Who's who - A portrait of a person who is a part of your community

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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Name: Sue Clark Occupation: Writer, writing instructor and literary agent Age: 79 Family: Daughter, Leslie Brinskele; granddaughter, Rhian Brinskele; 15; son-in-law, Joe Brinskele; daughter, Sidne George; grandson, Matt George, 14; daughter-in-law, Ceci Clark; granddaughter, Paola Clark, 16; and grandson, Alex Clark, 13. City of residence: Lincoln How would you describe yourself? “I like to do a lot of different things. I’ve owned five businesses in addition to being a writer all my life. Since writing is a lonely business, I like getting out and being with people and doing things with them. I also like starting new projects.” What is one of those projects? “When I arrived in Lincoln from the Bay Area almost six years ago, the first thing I wanted to do was start a poetry class. I asked around town and got the comment from a lot of people that there are no poets in Lincoln. I found three people who wanted to take a class in poetry, and it grew from there. We planned our first open mike for a Sunday afternoon. If seven people came, I would have been delighted. Instead, 52 people came from as far away as Benicia. Now we average between 32 and 40 each month. It’s wonderful. Anytime someone tells me I can’t do anything, I always say, ‘There are no poets in Lincoln.’ ” When did your interest in writing start? “Oh, gosh. When I was in grade school, I guess. It was just sort of that when I wanted to express myself, I did it in writing. My mom gave talks around town and I started writing those for her.” What do you say when asked what you do? “I tell them that I write anything anybody pays me for. How do you explain what you write? If you are a true writer, you can write anything. A writer is a writer.” What are some of your recent projects? “Some of my students and a friend of mine in the Bay Area started a publishing company for Northern California writers. It’s for books of short stories, personal essays … whatever is short. We just came out with our third compilation, called, ‘Ghosts We Have Known.’ The company is ShortReads Press. “Another one of my projects was a book on Vietnam called, ‘Is Anybody Listening?’ I ghostwrote it for a woman whose husband was in the Army in Vietnam and went missing. She has been trying to find out what happened to him ever since. It was recognized as the ‘Best Military Book Written in 2005’ by the Military Writers Society of America.” What is your favorite genre to write? “I’ve always liked writing poetry but I only write it for my own pleasure, not for money. My favorite thing to do for money is ghostwriting.” You write a travel column. When did your interest in travel develop? “I always traveled around the state. When my kids were young, I had a VW bus and I would put a dollar’s worth of gas in it and we would go to Lake Tahoe. When they were in high school, I started traveling abroad. I owned a travel agency for awhile so that helped a lot.” What is your favorite place to visit? “I think Scotland. I’ve been there seven times, and when I get off the plane, I feel like I’m home. I think I lived in Scotland in a previous life.” You just received an award. What was that about? “Who’s Who had decided to put together a book of all the people in business who have been successful in their lives and I’ve been in it for a number of years. I won for book marketing two years ago, and recently they told me they wanted to pick 101 people, and they chose me to represent ghostwriting and writing instruction so they’re going to feature a whole page on each one of us.” - If you would like to see a neighbor or friend featured here, please e-mail or call Brandon Darnell at 774-7967.