Write It! Wednesday#3 asks: Who are your writing superheroes and why?
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I had no problem thinking of my first and foremost answer: Janice Erlbaum.
I've known Janice a long time. How long? Well, keep reading! Her first book, Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir, tells the story of her leaving home as a teenager due to the problems she was experiencing at home. This memoir was followed up with Have You Found Her? about her experience volunteering at the same shelter where she had spent her adolescence and her relationship with a remarkable young woman who became like a daughter to her.
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But these two books were not her first publishing experiences. Her poetry also appears in Aloud and Verses That Hurt. And I know she is still writing, still approaching the page each and every day. Anyone who has read her memoirs knows that her flawed life ends in a good way. When I went to NYC, I visited with her and she always has so many wonderful things to say about everything. She carries a wealth of joy, even when she is writing about extremely painful things.
It takes a lot of strength to relive a painful past. That courage is evident on her blog where she recently shared about her mother's death. So much strength. So much honesty. Too often at her own expense.
What I love about her blog is how often she admits to the same doubts that most authors experience. But she's been published. Not once. But more than once. She's been featured in anthologies and even had two memoirs published. I mean, how many other writers can say that? Of course, there's also the knowledge that she's plugging away at more. I don't know what her next story will be--whether it will be another memoir or a novel or some more poetry.
Janice is my hero. There are other writers I admire. Maybe I'll make time to write about them too. Someday. Today I am celebrating Janice, for her strength, for her honesty, for her compassion, for her joy.
I've known her a long time and loved her almost as long as I've known her.