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This writer pulls no punches

Linda Boyne

I’m back, baby! Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? Are you wondering, “Who is this woman writing at me like I know who she is?” Well, I used to write a column on this page. I took a break, but now I’m ready to put it out there again.

My colleagues on the Viewpoints page give you strong opinions, hard hitting insights and enlightened commentary on issues ranging from elections and taxes to health care and highways. They aren’t afraid to call it like they see it.

And neither am I. However, I apparently see things in a very different way, because I somehow see the humorous side of nearly everything. So hard hitting is not exactly how I’d describe my style. I’m more like “Deep Thoughts” a la Jack Handy.

Someone once told me I write about the things she thinks about when she’s driving. You know, when your mind wanders and you have time to ruminate the truly unimportant things? So my topics may not exactly fit under your description of what an editorial page should cover. In the past, I’ve written about family, travel, health, TV, cocktails, shopping and hormones. Oh, yes! You read that right. I took on hormones!

So basically, what I’m saying is that while the publishing powers-that-be decide if this Viewpoints page is where my viewpoint belongs, I will be like the white space between the heavy columns, the peaceful place for your eyes to rest. I will be the journalistic equivalent of the fluffy, light dessert that follows the steak and potatoes dinner. While my counterparts take on the issues, I’ll take on the non-issues, hopefully with enough humor to occasionally make you choke on your coffee. Or, God willing, to make you snort.

Regardless, I’m just happy to be writing again. It’s sort of like riding a bike; I never forget how, but sometimes I still fall off for no apparent reason. OK, it’s nothing like riding a bike, but in an attempt to sharpen my skills, I started taking a women’s writing workshop in January, run by local author Valerie Ann Leff.

Valerie is what I hope to be one day: a published author. Yeah, I know. It’s impressive. Her novel, “Better Homes and Husbands,” is an actual book with a cover and quotes from famous authors and pages and everything.

Valerie’s workshop has attracted an interesting group of women, and in this case, I’m not using interesting as a euphemism for strange. This is a talented group of women of all ages with a variety of backgrounds and experiences that are reflected in their writings. What is created during our weekly two-and-a-half hour workshops ranges from funny to thoughtful to absolutely heart-wrenching.

Each of these writers has a distinct style and voice. One woman has such a strong Southern style that it almost seems more humid in the room when she reads her work. Another can write the most amazing descriptions of a scene that I swear I can feel the muscles of the chestnut mare as she gallops and smells the manure. Still another writer has such a wonderful, dry wit that she can write about murder in a way that is absolutely hilarious. And one woman can go places in her writing that I dare not and can slip in the dirty words so appropriately that they aren’t shocking. Or maybe the whole thing is so shocking and fresh I don’t notice cursing.

The reason I tell you all this is so that you will come hear them for yourself. On Friday, May 16, the day this issue of the Trail hits the little red box, our group is doing a public reading at The Bookworm in Edwards at 6 p.m. Don’t worry; I don’t think it’s a beatnik reading. As far as I know there are no bongos, snapping or berets. But $10 gets you yummy appetizers and the opportunity to hear some truly original writing by 10 women in your community. That’s like a dollar per writer, with food thrown in for free! Don’t miss what’s sure to be the cultural event of the mud season.

Linda Boyne is an Edwards resident and a regular columnist for the Vail Trail. E-mail comments about this column to editor@vailtrail.com.


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