My Friend, the author Anne Bauman
I was saddened to hear of Anne’s death a few weeks ago for I always counted her as my friend. Anne and her husband Mark were among the first to welcome me into their home after I first went to work at Johnson County Community College in 1980. We were colleagues for many years, and after I retired, she encouraged me in my second career as an indie author. For instance, about ten years ago, after I self-published my book, Walls, a Cinderella, P. I. Novel, Anne sent me a card that said in her clear, beautifully rounded handwriting,
Dear Juliet –
A million sorries to you for my first congratulations note going to the USPS’s limbo of lost mail. (I probably wrote something wrong in the address.)
So-o, a belated congratulations on your wonderful novel!
I enjoyed everything about it: the true-to-life characters; the tight, well-constructed plot; the consistent theme (so difficult to write); the brilliant ending, surprising to even the most sophisticated reader.
In a word, I wish I had written it.
You’ve got the gift, Juliet. Keep on writing.
I have always cherished this note and have kept it pinned on my cork board behind my writing station all these years. Her words were especially precious to me because Anne herself was an author of a beloved children’s book.
And then a few weeks before her death when she was suffering terribly from constant pain, she encouraged me again. In one of my newsletters, I’d written about an encounter with an acquaintance who insulted my writing and insinuated that it was worthless because I wasn’t making enough money from it to buy a nicer house. And Anne responded to my newsletter by saying, “Don’t you dare quit writing!”
Thank you so much, Anne. I appreciate your help and I miss you.