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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Someone once asked me, "Why do you right?"
I sat there for a minute thinking about her question.
She said, "I think it is because you don't want people to forget about the past."

That is true for a lot of what I write. I write about the past. I am trying to write my family history, but I keep getting sidetracked. My first visit to a writing group was inspired by my wanting to get help with  a Picture Book manuscript I had written about my experiences of picking berries with my grandmother and cousin. I haven't got that story right. . .  yet. Maybe I should go back to that manuscript and try again.

When I write my poems and my stories, I put onto paper my memories, so they will not be forgotten.
I hope when I do this, I will write them in such a way that other people will also get enjoyment out of them also.

I guess that is the secret to writing --- we need to write our stories so interesting and unique that other people will enjoy them. 

What about you? Why do you write? What do you think the secret to writing is?

April is National Poetry Month, below is a poem I wrote about my past.
I hope you enjoy it.

Recipe for Warm Memories

Our ancestors taught us
To cook. They passed down
Their food customs
To their children.

Grandma rolled each thin layer
Of her applesauce stack cake.
She patted the left over dough
Into sweet cookies.

She creamed the peas
Just right, made holiday pies,
And baked bread to eat
With each meal.

Mom taught me how
To make soft, fluffy dumplings
And to beat the fudge
Until it was glossy.

My aunts fried skillets
Full of golden apples
And cooked welcoming
Sunday dinners.

They tilled the land and
Harvested the crops.
Their busy hands preserved
The food for the winter.

The kids washed the jars for
Green beans, tomatoes,
Pickles, chow chow,
And sausage balls.

Blackberry jams and jellies
Won blue ribbons and proudly
Stood by the apple butter
On the cool cellar shelves.

Our ancestors taught us
To cook. Their memories
Keep us warm on
Cold winter days.

Happy Writing!


  1. I hope you go back to that berry picking manuscript. It sounds like it's close to your heart, and that's when the writing really shines.

    I think part of what moves me to write is the connection my words with make with others, that aha moment when readers and author are in the same place.

  2. Nice poem.
    I write because the stories keep forming in my mind. And because I can't not write.

  3. I'm with you Janet, I write about the past so much because I want it to be passed down. I can't get it out of my head. It intrigues me so. I love your poem. I just posted one that pertains to this very thing. Thanks for posting this. Susie

  4. Hi Janet, you pose a very deep question. I too, write quite a bit about the past. I want to contribute to keeping the past alive, so that the important, meaningful and beautiful life lessons of those who came before me are not forgotten. For me, writing is a way to be a link in the chain.

    I also appreciate stories about the future as well. I love the dreamers who can visualize something different or better. Sometimes future stories can give off a spark which can start a flame, the light--guiding our imaginations into new directions.

    I do love the feeling of connection that comes from knowing someone is reading what I write. But I think deep down, the main reason I write, comes from a longing to understand and be understood.
    I heard once that Elvis Presley said that he couldn't sing unless he could dance and if they tied him down, he wouldn't be able to utter a sound. It's kind of like that with me, I can't live completely, and vibrantly, unless I write. Have a great afternoon! Delisa :)

  5. Hi Janet, it's me again, I forgot to mention in my comment, how much I enjoyed your poem! It is just beautiful, I especially loved the line about your Aunts frying apples in their skillets, that brought back some happy memories! Delisa :)

  6. Writing is something I've always done. Sometimes just in my head, but stories have always been swirling through my mind.

    I love to write about the past--it tells us why we are who we are--how we got here. I also love just writing fiction for the enjoyment of the story.

  7. Hi Janet,
    I like the way you looped back to the beginning line of your poem.
    Nicely done.

  8. I write for my reader and myself. Your poem is nostalgic and warming. Simply delightful!

  9. I love when you write about your childhood, Janet. Your memories are so close to my own and always touch a special place in my heart. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Janet,
    Not so good at the writing thing, but I buy a lot of old things from the thrift store and garage sales, and keep all the old family things. So Guess I'm keeping it alive in a different way.
    That is a nice poem, reminded me of myself sitting on the back porch getting beans ready for canning when I was about 12.That was more then a minute ago. HA.
    Nancy Jo


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