ALEXANDRIA, VA – According to Rita Mattia, she has always known she was a writer. In fact, she wrote her first (terrible, unpublished, and thus mercifully lost to posterity) novel when she was ten, and went on to write advertising copy in New York, Baltimore, Washington and Richmond for about a half century before retiring and winding up here in Alexandria.
Along the way, in attempts to write and publish a novel that would be neither terrible nor lost to posterity, Mattia attended several prestigious writers’ workshops in Virginia and New York. According to her, she produced, “…some of the worst prose ever to take up space on an Apple computer.”
It was during a recent downsizing frenzy that the metaphorical lightbulb finally appeared over her head. “With recycling in mind, I opened a dusty box marked ‘Rita Writes’ and out tumbled the printout of an enchanting essay about my favorite grandparent — and several short pieces about working in the 1960s that really brought women’s rights issues into sharp focus. A few three- or -four-page scribblings were laugh-out-loud funny. And, yes, others made me weep.”
She immediately found herself thinking of other people, places, events in her life and family history deserving of a few paragraphs and soon had not a novel, but Trying Stuff — an elegant collection of historical/sad/funny essays (and accompanying photographs) published last spring.
Mattia looks forward to talking about all of this and more with Ralph Peluso on Reading and Writing with Ralph on Zebra TV at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 4th. He’ll be digging for the stories behind the stories in what promises to be a very lively (live!) event
We hope you can join the conversation …but …if you miss it for any reason, it will be available on You Tube later that same night.
Rita has asked us to remind you that copies of Trying Stuff can be ordered through her publisher at MarinerMedia.com. And that she hosts a weekly podcast, Writa Writes And Reads, found wherever you enjoy podcasts.