The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:14 am Thursday, December 10, 2020

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Dear Dr. Fauci

By Linda H. Barnette

Dear Dr. Fauci,

Before 2020 I hardly knew who you were, although I had seen your name in connection to the Ebola outbreak a few years ago. When I researched your biography, I was impressed with your credentials and your obvious expertise in your field.

It is not surprising that you chose the medical field since your father was a pharmacist. Nor is it surprising that you graduated first in your class at Cornell Medical School. It’s also amazing that you have served as an advisor to every president since Ronald Reagan and that President George W. Bush presented you with the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor any American civilian can achieve. The number of honorary degrees that you have is impressive, especially the ones from Duke University and Johns Hopkins.

As a member of President Trump’s Corona Virus Task Force, you were the first scientist to suggest that people should wear a mask, socially distance, and wash their hands during this unprecedented pandemic. Daily I imagine how much better off our country would be if only we had listened to you from the beginning. My normal inclination is to trust the experts in any field.

In any case, I wanted you to know how much I admired your work and how thankful I am for it.


Linda H. Barnette

Our library writing group was assigned the topic of writing a letter to someone we admired.  That is the reason I wrote about Dr. Fauci.

A Simple Message

By Stephanie Williams Dean

We’re all in a quandary over the health crisis in our country. Making it most unbearable is the fact there’s not much any of us can do about it except follow safety guidelines. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this holiday season and how to make it special. While everyone is telling me they’re having minimal Christmas, I’m thinking of new, creative ways I can continue to reflect the spirit of the holiday even more so.   

Here it is – plain and simple. I will love my family and friends – better.

More calls will be made, additional cards will be mailed, unplanned visits will be scheduled, comforting foods will be baked, and lots of small gifts – tokens of love will be shared. More importantly, I’ll listen more and talk less, and quietly support without judgement. I’ll provide a calming reassurance during disheartening days and offer assistance and not advice.

I can love my friends and family – and better. That’s what I can do.

Write It Down

By Kevin F. Wishon

“Write it down on your weekly schedules, and it will get completed.” Oh, how I loathed hearing a particular manager remind us of this during our Tuesday morning conference calls. He had just taken the management position in our department. Immediately, it became clear that he had a talent for being organized. After years of addressing the most pressing repair needs first, it was easy for the maintenance repair teams to let the little stuff slide. Our thoughts were that we would get to the smaller stuff when there were no emergency repairs which needed our attention. Of course, there were always emergencies, so the smaller issues were left undone.

Later, after a few months of doing it his way, I discovered he was right. More times than not, if I placed a task on my schedule, it was completed. In the maintenance repair field, little things eventually led to significant repairs, so his reminder was intuitive. I didn’t like his recommendation primarily because it had been so easy to approach each day without the complication of expectations. At the time, I felt I was correct thinking this way, but his approach changed my mind.

Years later I find myself applying his reminder daily. I haven’t spoken with this manager in years, but I still hear his voice in my head reminding me, “Write it down on your weekly schedules, and it will get completed.” Now I’m a believer. I keep a monthly planner open on my kitchen counter and, if there is a task to be completed, it’s written down. All these years later, his advice still works. Close to ninety percent of what I write down becomes a completed task. So, why does this work? I’m not entirely sure. However, from what I’ve read, it seems writing something down tricks the brain into seeing little things as serious tasks, which remain unforgotten until the items are complete.

Lately, some people advise their readers or listeners to write down what they want from life, and it will happen. This concept has not been my experience. Instead, I find writing small, achievable planned steps towards a goal to be more effective. Although I did not enjoy making the change all those years ago, I’m glad I did. It’s been a benefit ever since. Whether it’s the monthly bills or steps towards achieving a larger objective, one thing is certain: It’s all written down.