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  • Nelda Bedford Gaydou

POSTER PURGATORY: Confessions of a Dilatory Writer


Growing up, I imagined writing up a storm and publishing one book after another as soon as I was out of college. Because mystery, adventure, fantasy and adventure novels made up much of my reading for pleasure, I always pictured myself as a novelist. It didn’t quite work out that way.

University was intense, rewarding and time-consuming. While I was still in graduate school, I got married and had my first child. The next two came soon after and being a mom kept me quite busy. As the children started school, I gave private English classes and translated books to help with the family economy. Eventually, I transitioned into fulltime technical translation. It paid well and allowed me to work from home, but my independent contractor status required many hours of labor and no paid holidays or vacations. And so, time flew by.

Eventually my fifties arrived without anything being published. By then, my parents were in their eighties and, if I was going to write that biography I’d claimed dibs on, it was now or never. Hundreds of hours of probing my father’s memory, gathering family records, and researching historical background data produced two anecdote-packed volumes, the first of which was published in 2015. It took three years to finish and publish the second one. In the process, I realized that I had enough stories about childhood during the Great Depression for a children’s book. I chose and worked up ten stories, and my niece illustrated them. Two years later, I published the Spanish version of the first volume of the biography.

During a book signing event, I had an epiphany for a graphic novel, one of my favorite genres as a child. The pandemic gave me the extra hours I needed to come up with the story line and to coordinate text and illustrations with my niece. It came out in 2022.

Waiting in the wings is the Spanish version of the second volume of the biography, which is basically done. The second of three graphic novels is taking shape and there is a family memoir on dementia on the back burner. After that, who knows? Will I finally produce one of those novels?

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