My husband and I enjoy meeting people. I’ve often been called a social butterfly, and he’s one, too. In proper male terms, of course. Honest interest in others is infectious; it gains us many acquaintances and friends.

In any conversation’s opening dance , the questions are tentative, formulaic. Like back in the early days of college when it was “what’s your name/major/minor/home town.” Nowadays, people inevitably ask, “What do you do?” They seek labels, definitions, plaintive truth.

I love telling people I’m a writer when they ask what I do. It ignites a zest to know more. People often lean in for further conversation: animated, responsive, delighted. Inquisitive beyond reason at times, curiously seeking secrets, to know the score.

Way better than when I was a speech-language pathologist when eyes glazed and heads turned. A few follow-up questions on the blandly polite faces – and then on to another topic. At least no one yawned in the face of me and my sage credentials.

Then I retired as an SLP… I’ve been dispensing free evals and advice at the beck of Baby Boomer pals for issues from Alzheimer’s to Spasmodic Dysphonia to possible communication disorders of grandkids. Peoples’ needs seems a career afterthought.

It’s okay. After all, pastoral people have been counseling me gratis for years. I’ve appreciated their gift and dispense mine as I am able.

Now that I’m firmly ensconced in my encore career, people’s questions gush: What do you write about and how do you do it? Wow – you published a book?!? (apparently everyone feels that they can be published, too; they can = years of work + personal funding).

Here’s my response: to be a writer, one must daily employ Three Busy Vees. Daily, yes, you do.

Vocabulary, Voice, and VooDoo…Do-Ve-Do-Ve-Do!


busy bee picture courtesy of