Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's finally here. What took you so long? Wines of the Walla Walla Valley: A Deep Rooted History

It had been in my brain since I was about seven years old,  I was going to write a history book about Walla Walla. Growing up, next door to our house was a wheat field and nearby the field was a road sign that said, "Welcome to Walla Walla. Cradle of Northwest History." I would often stand in front of the sign and stare at it. 

One summer when I was in 4th grade,  my aunt (a 4th grade teacher) left her classroom library at our house for me to spend the summer reading through many of the children's classics. When the other kids were out swimming, I stayed in my room and read. I wanted to become a writer. 

In the 6th grade I would write "romance" stories in spiral stenographer notebooks about Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer and icon, Annette Funicello. Her adventures were usually of her hanging around soda shops, movie theaters, library, and riding horses. 

In junior high, after I scored an "A" on my journal about the travels of a glass pop bottle, I knew I needed to continue to write. 

In high school an English teacher allowed her visiting teacher's assistant to unfairly accuse me of plagiarism on a "magazine" story, although she could never produce the proof of the story I supposedly "plagiarized." The TA told me I would never become a writer, let alone get anywhere in life. She called me a failure. Years later, I would shudder when I thought about that experience and hoped that no child would have the accuser as a teacher and the TA's place in the world needed to be an assistant librarian at a state prison for hardened criminals - - if best. Also, I never looked at the English teacher with the same respect, but I knew I needed to continue to write. 

In my early adult years, I would jot down a few childhood memories or things I remembered about my dad and grandfather - such wonderful memories. 

There was an "unhealthy minded" co-worker who always  bitched at the boss that he needed to quit giving me files to work on because I "did not know how to write." She wanted the work instead. Great. No skin off of my nose. Let her do the work. Well, my other co-workers had fun with her the day my first magazine article came out. All through the office you could hear comments of, "Too bad Catie doesn't know how to write ..." But I knew I needed to continue to write, as the "unhealthy" co-worker was the one with the problem.   

Oh, I am not a perfect writer. Over all I can spell, but become befuddled with commas. I like to get creative with words and syntax, which some editors enjoy, but the serious do not. When I die, I want to be remembered as a quirky "Wordsmith." I can be long-winded. Sometimes my adult dyslexia kicks in and I will struggle, but it is important that I keep writing. I will always continue to write, even when I stop having an audience. 

In spite of my faults, I feel my words are either dripping with "sarcastic wit" or very heart felt. I like to give my words a "full circle" feel to my blog posts, magazine articles, and now my book. After all, history does have a way about repeating itself - - it becomes "full-circle." Life is full-circle.

In 2005, I started this wine blog. I had no intention of anything other than a place for me to keep my wine notes and stories.  I had no clue anyone was reading. 
In 2006, I started writing my notes for my book. The table of contents were drafted, as well as the first chapter, with other notes and quotes scattered about. I continued to write with no direction or goal of a publisher or deadline. 

In 2013, I was contacted by a commissioning editor to write the story of Walla Walla and her wines. I signed the contract to write a history book a few months later.

Writing a book has been a journey, with many stories to tell even when it came time for the book to be released with a few disgruntled souls who wanted to slow or stop the presses, while ensuring they would be in the book and it would be only with glowing remarks - - of course. 

Today my history book, Wines of  Walla Walla Valley: A Deep-Rooted History was officially released. 

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