Departures and arrivals

SM SacMag cover+Krista

I am pleased to say that a story I wrote about Dick’s heart adventure has been published in the June issue of Sacramento Magazine. You can read “Departures and Arrivals” here.

It’s an odd enough sensation to be sitting in a hospital in Honolulu, watching your beloved sleep most of the time following the cardiac arrest that felled him and his literal jolt back to life. It gets a bit more odd when, after posting about said event on social media, you get an email from a longtime friend/magazine editrix. “Can you write a version of this story for me?” asked Krista Minard. Some people might be annoyed by such a request at a time like that. But give me a good writing assignment, one with a powerful narrative and interesting details (which this one certainly was), and I’m on it.

Not only did working on the bare bones of what became “Departures and Arrivals” occupy me in the freezing hospital as we waited to learn about further tests and eventual surgery for Dick, it also reminded me (former journalist that I am) that there’s nothing as good as taking notes as things happen… as opposed to trying to remember details later. So, with Dick’s permission to tell the story as it unfolded, I did.

SM SacMag page1

The illustration for the story by artist Lars Leetaru is impressively close to the actual scene.

I don’t know if Krista knew how much she was saving me at the time, giving me something else to occupy my mind, but that assignment focused me and produced posts for this website (click on “Dick’s Great Heart Adventure” on the home page, if you haven’t read those posts and would like to). It was a win-win for us both.

I love to tell the story about how I was the editor of Sacramento Magazine in the early 1990s (the last century!) when Krista Hendricks, as she was then, was hired as our receptionist—a job she didn’t particularly want and, she’ll tell you, she wasn’t particularly good at. She wanted to be a writer for the magazine, but we weren’t hiring writers and she was, frankly, at that point not ready for such a job. But she let me know she wanted to write, and offered to type up copy for me (in those days we took stories written on paper and typed them into our little Macintosh computers). On her own time she also typed  transcripts of interviews I did with journalists for my master’s thesis. And she proved to be a fine feature writer. I gave her as many assignments as she wanted, and Krista became a huge asset to Sac Mag, as we call it.

She left us to work for the Neighbors section of The Sacramento Bee for a time, but came back to do freelance writing for us at the magazine, and eventually she was hired as a writer/editor. And after I left the magazine—and another editor was named and she left the magazine—they wisely made Krista the editor, a job she’s held for more than 25 years.

Every now and then she asks me to write something for her, or I volunteer an essay, which has been a lovely thing for us and the magazine, too. The travel pieces I’ve done about Hawaii have included Dick’s photos, too. Krista’s a terrific copy editor, and I rely on her to edit some of my longer projects, including all three books published by River Rock Books, the tiny press I run with my good friend and colleague Katie McCleary. In fact, here’s Krista and her daughter Anna at our most recent River Rock Books debut of Ed Cole’s novel, “The Love Story of Pinky Wollerman.” (You can get an electronic version of the book here. There should be printed copies available soon on Amazon, too.)

Thanks, Krista, for once again putting Dick and me in print… and online!

•es7499-Anna Krista Minard

(from left) Anna and Krista Minard


About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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5 Responses to Departures and arrivals

  1. Michael S. Williamson says:

    Wow… I love how much the story has legs, everybody in the world should read it!❤️👍

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Kathryn Hohlwein says:

    Fabulous story , Jan. What you two have been through ! Very inspiring!

  3. Sonya Hunter says:

    Very nice


  4. Donna Just says:



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