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A Writer I Admire

Story ID:5517
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:OurEcho Community
Location:Manhattan KS USA
Person:Wanda Bates
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A Writer I Admire

Note: This is my blog entry for December 16, 2009. Every now and then, I feature a writer I admire, and today it was Wanda Bates, whose work has been admired by many OurEcho readers. Read the blog at www.writergrannysworld.blogspot.com

Wanda Bates is another writer I admire. I had the good fortune to meet her in a Sunday afternoon writers group that I attended a number of years ago. Once a month half a dozen members of the Kansas Authors Club gathered to read their work aloud, discuss writing and enjoy the common bond they shared.

When Wanda read her work to the group, I always paid close attention for her words were simple, but strong. Her essays and memoirs were filled with subtle wit and wonderful glimpses of life as it once was. A friendship grew from those Sunday afternoons. Wanda's one fault is in not tooting her own horn. So I encouraged her to submit some of her work to various online sites where I'd had some success myself. As a result, she has been published many times and even won awards at http://www.ourecho.com/ She has also been published in other print publications through the years.

She wrote an award winning essay called "On Being Ninety" a few years ago. Yes, I did say a few years ago. Wanda will celebrate her 95th birthday in less than a month. She lives in an assisted living facility and is quite frail physically, but her mind is sharp and active, and she continues to write family history after a niece requested that she do so.

She is a stickler for using good grammar, and I admire that, too. In today's world of abbreviating when texting or e-mailing, I fear good grammar may never return.

Her work at OurEcho includes a three part look at war years, called "Wars and Rumors of Wars." Both WWI and WWII are included. "Three Years In A Teacherage" tells of her years living in what was termed a "teacherage" in the 1930's in rural Iowa. A brought-to-life piece of history. She has written of her few months living in a nursing home after an illness forced the decision to give up independent living. Unlike many others, she graduated from Health Care up to Assisted Living.

I am always encouraged after I visit Wanda. She is living proof that a writer doesn't have to give up writing as age creeps up. I know now that I can keep writing as long as my mind is all right and my desire to write still strong. Throw in a continued sense of humor like she has, and it's easy to see why Wanda is still writing at almost-ninety-five.

Read Wanda's essay on achieving the age of ninety at http://www.ourecho.com/story-373-On-Being-90.shtml and then check her other stories listed at http://www.ourecho.com/ I can promise you'll be entertained.