The road to the written page can take decades. This is true for Charlie McOuat.
He is a man of many interests, and, like so many others, he is a transplant to Hilton Head Island after a Cape Cod career in dentistry.
Charlie’s youth and adulthood were filled with sports, math, science, marriage and child-rearing. His retirement has been similarly busy.
When we recently met for coffee, he arrived in an old sweatshirt from a night of companionship with homeless families overnighting at his church. It was typical ‘Charlie’ – a man who has volunteered at The Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club, Volunteers in Medicine, and on numerous medical missions in Ghana and Haiti.
As he placed his coffee cup on the table, Charlie’s first words were, “I feel great. I wrote something yesterday, and it brought me lots of pleasure.”
Charlie started writing about ten years ago after a Life Long Learning workshop. “She was a great teacher,” he told me. “She encouraged everyone, and we started getting our stories on paper.”
Over the intervening years, Charlie’s stories have appeared in all four Island Writers’ Network anthologies; he has self-published three volumes of memoir, fiction and poetry; he finished second in the South Carolina Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest with "Nauset Magic”; and he was a winner of the 2013 Savannah Authors Contest for his story “Learning from Mice”.
His life is full, and he makes it more enjoyable through writing.
Island Writers’ Network welcomes visitors to its Programs (first Mondays, 7:00 p.m., September-June) and Open Mics (third Mondays, 7:00 p.m.) at The Heritage Library, 852 William Hilton Parkway.