It’s never too late take an old idea and turn it into something useful.
For 75-year-old Sequim author Alice McCracken, writing under the name Dorothy Rice Bennett, she took her book “The Artemis Adventure” and published it more than 23 years after writing it.
McCracken said she wrote it over a three week span when the idea struck her but soon thereafter put it in a drawer.
“There wasn’t the system like today (for publishing) back then,” she said.
However, getting it published this year was quite an effort too.
If it wasn’t for one version of the story printed off back then, McCracken said she would have lost “Artemis” because the software for her story was too old. To preserve her story though, she scanned each page, compiled it with help for a computer, and began re-editing.
“It was a lot of work to get an actual document I could actually work with,” McCracken said.
Years later, she made obvious changes like replacing pay phones with cell phones as plot devices, but the core story of “The Artemis Adventure” remained in tact.
It follows teen Kiki Rodriguez who leaves the South Bronx for a new life in California but is accidentally left at a liberal arts college in Oakland. There, with no money and alone, McCracken said Kiki sneaks onto the campus and decides to stay, illegally, and her journey begins.
“What keeps this story going is that this girl is creative enough in her own mind and positive enough that (opportunity) will be there,” McCracken said. “If you don’t have that openness, then you miss out on a lot of things in life.”
“The Artemis Adventure” is McCracken’s third book but she says it’s an adventure book first with a little bit of lesbian romance mixed less so than her previous novels.
“It’s not so much a love story, but a girl discovering herself through her life process,” she said. “She’s not going to a therapist, but through life moments.”
McCracken said she continues to face new challenges in her own life but presses on writing her books because “this is what gives me reason to live.”
“I’m not going to stop until I can’t do it any longer,” McCracken said.
Since publishing her first book, “North Coast,” McCracken said she’s been called “inspiring” by others her age or older looking to write.
“It’s been a dream since I was a child (to publish a book),” she said.
And through publishing, McCracken said she feels more open to people and become a truer version of herself.
“It’s allowed me to really be me,” she said.
Overall, she’s happy with “Artemis” too and has learned a lot from it.
“It’s a smoother reading book because of all the work that went into it,” McCracken said.
“The Artemis Adventure is available at major book sellers, through McCracken’s publisher Outskirts Press, at Port Angeles shops Odyssey Books and Port Book and News, and through McCracken at her website dorothyricebennett.com or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a $15 signed and locally delivered copy.
McCracken said her next book, a romantic lesbian fiction title, is set locally under the tentative title “Love in the Olympics.” Look for an announcement in the near future for a signing of her books at Adagio Bean & Leaf.