Laura McCamy, CA

Senior Writer

Laura was an English major at Yale, where she received a Scholar of the House fellowship in creative writing. Her work has appeared in a variety of online publications including Business Insider and Oakland Local. She is a compassionate listener with a passion for helping people bring stories to life. In her spare time, Laura loves to ride her bike around the beautiful Bay Area and birdwatching.

As a Story Terrace writer, Laura interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Childhood Newspaper

When we retell stories, we reimagine our lives. Some stories have been retold so many times, they take on a life of their own. The story and its retelling are more important than the original events.

I haven’t smelled mimeograph ink for decades, but I still remember the slightly astringent smell and the whirring sound of the machine as the barrel rolled around, printing out page after page.

When I was ten, I decided to write my own little newspaper. I found interesting articles in the news and summarized them. I wrote up neighborhood events. My mother typed it all up for me on mimeograph paper. Then my father took me to his office and we peeled back the top layer to reveal the purple type of the mimeograph paper.

I collated and stapled the pages by hand. Then I went door to door in the court where we lived and sold the paper to my neighbors for ten cents.

There were only a few issues of the Hillcrest Times, but it instilled in me a lifelong love of the printing process. In later years, I worked with offset printers and I became a silk screen printer. I spent many years printing and selling T-shirts.

We live in a digital word, but I still cherish a beautifully printed card or notepaper. I love the way printing turns words and images into something special and magical.

I have only a mental image of myself knocking on doors to sell my newspapers. The photo below is me (in the dressing gown) and my little sister (in the suit) at a dress-up photo booth.

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