I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Write From the Soul 11

Before anyone sends me a comment informing me that I can't count and I'm really on WFTS 10, I know that!!! But I'm tired of having to go back to my dashboard, and look at the old posts to see which number I'm on. It made sense to me to have both blog posts using the same number, so 10 is gone, banished into the ethernet and 11 for all.

I just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It's an extraordinary book that is really thought-provoking. The relationships between white women and black women in the South during the 1960s were vividly and painfully portrayed. There were parts in the book where it was so intense, I had to put the book down and check email or just do something lighter for awhile.

I was not raised in the South, although I was raised by a mom from the South.  But because both my parents worked through my entire childhood, we did had a housekeeper-we never called her a maid-named Connie whom I called "Chachie." I adored her. I remember frequently hugging on her while she was trying to get her work done.I'd be holding on just below her waist and she'd have to drag me around the kitchen with her. I thought it was great fun; I'm betting she didn't! My mom used to tell stories of Connie holding me in one arm and making a pie with the other one! Her specialty was to make fried chicken for us before we knew how unhealthy it was.

I don't remember anything negative happening between Connie and my parents.Unfortunately, shortly after my sister was born, Connie had to leave us. She had epilepsy and began having small seizures- no flailing, no falling down, no tongue biting- where she'd just stare off into space for about a minute while leaning over the sink with her cigarette. Of course, to me, it felt like an hour, but really the seizures were brief. But having me and a small baby to care for, Connie and my mom were both worried that something could happen during her seizures.  I  really related to the child in the story who had to say goodbye to her housekeeper and didn't know why. That pulled out emotions from my core.

Most of  the stories I write  are light-hearted and use humor and/or silliness, rather than emotions that come from the core. Possibly that's because I primarily write picture books. I'm starting to write more middle grade stories now. And while I still want to use humor in them, I'm trying to challenge myself to dig deep for emotions and feelings  that kids will recognize. Like fear of failure, the sadness of lonliness, the loss of important people in their lives. All of those will pull from my core as well. I can relate to them all. We'll see where they lead.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED The Help. One of the best books I read last year. Kathryn Stockett is amazing. She nailed the voices of all those women.