the same thing. The lost of face hadn’t been forgotten. And it didn’t matter that he was the Sultan’s nephew.

Everyone knew what would happen next, or what should happen. Pressure was immense. Pressure built up. Pressure never let up. There had never been anything like it, nothing like it there before, and the young woman couldn’t go out of her home without facing ridicule. And it was in the wind, a tropical wind as harsh as an arctic blast.

The loss of face called for action. It always had, so it wasn’t a sudden impulse. AMOUR PROPRE OR LOSS OF FACE … if you understand anything about it, you understand it. It appears that when the nephew of the Sultan came back into the barrio he ran into the young lady’s father. They didn’t speak. They didn’t have to. Their positions were clear. They came from different worlds. They wouldn’t have spoken because they came from different worlds. It was dark and clear, but their positions were still clear. Too much, too, too much. And the clock couldn’t be turned back. And glances and sneers couldn’t be taken back. They couldn’t go back. And that was the bind that the old man found himself in. His family lost face, and it didn’t matter to the young man.

They looked at each other, recognized each other and nodded.

Don’t be a fool. They knew what was going on.

He looked at him and then got his spear. He couldn’t and wouldn’t. But there was no way he could get out of it; no way he could face his family, face his neighbors, without taking the young man’s life. And letting on that she didn’t care, the young woman cared a great deal. One might think then that killing the young man would’ve settled a score; but with discovery of the young man’s corpse, the barrio now had to reckon with something worse, far worse, far worse, and immediately knew it.

The old man fled the island without saying goodbye to anyone. He fled and when his neighbors looked for him, he was already gone. With sharpened krises they came looking for him. It was his daughter who stood in front of them. She blamed them for her loss, loss of her father, but it was too late. Her father was already a hunted man, and already he knew that he could never return … return home on the island And indeed he wouldn’t, but his daughter’s honor (amour propre) had been restored.

For the rest of his life her father was unable to get himself out of his difficulties. Still in trouble, he died in 1902, fighting U.S Expeditionary forces. Hunted all those years, he never knew two of his brothers were murdered for his crime. Murdered!

None of it was right or fair … when normally memory fades over time. Apparently it wasn’t the only case similar to this and like many such cases. it didn’t end with the death of participants. The kiss itself had long been forgotten. Names were also gone. And how a young lady and her family lost face and the feud started, gone. It was always an uneven match, but over the years it evened out. With luck and shrewdness, the grandson of the killer became a rich man, as rich as the Sultan. For over thirty years, until the outbreak of World War II, he owned a coconut plantation on Basilan, but bad blood between the two families continued. And continued. And their common fate … more blood was shed.

Sometime in 1935, a distant relative of the slain nephew came to Isabela to buy smoked tuna and learned that the plantation owner was a grandson of his great uncle’s killer. He had an obligation then and knew it. An obligation, yes. Throughout his whole life he was reminded of it. Throughout his whole life he was reminded how if he got a chance he would have to avenge the slaying. That was the only way that he could remove a stigma. But one would think that he knew better. For many years he did nothing about the obligation because he feared a long prison sentence. Then came the war and the chance he was waiting for.

There were coincidences, and timing was everything. To save his plantation, the owner collaborated with the Japanese. The avenger couldn’t help picturing the deceit … regrets, none no doubt … and saw a traitor. So as a guerrilla officer, he became a hero by killing a Jap spy, and he received a medal from General MacArthur for it. Even though he entered the residence of the plantation owner and massacred a whole family, he was never considered a killer. And the plantation owner died without knowing his killer, the connection, or the reason for his death and the connection with AMOUR PROPRE.

Randy Ford

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Marion Ekholm Author- “No Dogs Allowed”

“No Dogs Allowed”

by Marion Ekholm

Marion Ekholm won First Place (and a handsome check) for Las Vegas Romance Writers short story contest for “No Dogs Allowed, a 4.500-word romance written in the first person.  The heroine considers moving into her boyfriend’s apartment with her Great Dane only to reconsider their entire relationship when she learns no dogs allowed in his condo.

Taken from THE WRITE WORD, the newsletter of The Society of Southwestern Authors  Vol. 42.  No 2. April/May 2013

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Jerry Airth Author- Short Story “Night Food Published in THE DEVIL’S COATTAILS

“Night Food”

by Jerry Airth

Jerry Airth’s short story “Night Food” was published in THE DEVIL’S COATTAILS, edited by Jason V. Brock and William F. Nolan. For reading samples and more information check out http.//darkdiscoveries.com/blog/2012/01/the-devils-coattails/

Taken from The Write Word, the newsletter of The Society of Southwestern Authors Vol. 41. No.1 Feb/Mar. 2012

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Ashleen O’Gaea-short story included in the 2009 WIZARDS OF WORDS ANTHOLOGY

      Ashleen O’Gaea’s short story, THE CHICKEN RACE,” will be included in the 2009 WOW (WIZARDS OF WORDS) ANTHOLOGY, to be released in June.  In Ashleen’s tale, the protagonist is resigned to attending another of his company’s annual retreats.  But his car breaks down near the small town of Descuido, stranding him there just in time for the annual Chicken Race, and the three-foot tall racing roosters and their quirkly fans help him put his life in perspective.  Visit her website: AshleenOGaea.com!

      Taken from the Write Word, the newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors Vol. 37. No. 2 April-May 2009

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E. W. Bonadio-new novel, THE MASADA STONES released

      E, W. Bonadio’s new fiction novel, THE MASADA STONES, has just been released through iUniversi.  A historical based adventure/mystery, his fifth published book, coincides with a recent 1st place finish in a short story contest titled “Ghost Story.”  THE GHOST OF MERRICK MANSION will post on October 13 at the ezine, www.moonlitpath.com.

      Taken from THE WRITE WORD, the newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors  Vol. 36, No 6 Dec. 08-Jan. 2009

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Matt Freese-YOU THINK SO, a short story about justifying the murder of Jews

      Author Matt Freese, whose short story YOU THINK SO appears below, suggested that I post the story and make some comments about it.   I usually don’t criticize other people’s work and decline because I don’t feel comfortable doing it.   I think Matt is a good writer and his short story is well written.   As I told him, his short story could be a play.   I have only a few suggestions.

      I think the characters could be developed so that they sound less like the author and less like each other.   People don’t talk in complete sentences and, at least in English, use almost all contractions.    I’m not sure how to make them sound more Austrian or German; however, that might help make the piece sound less like a lecture.   Both characters sound intellectually equal.   Was that what Matt intended?

      I’m not sure if any of this is helpful.   I do know the story is an important reminder of something none of us should ever forget.   For that I’m thankful and glad Matt shared it.   And because of its importance I share it with all of you.

Randy Ford

YOU THINK SO

By

Matt Freese

“I am afraid you can’t have that.”

“And why not? Isn’t it for sale?

“Yes. It is for sale.

“So why can’t I buy it?”

“Nothing in this store can be bought by you or others like you, Jew.”

“I have never heard such nonsense.”

“It is against the Reich law to sell you anything. You should leave now.”

“I won’t leave just now.” Konrad stood his ground.

“If you refuse, I’ll call the polizei and you’ll be removed.”

“And what have I done to be denied service.”

The salesman couldn’t believe his ears. “You mean you are so blind and out of touch that you are also deaf and dumb to the world around you.”

“Perhaps I am. However, I see your point. . .I am Konrad Pincus,” and with that he stretched his hand over the counter to shake the clerk’s hand. He did not proffer his.

“I see you won’t even do that. May I ask you a question before I go?”

“Of course. I am a civil person. But leave you must, sir.”

The salesman was feeling that it was true about Jews. If pushed to the wall for execution, they would inquire about the rifle and how many rounds it contained or ask the riflemen if they had feelings or concerns about their task. Always questions. Jews were living embarrassments. They refused to die properly, like Prussians. And now the clerk was feeling this intrusiveness, especially when he was not the goat.

“Do you agree with the law that forbids me from making a purchase here?”

“I do wholeheartedly.”

“And why is that?”

Here the clerk had the opening to express his own feelings about the issues. “You are the cause of much misery for us. An unclean suit needs to be cleaned and pressed. If we keep you away and apart, we will not be infected. You are an infectious people.”

Struggling to comprehend why he was so despised, in this little jewelry store with no customers about, perhaps he could speak to a fellow German about his animus for Jewry.

“But I am not a poison. The Pincuses have lived here since the 18th century.”

“You are indeed, Pincus, a toxin that needs to be eradicated.”

“Such harsh words. And what has made me so deadly to you and others?”

“Centuries.”

“Of what?”

“Your malignant presence.”

The clerk sensed he was engaged in a discussion with a Jew and he did not want any of it. He’d rather have him leave. The longer he engaged the Jew he ran the risk of being outwitted by his not inconsiderable intelligence, and he found that annoying and threatening, the very thing he had been cautioned about within his own family and friends. The Jew is flypaper.

Konrad was taken aback by such directness. “But I am innocent.”

The response was quick and savage. “Don’t play ‘innocent’ with me? You are guilty – guilty forever.”

“Of what?”

“Of not going away, of fouling our country with your presence.”

“What am I accused of?”

Riled with the Jew’s denial of his crimes and his feigned naivete, the clerk fumed. “Everything. Dammit, everything. Why must I give the perpetrator details of his abominations? Why don’t you know? Why do you play word games with me? Why do you assault me with your wiles and cleverness? How come you need me to help you, supposedly, to come to a realization about yourself and all Jews? You play bad cards with me. And I truly hate you for that.”

Konrad was appalled at the rage but he contained himself. Better to answer a question or an answer, with another question, for that was what he learned in cheder. He stood his ground while it reeked all about him with venom.

“I require an explanation.”

“Jewish gall. None will be given – ever. The victim gives the Jew reasons for his victimization. Never. Now please leave. I am beside myself with you and your Jewishness.”

“This is so irrational.”

The clerk could not completely wipe the Jew oils off his hands and mind. “Yes and no. Simply, it is what is. Accept that, Jew.”

“You have decided then.”

Rolling his eyes upward, in a kind of ecstatic swoon, the clerk erupted. “Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh yes. We decided centuries ago. You never saw it coming, you only saw developments. Only now are conditions such that we may now act upon our secret convictions. It is all out in the open and I revel in the hate for you.”

“So Konrad Pincus will be shunned and hounded and banned.”

“And grouped and herded and driven out like the sheep you are.”

Konrad looked into the showcase so burdened by the loathing he had put into him.

And the clerk went on. “All that, perhaps, much more than that. A reckoning, Jew, is upon us all.”

“Why am I part of this equation?”

“You have always been a stranger in our midst, And you must know something about people, you must realize that people cannot abide differences – or the other. Look how much time you have taken to decide what kind of lighter you want – sterling silver, 14k gold – rose gold and all that.”

Here the clerk caught himself being drawn into the wisdom of this foreigner in his midst, the questioning, the relentless questioning, the whys and more whys and more whys and he was feeling at his wit’s end.

“But I am one of you – I speak German as well as you, eat the same food, laugh at the same jokes.”

“You are only ice, thin as that. You are not part of what is beneath the ice.”

“It is all just frozen water,”

“Oh, no. Deeper and thicker ice is below and we will never allow you there.”

“You are changing me into not only a stranger but a thing.”

“An object, sir. You are an object to me much as this cigarette lighter you wish to buy. And I am indifferent to it and to you.”

Konrad went forward. Dimly he caught sight of the horizon.

“I am a person.”

“You think you are. You are deluded. You are no longer a person to me and to Germany. You are an it.”
The clerk found it releasing to express such sentiments which had dwelled beneath the surface, and then he tried to deny or to stifle the idea that a Jew had aided him in his expressivity. He felt tricked.

“How do you come to such a conclusion? Tell me, sir, as I need to know.”

“Well, it is not hard. It is much like slipping on a glove, not too difficult at that. I simply concluded, for my own purposes, to remove you from my eyes and mind as a human being. You become a thing and we can do many things to that thing.”

“Such as.”

“Need I fill in the obvious details. Why do you need to know when it is simpler to just accept?”

“I come from a people who prize knowing; however, perhaps I should accept a judgment I cannot repeal. Apparently, I don’t exist in your eyes – probably never did, although I do exist, sir, and that gnaws at you, doesn’t it?”

 The clerk nodded. “Partially correct. Once you no longer exist in our eyes, in our Germany, in fact, your own sense of existence will be moot. We don’t care about you or what you think or what you are, for you are forever a thing.”

“Does a thing have any rights for you?”

“A thing is inanimate. We do things with it; we use it; we turn it about or we change it – or we get rid of it.”

“So I am no longer a person, but a thing, a stick of wood.”

“If you quickly accept this idea, your fate may have a measure of some dignity to it. Do not accept it – and we really don’t care what you decide – and your fate is sealed in any case.”

Nauseated by what he was hearing and the manner in which it was given, savagely, cruelly, dispassionately at times, indifferent and chilling. Konrad continued his questioning with the hope that in the future he could arm himself against such toxicity.

“I have nothing to say. I suppose you prefer that from a Jew – obeisance. I hear your conclusions and I can’t alter them. We are powerless now. I am a victim of your thoughts and that is a longer life sentence than if I spent years in a jail.”

“And perceptions, sir.”

“And perceptions. . .Is there no other way out?”

“There has never been a way out for Jews. All the centuries have brought us to this. He died on the cross for us and you crucified him. Mind you, for I have personally thought long and hard about this. It is not the crucifixion that tears at me. It is Jewish arrogance to assassinate a god. You tear Jesus from his heavenly throne and nail him to a cross. The gall! The gall!”

“That ancient untruth. You mean we killed your savior.”

“Yes. You masterminded his death. And we have spent a millennium trying to make him free of Judaism. We have expunged all traces of that from him. Alas, he was born a Jew.”

“He was a rabbi.”

“Stop that ridiculous Jew habit of teaching. He was the first Christian.”

“He was a Jew.”

“Until he rose.”

“We are brethren.”

“That can never be.”

“He lived the life of a Jew – he was circumcised, read the torah.”

“All true. Yet he was evolving, ridding himself of your Jewish customs and codes.”

“You need an excuse to persecute us.”

“And what is wrong with that? It is sufficient reason. Why must I be as rational as your kind? What has it gotten you?”

 Konrad concluded. “So we become a thing and are rejected and hounded because we killed your god.”
“I can think of no worse thing that to have crucified god.”

“I can – to crucify a people.”

“Things cannot feel.”

“I do feel – very much so.”

“I know that. I also know that I will not dwell on that for too long or give it consideration. Exactly what you want, Jew. Right? I’d rather dispel that notion from my mind and in so doing this, you will become such a thing to my eyes that I will strip you of everything that makes you human. I know what I am about. I know the process fully well that will lead me step by step to your destruction. You are now a stranger to me – buying a lighter – and you are a thing as well. Given this, I can deal with you as I wish. As a Jew you are no more. You are an ‘it’.”

Konrad saw the future. “I must run from you. You are mad. I am not safe.”

“So you see, at last.”

“I do. Some may not, but I do see what little future I may have here.”

“Time grows short.”

“I feel that as well. As your “thing,” I feel that profoundly.”

The clerk whispered again, “Time grows short.”

“I am dead already. I am dead in your eyes. I am dead inside you. And I feel death between us. You reek of death-giving.”

“And so finally, we must be done with you. After you kill a closet moth, you must remove it to the dustbin. You must be removed for you are dead already. How we remove you is only a choice of techniques, a kind of industry. We will devise a way that is efficient for there are so many of you.”

“The dead have no say, I imagine, in how they are disposed of.”

“So true, the ages have spoken on that.”

“The Jews will go nowhere, for there is no exit, but remain here and be dealt with in due time.”

“We will come for you, no doubt. It has been a long time in coming. And I must admit it befuddles us somewhat that at the moment we can expunge you we have to consider the ways and means. Such is life, incompletes. Isn’t that oddly amusing? You would think it could all be done in one fell swoop.”

“Like Isaac, we will go with you hand in hand to the altar.”

 “And this time no angel of god will stay Abraham’s hand.”

“It was only a solemn test of his conviction.”

“More than that, sir.”

“What do you mean?”

“In that story is the history of your race.”

Konrad had heard for years all the rabbinical exegeses of this allegory . What could this numb man offer?”

“I am at a loss.”

“A Jew without words is a goy? Your cruel god –not ours, mind you, for ours is beneficent and loving – was a demanding one and your people are a demanding lot. You are a severe people. When you are gone, we will be less hard on ourselves. In a way we sacrifice you, go beyond your god’s silly and severe tests. We finish the job.”

“There was a way up, and there was a way down for Isaac that day. For the Jew all our feelings are involved with the way up.”

“And for us, it ends with your burnt sacrifice.”

Konrad prepared to leave, and the clerk sensed that. “I choose to be Isaac, holding my father’s hand, consoling him for the task at hand, knowing full well his intent and yet – and yet! –giving trust to my father as fear engulfs him. In that feeling, sir, I can deal with your evil.”

“You think so,” the clerk said.

As Konrad left the store, he knew the clerk was right.

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Great Writing Advice – Blow Your Own Trumpet

The following is an excerpt from writetodone.com which is a great resource for writers.  This is a tale of a writer whose failure to publish set her dreams and success back 70 years.  Don’t find yourself in this situation:

You must learn to blow your own trumpet!

Lorna Page’s life story tell us why: Lorna wrote passionately for more than 70 years without sharing her writing with others. Then, in her late eighties, she decided to write a raunchy novel called A Dangerous Weakness. But did she show it to anybody? No, she put it into a suitcase and forgot about it. Until her daughter-in-law happened to find the manuscript and made Lorna send it to a publisher.

What happened next was any writer’s dream: A publisher immediately signed her up. The advance rolled in, and Lorna suddenly went from poverty to affluence at age 93. She bought a 5-room mansion in southwest England. Then she started hauling her friends out of retirement homes, and installed them comfortably in her house.

Now Lorna is writing a selection of short stories. Watch her talking on this clip

Now read the rest of the post

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