​​It is often the last key on the ring which opens the door  - Proverb

Barbara Mertus Writer - Kustem Creations

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

​- Anais Nin - 

I left a full time career in water, water rights, and accounting, and opened a business called Kustem Creations. This acronym contains the names of the animals that shared my life. Writing in general suits my imagination, however my first practical choice for an education was the business world. Most years, I spent nights and weekends creating short stories, two bad novels, a memoir and a lot of poetry. I submitted my work to magazines and contests, and attended writing seminars. I am not an expert writer, but a trait that keeps me on track? I sit my body in a chair, in front of the computer, and I write for a specified amount of time.

During my transition from the business world, I made a decision to self-publish. Big fear? I might become the laughing stock of my immigrant family. Slovaks don't fail, they just work harder than most. Mornings, I journal by hand in lined spiral notebooks.  A typical practice is three pages. The buzz on social media today is about selling a platform that others will follow. My current platform? I scribble poetry, edit projects, write a lot of drivel on the computer, and am subject to migraine headaches. 

Deep inside, I trust that the two lousy novels and memoir in my filing cabinet, could redeem themselves with hard edit. I believe in both kismet, and destiny, while tenacity is my fall back. If I hadn't left Ohio and family to live in the ski areas of the Rocky Mountains? I would never have met my husband, as I peddled my bike uphill in a spring snow squall. Odds might not be in your favor, but I believe, miracles exist.

​​"Dare To Fail"  Robert Craig

  Keystone Center Founder  1925 to 2015