Today I’m featuring a short story author, Rona Simmons, who retired after thirty years in corporate finance to pursue her creative side, including creative writing and photography.
Though having written countless mind-numbing memos, letters, and reports and published business articles throughout her career, she enjoys the freedom and creative aspects of fiction. In the last year, Rona published two articles, one showcasing her photography, completed and submitted one short novel for potential publication, and authored a collection of short stories. She is working on the final draft -- if there is such a thing -- of a general fiction novel. Meanwhile, Rona lives with her husband outside Atlanta, Georgia on eight wooded southern acres that provide inspiration for both her writing and photography.
The Figurine Synopsis
The Figurine is one of ten short stories included in a collection titled “Into the Light of Day”. Over the summer and fall of 2012, Rona Simmons interviewed several individuals, some life-long friends, some distant relatives, and some complete strangers all of whom were gracious enough to contribute their memories and moments. Rona poured over existing story drafts, copies of emails or message board posts, and photos from the contributors then created dialogue and added narrative to bring the stories to life. To some, she added characters, scenes, or situations for dramatic purposes, but she always remained true to the original. Though a few of the stories are set during the war years, they are not war stories, but rather stories of giving to and caring for others, of learning life’s hard lessons, and of growing up in turbulent and troubled times. Among the stories in the collection, a nurse finds herself comforted by a gift from a patient; a brother causes an enduring rift in a family with one senseless, selfish action; a soldier takes matters into his own hands and learns the hard way about military protocol; a husband and wife suffer through the effect of her debilitating stroke and the loss of most of their personal effects in a fire but survive as proof of lifelong love and enduring faith; and a young man learns about prejudice and dignity in the new South.
The Motivation for The Figurine
Ten years ago, Rona captured her father’s World War II experiences in his own words. What made the memoir most compelling to her were the inclusion of myriad small details, single moments that still sparkled brightly through the fog of the many years since 1944. They included both the young pilot remembering looking down over cotton fields in Arkansas during a training flight and seeing what looked like giant maggots only to discover they were bags bulging with freshly picked cotton and, when his tour of duty was over, being recognized by a Brazilian native who remembered his skull-shaped pipe--one he had smoked on the same beach before departing for North Africa a year earlier. Certain that everyone has memories worth telling and preserving, and convinced of the need to see these stories brought to the light of day before they are lost or forgotten, Rona set out to find others from the same era who would share their stories. "Into the Light of Day" is the product of that search.
Motivation to Self-Publish
Though I continue to plow the tortuously slow path of traditional publishing, I believe some stories just can't wait. This collection of stories is one. The moments in time from which the stories were drawn were contributed by old and new acquaintances -- friends who would not understand they might have to wait a decade or more to see their words in print.
Links to purchase the book:
Links to author website, book trailer, etc:
Author Website: http://www.ronasimmons.com
Amazon.com author page: http://amzn.to/QgblEO
Other books by Rona Simmons: www.amazon.com/Meryls-Commitment-ebook/dp/B007KA0GE8 and www.createspace.com/3963954
Thank you, Rona for sharing your experiences with us and taking part in Pay It Forward. Now let everyone know about Rona by sharing this link – http://skippingstonememories.blogspot.de/2012/10/featured-short-story-author-rona-simmons.html
Creativity and Life Stories,Bea