Arlene would like to claim that she wrote her first story at age five or six but around that age she did fall in love with words. The basement of their Wisconsin farmhouse had a dirt floor and on a school-room pedestal rested a massive dictionary. She begged until it was brought upstairs where she would hover over the book enthralled with what its pages held. She believed that once she knew all those words, she would know everything.
But even before that, her mother praised her young daughter as a storyteller. As young as four, Arlene could repeat complete stories she’d heard in kindergarten.
There was a built-in audience for the skits she and her young friends directed in the trailer camp where her family lived throughout World War II. Her seventh grade teacher must have recognized a talent for dialog when Arlene was asked to write a play to be performed for the eighth grade graduation.
At twenty-eight Arlene asked for a challenge. Her request was filled when she spotted a newspaper ad for a creative writing class being offered at the local Vocational School. She has since learned to be more specific about what she asks for. However, Arlene loves the writing process, the research, and moving those dictionary words around on the page. She is eternally grateful to whoever designed cut and paste for the computer.
Over the years, Arlene took every opportunity to grow as a writer. She was exposed to many professionals at the Rhinelander School of the Arts (renamed the School of the Arts at Rhinelander); at The Clearing in Door County (WI); and during numerous workshops, campouts and Editor’s Day sponsored by the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She studied Creative Writing, Literature, and Freelance Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Arlene participated in two workshops facilitated by Linda Seger, known as Hollywood’s script doctor. She also sought the aid and support of critique groups in Wisconsin and in Arizona.
Arlene believes in giving back and accomplished that while co-facilitating a workshop titled, “Let Your Characters Do the Walking,” in Anaheim, CA; Minneapolis, MN; and Toronto, Canada. She served as Vice President-Programs for the Professional Writers of Prescott (PWP) three years and has been a participating member for many years.
The next phase in Arlene’s writing world is to experience marketing her newly released book, BIG WAR Little Wars. It is labeled a young adult historical novel, but it is a story for all ages.
*For those who served during World War II, the story brings to life what they missed on the home front.
*For the descendants of WWII veterans, it’s the story the vets did not share.
*For students of the war, it’s a more interesting way to learn about that period in our history.
*For teachers and librarians, the book is a teaching tool. Its pages include a comprehensive Study Guide, Glossary, and Suggested Reading section—books and websites.
Arlene Eisenbise passed away on August 26, 2016 in Prescott, Arizona.