March 25, 2013

Stainless Steel Classics

By Pam Hillman

Quick, run to your kitchen and look at your smooth, shiny sink. Or maybe even the vent hood over your stove, possibly even your refrigerator. Pull out that gleaming pot you inherited from your grandmother that you still make spaghetti in two or three times a week.

Take a look at your silverware. Except—just to let you in on a secret—I seriously doubt it’s real silver, unless it’s been in your family for generations. And who has time to polish silver anyway? How long have you had that fork? Ten years? Twenty-five? Thirty? More?

Chances are you’re looking at 304 stainless steel. Doesn’t rust and it’s made to last forever. Just take a piece of steel wool to it every so often, add a little elbow grease, and it’ll be good as new.
I know a bit about stainless steel. I spent the last sixteen years purchasing precious metals: stainless steel, copper, and brass goods. All these metals have their specific uses, but stainless steel is in a class by itself. What makes 304 stainless steel so special? Nickel.

Over half of the nickel mined worldwide is used to produce stainless steel, and it’s believed that Earth’s inner core is made up of an iron-nickel mixture. Nickel is the commodity that keeps 304 stainless steel from rusting. And it’s not called stainless for nothing. If the mix (the metal composition) meets production specs, you’ve got a piece of pristine stainless that will last a lifetime, and beyond.

So it is with the work of a writer’s pen. A writer mines that precious commodity of imagination stored deep inside, mixes it with her thoughts, feelings, passions, and craft to create stories that sparkle and shine. And when she gets the mix just right, her writing will rival that of the most elegant stainless flatware in the world.

And readers will embrace the steel in her work. They’ll admire the enduring quality of her well-crafted stories and sigh at the polished perfection of her prose. They’ll tuck away her stories to read another day, unveil them to share with their closest friends. Why? Because the author dug to the core and filled her stories with that elusive commodity that can only be found deep inside where dreams and imagination live.

So dig deep. Imagination becomes stories. Stories become books. But 304 stainless steel books become classics.
Pam Hillman is a 304 stainless steel magnolia born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi. She spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Cs her second novel.


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