One of the joys of teaching in a private school setting is the opportunity to work with teachers from many backgrounds, and with many talents. For several years I had the pleasure of working with the subject of today’s Supporting Friends Friday, who has just published a short work of fiction under the name Helen Liptak.
I know her by another name, but I’ll defer to her published name for this post. Helen is easily one of the most interesting and intellectually curious people with whom I’ve worked. She and her late husband traveled extensively, and lived in California for many years, before returning to our fair Dixie.
She says it best in her bio:
Helen Liptak wrote her first produced play at the tender age of twelve and has since written and directed over twenty more young adult comedy/dramas and three books. She has traveled to four continents, lived in six states and three countries, and learned all about middle school culture by being immersed in it for more years than she would care to mention.
The mother of two, the grandmother of two, she dragged her special agent husband back to her southern roots to live happily ever after in South Carolina.
In addition to traveling the world and teaching middle school—the latter of which is probably more dangerous—Helen is an excellent writer. She worked tirelessly with one of my composing students, Robert Mason Sandifer, to bring music to one of her many plays (here’s hoping we can find some outlet for the work, which deserves to be staged). It’s a very fun comedy, and highlights her historical knowledge and writing chops.
Her recent story, a work of flash fiction entitled “The Vicar or the View,” is indicative of the charming, engaging style in which Helen writes. I won’t ruin the story, but it involves an eligible country vicar whistling Bach on a country stroll, and his mixed irritation and delight at having his autumnally Baroque reverie broken by a lovely and politely mischievous young lady from the village. For some of my readers (you know who you are), such a story will surely be literary catnip.
It’s very good. And as a work of flash fiction (at least, it’s published on a website dedicated to that quickly written form), it’s a quick read. You should stop what you’re doing and read it right now. See you back in here five minutes.
Welcome back! To wrap up, I’m hoping Helen will publish some of her work some day (if she has self- or real-published, I must beg her forgiveness for my ignorance, and begin wearing down the magnetic stripe on my credit card to make up for lost time). With her years of writing, I’m sure she has a solid back catalog just waiting to be compiled into a collection, much like my far inferior, vastly more absurd literary debut.
You’ll know as soon as I do when such a collection appears.