I’ve lived in Kansas for more than two years and I’m just now admiring someone worthy of my admiration.

Gordon Parks did it all. He wrote, he directed, he composed, he photographed. Nothing stopped him. He was Tyler Perry before Tyler. He made a life for himself and didn’t take no for an answer.

I covered his son’s visit to the library that held his papers today for The Eagle. The box he opened had the manuscript for his coming of age tale, The Learning Tree.

Yup. The freakin‘ manuscript with notes and everything. Researchers and geeks like me can actually see his process, the drafts and his thoughts, as they occurred. That is the most fascinating thing of all. The process. A writer’s process is like a snowflake, each of us have different ones. Mine is to chip away, walk away, chip some more and then rush to the finish line where more work is in store.

So in celebration of my new hero. The Learning Tree is now part of Project: Finding La Diva.