‘The Poet’ by Constance Baltuck
I am not exaggerating when I tell you my sister Constance is a famous Alaska artist. After all, she has a show hanging in the Alaska State Museum at this very moment, with several of her paintings in its permanent collection. She was also just invited to show at the prestigious Artforte Gallery in Pioneer Square in Seattle. (BTW, my walls are decked with early Baltucks, and Con has promised me their value will skyrocket after she dies.)
She felt these opportunities had dropped into her lap out of the blue. But how many paintbrushes did she wear out preparing for this ‘sudden’ success? For thirty years she has steadily produced beautiful art, selling out show after show. The key phrase here is “After all…” Yes, after all the hard work and promotion and never never never giving up, she has ‘suddenly’ hit the big time.
On the other side of the brain, my sister Miriam, heretofore the uncontested White Sheep of the Family, is a scientist. She has worked for NASA, and at the White House for the Clinton Administration, and as the first female director of one of NASA’S three Deep Space Tracking Stations on the planet. Her contributions to science were recently recognized when they named a planet after her. Okay, so it was only a minor planet, but even so, it’s official…and if you don’t believe me, just Google ‘Planet Baltuck’. So another sister busted her butt for thirty years working very long hours in very high heels to succeed in a tough field dominated by men. That’s what you have to do if you want a planet named after you.
And if you want a book that bears your name on its spine and houses a novel that would make your mother proud, you must never never never give up on your writing. It is a long hard journey that requires grit, discipline, and a hefty supply of bum glue. But one day you will find that ‘suddenly’ you are a published author. In the meantime, don’t be too hard on yourself, and always remember that success is relative. I remember my mother declaring proudly, “Seven children, and not one of them in jail!”
Do you ever get discouraged? Can you tell us what you do to maintain your courage and determination?
If you would like to see more of my sister’s paintings, check out her website at: http://www.constancebaltuck.com/