I got so many requests for this, I agreed to put it up. Again, apologies to all true poets. The spirit of Walter McGonagal lives on!
Opening Keynote speech, Historical Novelists North American Conference Denver 2015:
“We are historical novelists, fiction is our game,
We do not write for fortunes, we do not write for fame.
We write because we have to, the fires that burn inside
To stride across the centuries, and sail the oceans wide.
We write to right historic wrongs, of Richard the Third and Vlad,
Of women shunned in monk’s dull minds, the glad, the sad, the bad.
We stand upon the shoulders, of greats who blazed so hot;
Renault, Dumas, Sutcliff, O’Brian, Dickens, Scott.
We rub against great shoulders, a wondrous array of speakers
Gabaldon, Goertner, George, Cushman, Hollick, Peters.
So when you reach for implements, for goose quill, pen or keys,
Do not write for fortune, nor seek too much to please.
Write because you have to, the fires that burn inside,
To stride across the centuries and sail the ocean’s wide.”
It was such a fun conference. Bravo all involved!