Lynn Ruth Miller, author, stand up, story teller

As I approach publication of my novel, I’ve been thinking about some of the people who have helped me to get this far. Friends who have become writers. Friends who have supported and mentored. I thought I’d write a little about some of them.

Where better to start than with Lynn Ruth Miller. I met Lynn Ruth in Edinburgh when my play The Door was on at the Gilded Balloon. This was my first Fringe and Lynn Ruth was a Fringe institution. She enthused over the play, our whole company went to her show, and we’ve been going to see each other’s shows ever since. When we can. When she’s in the country. Because one of the reasons she’s such an inspiration is her work rate. She became a stand up in her 70s, added burlesque a few years later, and is in demand at comedy festivals and Fringes around the globe. She’s now in her eighties, and shows no sign of slowing down. She has a positive view on the second half of life and her current show is entitled ‘Not dead yet’.

Before Lynn Ruth took to the stage she was a novelist and artist. I read her novel Starving Hearts, a frank and moving exploration of eating disorders and the weight of familial expectations. (on Amazon if you’re interested – As I started to write my novel, she was a natural to turn to for support. Support which included nagging. ‘ Have you written any more yet?’. ‘Send me the next chapters.’ ‘Why have you done it that way?’ etc. Support which included honest feedback and encouragement.

So, in a week when it feels like we need some inspirations, here’s Lynn Ruth. Encourager, mentor, who treats ageing as an opportunity and is always ready to try new things. Staring a second career as a writer in my fifties I sometimes found the emphasis on young writers discouraging. Now that I’m adding novelist to the job description a few years later it’s good to look at someone like Lynn Ruth who forged a new career at a much older age.

Lynn and I have shared a few reading ideas over the years. Browsing in the Tattered Cover bookshop in Denver I found James Hollis’s ‘Finding meaning in the second half of life’ ( ) and we both found it an inspiration. ‘Set you own agenda’ was a core message, and we’ve both tried to. ‘How to really grow up ‘ was the subtitle. Not sure either of us have managed that.

Tony Earnshaw

One Response to “Inspirations

  • This is such lovely affirmation of what I am trying to do with my life and what I believe we all should do for one another. It is fundamentally wrong to ignore talent when you see it. Because when you do, that gorgeous ability that is trying to flower will wilt. And that is a huge loss to us all. Tony is an amazing chronicler of life as he sees it and his perspective is one we all should think about . Whenever I read anything he writes I am always glad I am alive.