Years ago I read a quote by Margaret Mead, Anthropologist, with regard to life:
It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.
Quickly approaching my fifties I felt I needed to decide what I still wanted to do so there would be no regrets. I wrote five affirmations and kept them close at hand: To learn to ski, to learn to play bridge, to travel, to finish my college degree, and to be a creative fiction writer. I had made friends with co-workers who were skiers and with their encouragement I took lessons and did learn to ski.
I received a job promotion which required me to travel to nearly all fifty states and Canada. I also squeezed time for trips to China, England, and New Zealand. My job also required me to write business letters and reports, along with occasional training manuals. At my local library I learned about a creative writing group and joined their bi-monthly meetings plus enrolled in creative writing courses.
About ten years later, due to a change in management, my job became intolerable and early retirement was decided. Since retirement I have continued to take writing workshops, participated in writer critique groups and enjoyed writing short stories and poems, and I published a novel, Deception Cove, with an online publisher.
I was never completely happy with the quality of my writing and decided what I lacked was a formal college education and for that reason, I decided to try for my last unrealized affirmation: to earn my college degree. I enrolled as a full-time student with Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, Oregon, majoring in English Literature and Writing, receiving my BA Degree.
During my senior year my favorite course was a Shakespearean class. Our professor brought up the subject of the Shakespeare authorship question with the primary candidate being Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. A debate team was formed and I came to the conclusion that the true author could have well been a woman who may have used William Shakespeare as her front.
With this theory in mind, I decided to write my senior paper on the subject: Shakespeare, Perhaps a Woman. This subject required research since so little was written by or about women of the sixteenth century, but I persevered.
Following graduation, I remained so intrigued with the subject; I decided a woman who was Shakespeare in disguise would make the basis for a good novel. I continued my research, trying to find a suitable candidate for the main character.
My research did reveal the logical person for true authorship was in fact Edward de Vere; however, he died in 1604 whereas plays continued to be written and performed until 1612, the year William Shakespeare retired to return to his home in Stratford, never to write again until his death in 1616.
What I thought was was a clue was Edward de Vere’s second wife, Elizabeth Trentham, died in 1612. Coincidence? Perhaps, but during the next ten years I have stumbled on more and more coincidences about this intelligent, strong-willed woman with enough historical information for me to create a fictional novel about her life and still incorporate factual data along with the story.
I have finished my book this year and hope to have it published soon. Look for The Lady of the Play.
By the way, regarding my concern my writing did not measure up to true literary tomes, I ran across another Margaret Mead quote that made me feel better:
If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one’s subject matter.
I was first married to Robert Pease, a boy I met in St. Helens (Oregon) High School. We were married for nearly forty years, producing three sons, Mark, Randal, and Bradley Pease. I now have nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
My second marriage, to Donald Lindstedt, occurred after retirement. We built our home together in Cannon Beach, Oregon, where we enjoyed doing volunteer work and traveling throughout Europe, Australia, and Mexico. He died in 2014 following an extended illness. Since then I have moved to Portland, Oregon, to be near my family and continue to enjoy my writing groups and, I nearly forgot, my weekly bridge playing.