Monday, June 16, 2008

An Office To Die For!

As some of you may know, I have been in a new office since the middle of March. Great mystery books and pictures of my family surround me. You may not know that the Sisters in Crime office has been in my home since 1992. Does anyone even remember 1992?

In 1992 my daughter, Liz, was seven years old and heavy into books, dolls and setting up her “office” in my little office on Illinois Street. Liz’s little world revolved around her meeting neighbor friends in the alley, playing on the screened in porch and swimming in the back yard. I had just put my business career on hold, after 20 years, to be home with Liz and I never planned to be working from home. Then one-day neighbor Mary Lou Wright called and asked me if I would be interested in working for Sisters in Crime. The six- to seven-year old organization needed to centralize their membership and financial business. I knew about this great feminist organization and jumped at the chance to work for SinC. It was right up my alley, so to speak.

It was not long before Sue Dunlap, Nancy Pickard, and Mary Lou walked up the alley on Illinois Street so Sue and Nancy could meet me. It was the nicest job interview that I had ever experienced. Shortly after this meeting, I was asked if I would consider working 10 hours a month for SinC. The organization had 600 members. I was excited and thrilled but I always thought I would take on another job.

Sixteen or so years have passed and I was able to avoid that second job because as all of you know Sisters in Crime is now a very large writer’s organization with 3,400 members. The new projects, which have been put into place, just this year are staggering. Liz is a 22-year-old college graduate heading off to Montana next week to work for Americorp and will attend graduate school in the fall of 2009. Where did the years go and where did the alley go?

The wonderful alley is still there on Illinois Street but we made a big move to a home on April Rain Road where my mother can live with us. I miss the alley and Liz but the new office in the new house is to die for! In addition, Sisters in Crime is more incredible than it was in 1992, always serving its members.

As summer approaches, I think of those early years and all the wonderful members I have had a chance to meet and the caring and supportive board members who have touched my life. Most of you have had this experience with SinC too. That is what makes Sisters in Crime what it is today in 2008.

PS- the new house has a screened in porch too…my spot to read great mysteries written by women.

Happy summer reading,
Beth Wasson


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful insight into the growth of the organization! I love the women helping women aspect of SinC so much, it is nice to know that is how it all started!

Sarah shaber said...

Beth, SINC wouldn't be what it is today without you. I used to run a trade organization, and I know how hard it can be to work for many bosses! And I only had 68 members....Please work for us forever, and thank you!

Sarah Shaber

Roberta Isleib said...

And we are so lucky to have had you for all those years Beth! Members can't imagine how helpful it is to have someone who knows the history of SinC and yet isn't afraid to move forward! I'd love to come for tea (not poisoned) on your porch...

Roberta Isleib, grateful president

Anonymous said...

Another thank you. I've always felt welcomed every time I've seen you at a Sisters event at a conference.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Bess,
Thanks for all you do for SINC. I enjoyed hearing about the evolution of your office, and how your family has grown and made room for SINC.
In For A Penny, new cozy mystery from Five Star

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Beth! Where would we be without you? And where would all of us be without SINC?

Thank you so much, for making that decision in 1992. Talk about choosing a path without knowing where it would lead!

New life. New job. New friends. And you are making such a difference to so many people. Including Liz!

with much gratitude