The Writers League of the Villages (WLOV) recently honored one of its own with a special recognition award.
Author Beverly Johnson has prevailed through a difficult diagnosis to complete the first of her planned three volumes on the life of the Dutch painter Rembrandt. Fellow WLOV member Phil Walker presented the award to Johnson recently at the organization’s annual holiday breakfast.
In accepting the award, Johnson, who had no idea she was being honored, paused for a moment during her remarks to collect her thoughts, asking the audience to give her just a minute.
“I have Alzheimer’s,” Johnson said.
She went on to describe her love of Rembrandt the man, as well as the artist, and the fun she has had doing research for her book, which has included three trips to Amsterdam.
Walker and other members of the Wannabe Writers critique group have watched Johnson’s determination to finish these books since she was diagnosed in 2016. She met her goal to have the first volume published in time for the recent Book Expo. And she is now hard at work on the second volume.
“I am good until about noon,” Johnson said. “After that, I have trouble getting to the words I want.”
Johnson gets up every morning at 4 a.m.
“I can do my best work when I am fresh,” she said.
Johnson, a resident of the Village of Sunset Point, understands what her diagnosis means. Both of her parents had Alzheimer’s, however, she is very optimistic about new treatment opportunities – both the ones available now and new ones being tested that aren’t yet on the market.
In addition to awarding Johnson, the new slate of WLOV officers for 2019 was introduced. Paula Howard will be the incoming president.
For more information about the Writers League of The Villages, go to www.wlov.org.