Until I see you again
By Millie Diaz
The time has come for me to say goodbye to the Jackson County Herald-Tribune, but not Edna, or Ganado, or Vanderbilt. I will never say goodbye to my co-workers, the students, teachers, coaches and people I’ve encountered over the last five years, but I must say goodbye to the position I’ve held at the newspaper.
Many of you may not know this, but I lead another life. You might be thinking, “I see this girl at almost every event, how can she be leading another life?” But it’s true.
One of my favorite books and movies, The Hours, has a line that is me through and through. “Your aunt lives two lives: the one she’s living and the book she’s writing.” To my closest, closest friends, I refer to myself as Reporter Millie, Fiction Millie or Writer Millie, depending on the time of day and the day of the week.
I’ve been chugging away at the craft of writing in my other life and written through 10 drafts of my first novel in the past 15 years. I live a solitary life more often than not, I have computer-pale skin and prefer it that way, but working at the newspaper has reminded me of the extrovert inside of me. It helped me when I attended an Agents and Editors’ Conference last summer by giving me the confidence I needed to approach big-time agents and pitch my book idea to them without my knees buckling or peeing my pants.
Despite being asked for my ‘first 50’ from three agents, (a term for the first 50 pages of your novel), the best lesson I learned from writing, revising and rewriting my first novel is that it’s best for it not to be published.
I kept learning nonetheless, because you know what? There’s always something more to learn in whatever craft you’re interested in. Crave more, ask for more knowledge. It’ll lead you to your voice, your style – it’ll help find you. Being hired to the newspaper was THE dream for a writer: getting paid to write. Now, it’s time for the next rung on the ladder.
By some hand of fate my path crossed with an author trying to find the next step with his biography about Mexican civil right lawyer Gus C. Garcia, and I stepped up. I’m going to work as a freelance manuscript editor and challenge myself with something new.
Thank you Jackson County, for re-welcoming me back after I left in 1997. I’m honored to have represented you all and I will always represent you in some way.
Challenge standards, and challenge yourself. Respect each other, and keep an open mind about people who differ from your race, religion or creed. It’s the small towns that tend to be behind in forward thinking, and I know Jackson County prides itself in being small towns with big minds, so let’s keep it that way.
Though I’m not a big Facebook person, I’ll definitely give updates on Facebook when developments happen.
Once again, thank you. I will never regret coming back home.