Tales from a lifetime: Local author relies on 94 years of experience

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ninety-four-year old Wuanita Talley plans to write her life story.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

Ninety-four-year old Wuanita Talley plans to write her life story.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Ninety-four-year old Picayune author Wuanita Talley grew up during the Great Depression and World War II and is currently writing her life story.
Talley was born and raised in Audubon Park in New Orleans across the street from a sanitarium.
“Everyone tells me that’s why I’m so crazy,” Talley said.
When she was 13-years-old, Talley met a boy named Vernon at a swimming hole during a summer spent in Talisheek, Louisiana.
“He was 16 and I told my cousin, he was the best thing I had seen in my life and that I was going to marry him,” Talley said.
In 1938, the two were married and made their home in Talisheek, where they raised five children and adopted one of Vernon’s cousins, she said.
During World War II, the Talleys had two children and one on the way, she said. Vernon was in the Navy Reserve, but was unable to serve in combat due to a perforated eardrum.
“He was told that if he was near a gun when it went off, it would kill him,” Talley said. “He still served his country working as a welder.”
Talley’s love for writing began when she learned her grammar school had a paper. As she neared adulthood, she wrote when time permitted. To make a living, the Talleys managed a farm, garden and animals.
Talley didn’t finish high school, but obtained her GED after having her children.
Talley began seriously writing in 1989, when Vernon passed away after 51 years of marriage.
Her first literary attempt was a book of short stories.
Her first book is entitled “This Old House” and is about the 10 years she spent in Talisheek.
Since then, she has added three more books to her repertoire including, “Waldo the Paper Man,” “Cart to Heart” and “I Will Return.”
“Most of my stories are love stories,” Talley said. “I want my stories to be serious and mean something, but I also want them to be humorous as well. I’m a sentimental person and have even cried when reading some of the short stories I wrote.”
In 2002, Talley joined the Picayune Writers Group, where members provide encouragement and critiques of each other’s works. Since the group’s inception, about five or six have become published authors, she said.
Talley also studied instructional writing through a book she purchased from Writer’s Digest.
“That’s the way to do it if you really want to learn,” Talley said.
Tally also dabbles in painting and plans to write for the rest of her life.
“I keep thinking, I have something else to write,” Talley said. “During my youth, I was always playing with friends and my Dad would always say ‘Prosperity is just around the corner,’ which was a slogan used during the Depression era. I’m currently working on my life’s story and I can’t believe the things I could do and endured back then.”
Talley’s books are available for purchase on www.amazon.com.
Learn more about the writers group through Facebook at Picayune Writers Group.

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