One goal I had in writing A Life Divided was to have it resonate with a wide readership. It was important to me to have people from all walks of life review the excerpts. In the process, I learned from readers who contacted me. Some did so just to share a little about themselves. Others generously and tactfully educated me on fine points of issues I was unfamiliar with.
From "rehabilitated junkies" I learned the recipe for mixed jive, the street names for certain pharmaceuticals, how toothpaste was used as a "medicine" for wounds and I held once-used "works."
From law enforcement I learned about the pressures to have "clearance rates" and that clearance rates did not mean conviction rates.
From fellow authors, I learned about the bottleneck of finding a literary agent and how that was even tighter for an unknown writer.
From prostitutes and exotic dancers, I learned that "half and half" had nothing to do with coffee creamer and "using an interpreter" meant nothing about language.
It has always been important to me to push my boundaries and comfort zone. Perhaps that's why I love international travel.
One summer I assigned myself the task of photographing strangers in one city and interviewing them on a variety of topics. I met the most unique people out there - all with a story to tell. I have included one of the 40 people here. (I had my nay-sayers who predicted I'd get little cooperation but I had only two people decline.)
What doors to the unknown have opened in your life? How has this impacted you?