Terry L. White
FM’s Renaissance Woman
Terry L. White had been working as a waitress in the Fultonville truckstops and about to turn 40 when she finally heeded the call for a higher education. Already a folk musician and would-be writer, she sold her kitchen table and chairs to find the funds to send her application to Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Accepted, she found help through grants, the support of her friends, and with a great deal of faith, she completed a course of study resulting in an Associate’s Degree with high honors.
Today Terry has published more than a dozen books. “I remember one of my friends at FM telling me one day over coffee that she had dreamed she would someday have a whole shelf full of my books,” says Terry. “I wanted to believe that dream would come true, but I didn’t have a clue how to make it happen.”
After graduation from FM, Terry wrote a letter to Skidmore College’s University Without Walls, outlining her accomplishments at FM and asking for help in completing her education. She was welcomed with open arms, and the skilled counseling staff at the University Without Walls helped her not only fulfill her goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, but by also giving her experience with local editors who read and critiqued her work.
Upon her graduation at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center along with Lena Spencer, proprietress of the famed Cafe Lena, Terry followed her heart to the International Womens Writing Guild conferences hosted at Skidmore each summer, where she taught a “song as story” workshop for a dozen years, meeting writers and publishers from around the world. It was at the first guild conference she attended that Terry met Arline Chase, her publisher and longtime friend.
“I had collected more than two hundred rejection slips from traditional publishers who were being very careful about supporting the work of new writers when Arline called me and told me about ebooksonthe.net, an Internet publishing company that was distributing books in electronic formats. She said I should submit one of my novels. The idea seemed very risky and foreign, but the editor not only liked my work, she asked for more.”
Terry said she felt a new excitement about her work, even though electronic publishing was still very much a thing of the future. “I burned those rejection slips, though,” she said. “All I needed was a chance to make my dreams a reality.”
Internet publishing has come a long way since then, and Terry’s books are available in both electronic and paper editions, some at Amazon.com and all at ebooksonthe.net, which Mrs. Chase purchased a couple of years ago.
Terry has served as the president of the Adirondack Fiddlers, and on the board of directors of the New York Folklore Society. She has written stories and articles for a number of newspapers and magazines where she earned several writing awards for the excellence of her work. She has also performed at many local events in Cambridge, MD, where she has made her home for the past 16 years. She has been an event organizer for several organizations including the Harriet Tubman Coalition, and creates beautiful jewelry and dolls for the designer market.
“I remember my years at FM as difficult and wonderful,” Terry said. “I had no idea what I could do with my dreams when I started, and a few years later I was doing what I had only dreamed I could do with my life. I can’t thank FM enough.”Fulton-Montgomery Community College