Profiles of People: "Writers"
Toni Kief and Celeste Davis are key people in a writers' co-op that meets semimonthly at the Snohomish Library
Celena Davis (left) and Toni Kief (right) display three books written by Kief. Both are avid
writers and are working on a book which has taken three years of research so far.
SNOHOMISH — Toni K. Kief and Celena Davis are grandmother and granddaughter. One lives in Marysvile and one lives in Lake Stevens. But while separated by age, life experiences and distance, they seem to be as close as any two people can be because of their love of the written word.
They both write passionately, and have that age-old desire to share their insights with others.
In an era where messages, feelings and facts are shared instantaneously, these two lovely women choose to laboriously, painstakingly pick particular words, make up fictitious characters, imagine situations and then transfer them into written form.
They also have organized a group so others may join them, a nonprofit called Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest. It meets regularly at libraries, hosts events and creates opportunities so that writers who want to publish can do so on their own. Beyond that, though, it gives a support group to writers for them to exchange tools and encouragement.
The co-op’s brochure quotes Ernest Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. You just sit in front of a typewriter and bleed.” My own lifetime struggle with the written word would agree.
Grandmother Kief has lived a long life, including keeping her little four-pound granddaughter Davis alive when she was thrust into her arms for nurturing as a little baby. She did it. She also worked, had relationships (positive and negative) and spent much of her life as a devout follower in the civil rights and women’s movements.
Today, she gets to engage in life on her terms. “I turned 60 and didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had spent my entire life helping, fixing and supporting others.”
And then there is the quiet, soft-spoken granddaughter. A product of not such a perfect childhood, lover of art and student present during the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting. Now, at 21, she is a nanny, an artist and a writer.
Her memories of high school include wearing a bright red trench coat which grandmother Kief bought her after she saw her granddaughter on television news in a drab brown jacket. The reasoning was no one would shoot the girl if she had on such a coat. Young Davis wore that coat for two straight years.
Davis and Kief are interesting people to be around. From our chat, they gave lots to write about, from laughing together over some escapade at a buffet line at a casino, or their current collaborative project about their ancestors that has led them back to the Mayflower plus two relatives that may have been governors.
However, the takeaway is Kief and Davis enjoy life just as it presents itself.
They are real people who bring to the community table of aspiring authors a certain humor, tinged with sadness and loneliness that only true writers have inside them.
For all who want to share written thoughts, technical, or fiction — any genre really — there is a seat for you at their table. The group meets at the Snohomish Library on Maple Avenue biweekly, on the second and fourth
Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m. Its next meeting is March 24. For more information, visit www.writers-coop.com
Author Patricia Therrell’s column traditionally runs on the third week of the month.
If you’d like to suggest someone to profile, let the Tribune know: 360-568-4121 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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