5.29.2014

My Writing Process

I was asked by Victoria at Through*For*By
to answer a few questions about writing as part of a 
"writing process blog tour". I was totally flattered! 
Victoria is a writer…a real writer with an amazing outlook on life for someone so young!


A little bit about me: 
My name is Monica. I am a mom to a 15 and 10 year old, wife for (almost) 18 years, 6th grade math and science teacher for 22 years, and crazy gardening girl. In about three weeks you will find me in my green Muck garden boots,  lost in a sea of tending and encouraging.  The summers are filled with zinnias and lavender, tomatoes and green beans. In my spare time I write! I write this blog, or write in a bazillion notebooks, or work on one of the many pieces I have started, but need to actually finish!

My dream? Stay home…tend the gardens, care for bees and chickens…photograph and write about gardens….work on a few different writing pieces. A dreamer, I know!

Here are the questions Victoria asked me:




What am I working on?
Well, I have been working on a piece of fiction for middle school aged kids ( the age I teach), for quite some time. It's evolving as my writing style evolves. I also have a basic idea for a piece of historical fiction based in Massachusetts, aimed at middle school aged kids as well. Historical fiction has always been my personal favorite genre, and its a dream to write a piece; however I need to be able to put in the research time.  I also have loads of notebooks filled with lots of different pieces I have started, or ideas, or rambling...then of course I have my blog...

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think as I write, it comes straight from the heart, so my fiction is based on a memory, or a feeling, or an emotion.

Why do I write what I do?
Well my blog is an extension of who I am, mom, wife, teacher, gardener. Readers often compliment my "prose" or "poetry", which I always think is kind of cool because I never set out to be a poet. I think my writing, especially the style I use on my blog, is more a personal narrative of my life. I have always written because it feels right. I garden for the same reason. When something is part of your DNA, you need to do it, whether its pushing a tiny seed into the earth, or filling a notebook with words.

How does your writing process work?

My writing process is the total opposite of how we teach kids to write! I am not a "planner" ! Never have been. Rather, I like to write and let things evolve. I may have a few basic ideas in mind; however I like to let things develop right before my eyes. 



Thanks Victoria for asking me to take part! You really made me think about why I write. You also kicked me in the seat of the pants a bit! I hope to write this summer whenever I have a spare moment….or two!





5.24.2014

Unlock the Memories


 I am one of those people 
who is privileged to have a strong sense
 of memory.
A bizarre memory at times.
 I'm not extreme, 
like the people who
 remember every detail of every date on the calendar;
 however, I have 
very strong memories from about age 3 on. 


I remember the day my
baby brother came home from the 
hospital (two weeks shy of my
 third birthday). I remember the 
diaper truck on the gravel driveway next door.


I remember having 
pet bunnies (and having to give them away).
I remember riding the 
big red tricycle with blocks 
on the pedals so I could reach.



I remember  in Kindergarten William L. telling the 
class that a robber had broken into his
 house and had stolen all of his father's socks from his drawer.



I remember flying my Campbell Soup 
kite at the Kite Flying Contest in Third Grade.
I remember Bed lunch with Clarence
 and Edna, and hard candies from 
the glass candy dish on Grandma O's kitchen table.



I remember an endless stream 
of what may seem to be
 trivial events ….events that stream through my
 brain daily, event that have formed and molded
 me into the wife, mom, daughter I am today.






I remember the lilacs...white 
and purple,...overflowing 
fragrance slipping through 
the tiny squares in the
 screen and into my childhood bedroom. 

Unlock the memories and you will find the people and events who have shaped your heart.



5.17.2014

Live Deliberately


I have been introspective recently,
 reflecting on my roles on this Earth:

Mother. Wife.  Teacher.



But, seeing as guiding a seed to become a seedling, 
and then nurturing it to a full grown, thriving plant 
is also such an innate part of who I am, 
I suppose I can add the title "Gardener" to that list.


But it could just as easily be "caretaker". 
At times I truly feel like 
it's a predetermined path that God or Mother Nature,
 or the Universe, (or whoever or whatever you believe in), has set before me.





At times I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of this role. 
I feel as if I don't want to let down the fields or the 
forest ….I don't want to let down the Earth that will (hopefully) 
sustain our children, and our children's children.



It weighs on my mind…intermingled with all of the usual 
heavy minded topics of my daily life….bills, happiness, freedom…..

please note that buttercups are NOT edible

….but it is truly a cleverly disguised part of everything I do, or say, or desire...

please note that Buttercups are NOT edible

….and I suppose that Thoreau says it better than I ever will:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” 
― Henry David ThoreauWalden: Or, Life in the Woods


5.02.2014

My First Spring

I'm not sure if it was the endless winter….


….the bone-chilling days and nights...


….the unrelenting snowfall….



….or,  if it is simply who I am….



….or, perhaps, who I have become….




…but something about this spring seems different….





….the lush greens…





...the vibrant pink and oranges….





…the anticipation…





….the life….




….perhaps I will never know the reason behind my emotions...





 …the tear shed for what has been….or what will come….

                         

...raw emotions that rage through my veins




…welcoming in the season and all that it holds….



….the significance of a blossom….
…an unfurling frond….


….a fruit-laden vine….
….dandelion bouquets....


Rebirth.


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