I ran across a description of the kind of writer/woman I want to be as I was reading “An Album Quilt” by John McPhee in In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction (edited by Lee Gutkind). McPhee is describing a woman who lived over a hundred years ago in Wyoming ranchland. Her journals were given to him by her son, whom McPhee had been doing some research with.
He writes: ” . . . the admiration and affection I came to feel toward her is probably matched by no one I’ve encountered in my professional life. This was not merely because she had the courage to venture as a young teach into a very distant country, or because she later educated her own bright children, or because she was more than equal to the considerable difficulties of ranch subsistence, but also because she recorded these things — in her journals and later writings — with such wit, insight, grace, irony, compassion, sarcasm, stylistic elegance, and embracing humor that I could not resist her.”