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Writers are spies

Don Rogers

I’d been honest about a relative’s challenges for a column, and our arts and entertainment editor of the time gave me a hard time about it.

You know: “How could you? I’d kill you if it were …” And so on.

But writers are spies. Our palette is our lives. And no, nothing is sacred, if we are real. Not work, not play, not family, not ourselves. We write from the core. Our life experience shapes our prose. And who shapes our experience? Our work, play, friends, rivals, sources, family, ourselves.



My life is an open book, only I don’t worry about you knowing too much about me because I believe you are only interested in me to the extent you see yourself. We’re all fascinated by stories, real or fiction. We engage to the point we lose ourselves in the story. That is to say, to the point we have put ourselves in the author’s or the characters’ places.

When the story is autobiographical, you travel in my head for a little while ” if I’m good enough, and true enough, to hold you for that spell.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



But family and friends didn’t bargain for exposure along with our relationships. So I have to be careful, and that is difficult sometimes.

I don’t mind sharing, obviously. My son never has minded. But my wife just hates it, and my daughter falls into the same bin. I’m not talking about anything I would consider embarrassing or particularly revealing. The most positive, kind, uplifting anecdotes ” it doesn’t matter. They feel exposed, even as they shape my experience of life in profound ways.

Puts me in that place between the rock and hard spot, Aron Ralston-like. I’m compelled to share, and I’m on notice to be careful with that. I might have said too much already right here …


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