Katherine Washburn

The Pearl Test

After an untimely death, Glen Cole is sent back to earth to secretly test a woman’s character, only to find love, frustration and fear of failure in his assignment. That woman, Sylvia Hart, is besieged with adversity and misfortune. Depending on how she handles these “irritants,” she will either fail the test or become a “pearl of a woman” and be eligible for an important mission of her own. The conflict between her overpowering desire and her principles ends with a decision that determines her fate.

Katherine’s yearning to write started in adolescence, but her first opportunity to be published came with The Phoenix Gazette’s “Today’s Line” at the top of the editorial page when she was eighteen. She remembers the thrill of that first one of three, when she sat on the bus, looking at the people and wondering how many had read the paper that morning.


She put her urge to write on the back burner of her ambitions when she started working full time and got involved in ballet, then ice skating. Her first humorous article appeared in Skating, the official magazine of the U.S. and Canadian Figure Skating Associations, and was published shortly after the plane crash which killed several American Olympic hopefuls on their way to the games.


Bil Keane used her idea in a Sunday section he called, “Sideshow,” and she still treasures the postcard he sent (with his signature), accepting her suggestion and ending it by saying, “See you in the Republic!” This cartoon later appeared in one of his children’s books, which she discovered when babysitting for her niece and nephews.


At one point she was in touch with a New York agent and her humor writing began to develop. Through this agent she sold two jokes to Phyllis Diller, and also contributed to a book called “Nutty Notices.”


Dear Abby published a short humorous happening that she submitted. That dear lady kept it a year, but, finally, to Katherine’s amazement, there it was!


Later, the Arizona Republic published a humorous article in their Sunday supplement about an unusual experience she had, which she titled, “The Day I Moved Twice.”


Katherine took classes at The Phoenix Community College and was on the Dean’s List.

For many years, she took care of her widowed mother and worked full time, but finally found time to write her first novel, The Pearl Test, a new-age love story. Her latest is a Kindle e-Book, titled A Word to Those Wise-Cracking Baby Boomers, from the Wizend Brain of an Oldie. This book represents her philosophy, which is similar to trying to pat your head and rub your tummy both at once. Her belief: “It’s impossible to laugh and feel unhappy at the same time.”

One of her favorite quotes: “With every creative act you light a candle for a darkened world—and that in itself is a powerful source of joy for your life.” Thomas Kinkade.