Jane Starner shot into my life like a comet. I happened to sit beside her at a Chattanooga Writers Guild (CWG) workshop a few years ago, and we began talking about writing and an array of other topics. I soon learned that she has many gifts and that she spends her time doing interesting, soulful activities.
She is a retired English and drama teacher with a following—a fan club, of sorts—of former students who adore her. She's carved whimsical carousel animals at a Chattanooga carving school. She travels abroad to interesting destinations. She's volunteered at the Hunter Museum of Art. She completed a memoir titled, My Indiana Childhood, for her family. She writes impressive children's books (one of my favorites is about a mystical heron). She writes delightful poetry that makes me want to write poetry, too. She creates bold, colorful art. She's even met John Irving, author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and other bestselling novels. I could go on, but you get the idea.
During the workshop, Jane shared with me that she regularly attended the CWG's Memoir Writers Group read and critique meetings. I joined the Memoir Writers Group, too, and had the pleasure of listening to Jane read many of her stories aloud. She's a phenomenal storyteller and writer, and still, she is an even better friend.
Jane was one of the first people to contribute a story to Project Keepsake. She encouraged me for months to keep collecting stories. And when my search for a publisher finally ended last summer, Jane was among the first of friends and family members to call and congratulate me.
Jane's story, "Blue Plate Special," begins on page sixty-nine. I've always loved her story, just as I love the woman who penned it. Enjoy this excerpt from Jane's story.