I am writing this on Saturday morning, the 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Before I start cutting up the watermelon and slicing the tomatoes and onions. Before the yard is filled with the summer sound of five kids shrieking as they dash through the sprinklers. Before I drag the cooler outside and fill it with ice.
I have always been grateful that I was born in this country, particularly as a female. Politics aside, we have been blessed with freedoms and liberties that few other nations enjoy. Yet somehow I never really connected that freedom with the writing life. With the exception of out-and-out libel, writers are free to tell their stories or publish their opinions. There are still countries on this planet where those acts cost you your freedom, if not your life. I suspect we don't value this privilege as often as we should when we sit down to write.
Add technology to the mix and opportunity and liberty explode. Can you imagine the Founding Fathers reactions if they slipped through a time warp and sat in front of an internet-connected screen? (Knowing what we do about Mr. Franklin, I suspect he would have been all over it!) What took days of painstaking hand-printing, nib repeatedly dipped in inkwell, could now be accomplished in minutes. Is something lost, some thoughtfulness or caution, when our hands can move faster than our minds? Maybe, but this is the world we live in.
So with these musings, I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Fourth of July and are looking forward to the remainder of summer. Donnell Bell will be writing her first Letter From the Editor in August so once again, I say goodbye and thank you.