Keeping “Kalm” on New Passages

April 2001
by Mary Lou Fuller

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In 1989, I celebrated my 60th birthday by quitting my day job at the University of New Hampshire to pursue a life-long dream to write full-time. In the 1960s, my late husband Red and I owned and operated the well-known 18th Century Fitzwilliam Inn. Red was a detail junky and kept track of everything. Not only did he record the weather and all dining room, bar, and overnight room sales, but also anything out of the ordinary that involved guests, staff, or the 200-year-old building in which we conducted our business. “Some day you’ll write a book,” he would say. And one day I did!

A Horse in the Ladies’ Room

was finally completed in 1996. “Now what?”I asked myself. I needed an editor and spent days in the library going through literary tomes to find the best source of help. It was overwhelming.

I eventually turned to Kay Amsden, who also retired from UNH. She had taught at the school for 30 years, and although her field was physical education, she agreed to take a look at my manuscript. The first draft came back covered with ugly red comments. I was indignant, until (as we discussed her re-write suggestions) I realized she had tightened my words, sharpened my humor, and given life to the book’s imagery. I was stunned when she said, “You’re too old to wait around for a big-time publisher to accept your manuscript; I think we should publish it ourselves.”

We chose the name KALM, a contraction of…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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