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Derby Day

How a good friend helped the Guideposts editor-in-chief write strong stories.

What I’m lovin’ most about this blog are the responses you post, the instant feedback (I’m not always the world’s most patient person).

I went to graduate school in creative writing and ended up choosing playwriting as my area of concentration because I loved seeing the audience react to what I wrote. It instantly eclipsed the solitariness of mere fiction writing…hours and hours of hermetic creativity without ever really witnessing the impact of my words. A blog is like having a live audience.

Except I hear from you one on one. That’s great. My Millie videos always draw the best reaction (by the way, her friend Winky would like you to know her name is spelled with a “y” and not an “ie,” thank you). And I don’t mind being upstaged by my dog. She’s much better looking than I am, and smarter sometimes.

I love that you found her struggle with skittishness inspiring. We all deal with fear sooner or later and have to learn to trust. I had a running argument with a friend once: Who’s braver? The person who fears nothing or the person who fears much but overcomes those fears? The majority of us fall into the latter category, I suspect, and that’s where our faith comes in.

Courage is one thing but most of us need something more to conquer our deepest fears. What do you think? And let me know if you’d like to see more of the adventures of Millie and Winky. They’re definitely up for it (in fact they’re meeting up at the dog park as soon as I finish this).

This might be a little thing but you don’t have to call me Mr. Grinnan. Edward is fine (as opposed to Ed or Eddie, which is what my family calls the uncle I’m named after—I got Edward—Hi, Uncle Ed!).

One of the recent posts had to do with the late editor of GUIDEPOSTS, Van Varner. The writer apologized if this was the wrong place to post. No apologies necessary, my friend. Van was a mentor to many of us here at the magazine. He would have loved this site, and especially the videos.

Today (I’m writing on Saturday) is Derby Day and because Van was born and raised in Louisville and claimed to remember watching his first Kentucky Derby from his pram in the shadows of Churchill Downs’ stately steeples, he is much on my mind. This is our first Derby without him and it is a lonely feeling. I know, though, come post time, Van will be watching. So will I, in his honor.

He hired me because my background was in writing for the stage, and he knew some people at Yale Drama, where I went. He thought playwriting was good preparation for telling strong GUIDEPOSTS stories, and he was right. But nothing prepared me more than knowing Van. He was my friend. I loved him and I miss him.

I better get to the dog run if I’m going to make it back in time for the race. I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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