There Was A Beginning, Now it’s Time To Get To An End


The back of our garage during the MLK snowstorm

John Clark looking at 2022, but remembering many years in the rear view mirror. I have written, or partially written thirteen books. Only one has been published, so what the heck happened? Life, fear, a bad back that made sitting for periods of time impossible, laziness, more life, take your pick.

In any event, the realization that I’m far closer to the end of this thing we call living than I am to the beginning, is an ever greater motivator. I take heart that my mother, A. Carman Clark wrote her first book, From The Orange Mailbox when she was sixty three.

Since I started writing, I’ve learned plenty, some from going to conferences, some by conversations with my late mother and my sister Kate, the more accomplished family writer. Weekly newspaper columns have helped with deadlines and succinctness. Perhaps the most useful tool has been reading and reviewing books, a lot of books.

However, every so often there’s a blinding flash of the obvious. When I was close to completing my soon to be shopped YA anthology Hardscrabble Kids, I asked Kate to look at it. She did one heck of a good editing job and all of a sudden, I understood the process. Why it too so long, I have no clue, but now I’m looking at having a manuscript edited in a completely different way.

My ‘out with the old, in with the new’ plan for 2022 is to move some of those twelve unpublished manuscripts into the published column. Stay tuned to see what happens. I’m also going to be more aggressive in terms of writing short stories. I shared ten story beginnings in my latest post at MCW, if you’re interested, check them out.

Last month, I offered a copy of the two volume 2012 BOULD Awards Anthology to someone who commented on my Christmas story. In a completely random drawing (folded papers with numbers on them) Jane Woodruff won. On a related note, she and I were part of a carpool over 40 years ago when we both worked at The Augusta Mental Health Institute. I’m mailing her books today.

The same spot three hours later, an example of how quickly things can change.



  1. YES to moving those twelve unpublisheds to the published column! Looking forward to hearing more.


Post a Comment