Angel asked me to do a guest blog post for Parisian Phoenix Publishing, and I don’t do blogs (although I should), but for Angel I cannot say no.
You see, she and Gayle are more just than my friends.
Angel wanted to know how I feel about “joining the Parisian Phoenix family.” I have a piece in their upcoming anthology. It is my honor. In one way or another, Angel especially, and more recently Gayle, are already family.
We writers and literary professionals are members of the writer-reader family. We count ourselves among those who love books—we are all connected.
Writers are the deepest members of this diverse association. If blood is thicker than water the blood that runs between writers is hot lava.
Writers need writers. Us weirdoes understand each other. You readers get to partake in the result. Affections run deep between people who work together, accomplish together. That builds lasting relationships and family ties.
I met Angel and Gayle by that road. Angel was my managing editor when I freelanced journalism. She gave me a shot, taught me the ropes, taught me how to write in that genre. Angel opened my horizons when she came to a Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group meeting, stood up and asked for freelancers. I raised my hand.
No clue what I was getting into, never worked for a newsgroup before.
Angel fired me out of a cannon.
I still can’t believe how much of my early bad writing she put up with. Angel needed copy and I needed the money. We had motivation but there was more to it, we got along with each other, we each had that writer’s spark.
Angel blew on it and my flame grew. Theses days I feel like a walking forest fire.
She may not have known it 16 years ago, but Angel lit a fire in my soul.
She let me feel like a writer. She inspired me to keep going. One thing leads to another.
I didn’t know Gayle back then, but Angel and she were associates. Later via social interactions I met Gayle and got to know her and learn of her skills. Angel left the news business and I kept working freelance while doing fiction, thus when it came time to self-publish and I needed a book designer.
Angel suggested Gayle and I’m so glad she did. Gayle is fabulous at what she does which is the stuff I can’t do. Of course, Gayle’s a writer as well as a technical skills person. She’s worked on my books’ layout, design, format and she infused text into my cover art: It’d take me years to figure that out.
I don’t know all of Gayle’s background other than she has worked in printing or graphic design, in one aspect or another, all her professional life.
Angel connected me with Gayle and I’ve gained not only an associate but a friend as well. One connection led to the next and back around again.
Thus, I’m happy to be a part of this little family of writers and publishing professionals. The list of skills and accomplishments these two women have amassed humbles me. While Angel was busy raising her child, I continued writing over the years.
Now it’s my turn to return some favors, not because I owe them both and I do, but because we are family and family supports family.
Writing groups exist for that reason. How do I feel about it really? Grateful for the opportunity to give back what I have received.
Like Yoda said, “Pass on what you have learned.”
That goes both ways.
Rachel Thompson will make her Parisian Phoenix debut in the upcoming identity politics anthology, Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money: Expressions of Alternative Perspectives Influenced by Experiences in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Her theme is “Identity Changes” and she talks about her perspective as a queer woman who lived the straight life for almost four decades. For more information on that anthology, or to submit, visit our submissions page.
Books by Rachel C. Thompson:
The “Aggie” Sci-Fi series: Soul Harvest Print ISBN 978-1-7321459-1-7 E-pub ISBN 978-1-7321459-0-0 Aggie in Orbit Print ISBN 978-1-7321459-7-9 E-pub ISBN 978-1-7321459-6-2 Aggie in Space Print ISBN 978-1-7321459-8-6 E-pub ISBN 978-1-7321459-9-3
Dragon Fire Print ISBN 978-1-7321459-2-4 E-pub ISBN 978-1-7321459-3-1 Stalking Kilgore Trout Print ISBN 978-1-7321459-4-8 E-pub ISBN 978-1-7321459-5-5
Coming soon: The Book of Answers and The Adventures of Tom Conley. From sci-fi and fantasy, to social satire and historical fiction, Thompson twists it all.
Rachel Thompson, former freelance writer, wrote articles and created political cartoons, for magazines and newspapers in Pennsylvania and nationally. She has four self-published novels and one diverse anthology.
All are available in print and e-book. Two new novels are in process now. Nonfiction credits include press releases, ad-copy and text materials for human rights and GLBT rights nonprofit organizations.