Western history Writing Life

Closure and Reflection

Baby Doe Funeral Scene

Finalizing a book manuscript to hand over to the publisher is a strange and wonderful time. I could continue editing indefinitely, but the time has come to finalize it. The danger with over-editing is that the life and character might be sucked out of the text, rendering it ordinary. Thus, I bid farewell to Baby Doe Tabor while she is still lively and colorful so her story can move on to the next step. I have enjoyed the ride, and gained a much broader perspective of her character and her times. The biggest lesson I learned from this one is to not be judgmental. As wisdom sets in, I find that message repeated over and over again. There was certainly more going on with Lizzie Tabor than meets the eye. With that thought in mind, I have closure with gratitude to Baby Doe for her story of fortitude and persistence.

Right now, I am also thinking about a friend of mine. Pat Werner, a member of Women Writing the West, was a mighty fine writer and researcher. She passed away much too soon. Pat was cool. We were sisters-in-arms in the fight against cancer, but we much preferred sharing historical research. She called me from the hospital bubbling with finishing touches on her book. A week later, she was gone. The memory of sharing writing adventures and friendship with her still inspires me in my quest for excellence in writing. Her final book was just published by our mutual publisher, Filter Press. If she was still with us, we would all celebrate the victories and defeats, and the fabulous stories of Colorado history we were able to share and enjoy.

Watch for my book, Baby Doe Tabor: Matchless Silver Queen, which should reach publication sometime this year. In the meantime, Pat Werner’s book, The Walls Talk: Historic House Museums of Colorado, is a fabulous piece of work to help direct those seeking history destinations in Colorado this summer, or anytime. For more information, go to: www.filterpressbooks.com .

Joyce B. Lohse, 6/16/10