Friday, March 16, 2012

Ask Elnora--About that Blarney Stone??? Lenora Worth

Happy St. Patrick's Day Eve, my little leprechauns! I hope you enjoyed our Irish tale yesterday. Don't you love a good tale? Writers are supposed to be good storytellers and these off-the-cuff stories are so much fun, we can't resist diving right in to see what will happen next. That got me to thinking about why a writer becomes a writer. Does it begin with a love of reading, or does it begin with a love of spinning tales? Which came first, the book or the need to write a book? I remember clearly when I knew I wanted to be a writer. It was in the fourth grade back in Georgia. My teacher was stern and prim Mrs. Braswell. She scared me to death but I learned a lot from her. When she assigned a writing project, I gleefully worked on mine while the other students whined and moaned. I wrote about a little deer lost in the woods and then I added some poetry and a few pithy quotes. One of those Elnora quotes read "And all that jazz." Mrs. Braswell called me up to her desk and said, "You might make a good writer if you apply yourself." (This would be the quote I got from teachers every year after that.... "You might be ..... if you'd just apply yourself.") Could Elnora help it that I was more interested in shoes and boys than math and science and .... research papers??? But back to Mrs. Braswell. She then asked me where I'd heard "And all that jazz." I stared down at my hot pink loafers and scratched my teased hair. "I don't remember." I truly did not. Then she looked at me through her cat-eye glasses and said, "It's a bit too risque for a fourth grader. Please erase it." And so I did even though I had no idea what risque meant. But ... I love all that jazz. I still do. I love jazz music and the Delta blues, too. Never one to be sad for long, I wrote romantic short stories and promptly sold them one by one on the playground for a quarter per story. I always had extra milk money. And when Mrs. Braswell heard of my shenanigans, she just shook her head and kept walking. So I guess I have a bit of the blarney in me. But then, don't you think all writers should? We have the gift of words, the gift of spinning tales out of thin air. It's the gift of waking up and sitting straight up in bed with the best idea ever for a story!!! Until we try to execute that idea. But then, that's part of the fun and magic of writing. We truly have to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. (Rainbows are kind of like a story arc, right??? So let's discuss. How and when did you know you wanted to be a writer? Do you have a bit of blarney in you??? In those beautiful lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon, we can find some of the answers we seek: Morning has broken, like the first morning, Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird, Praise for the singing, praise for the morning, Praise for the springing fresh from the word. Amen!

5 comments:

  1. I will rather speak of how I became a reader. Wayback in high school, I read through every novel and storybook in my school library. I would borrow one book and return it the following day after reading to borrow another. My whole class turned to the library because of me. The librarian couldn't help it, one day he called me and said, "Fisayo, if you can read your textbooks as much as you read novels, you will be an excellent student."

    I picked up writing along the way too. Some stories did not end the way I wanted so I will want to finish it. I also wanted to write Christian romance, so little by little, I started writing, most of my works are drama scripts, for i sure am an actress.

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  2. I loved writing as a child, and my stories often hung on the bulletin board in my classroom. Loved that positive affirmation!

    Wrote my first book in 3rd grade about seven girls. The title: We are Seven. How creative! :)

    In 9th grade, I wrote a suspense story that I still think about. At that point, I knew suspense would be my genre.

    Happy St. Patty's Day Weekend to all!

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  3. I've always been a reader! I would read the cereal box every morning at breakfast! LOL (And read it over and over until we bought a new box of cereal) :) I also read shampoo bottles and magazines. And I loved going to the Book Mobile that came to my neighborhood! I sat inside and read as long as possible and then would check out books.

    I didn't think of writing until I was an adult.

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  4. Lovely stories. I love how books make such a mark on our lives. Do you think we are born writers or can it become something you want to do whether you were born to it or not?

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  5. Some people may have a predisposition or natural talent to write, but since writing is a craft, a person can develop the skills to be a writer as well.

    I never really cared to write (greatly disliked journal writing in school...I couldn't think of a thing to say), but I do remember a paper I wrote in my Comp I class in college...about me being the first woman to play in Major League Baseball...I got a A-.

    I've read as long as I can remember(Boxes, bottles, etc., like Missy) My mother still teases me about sitting on our upstairs landing reading encyclopedias when I was growing up.

    I love how your class was turned on to the library by your example, Fisayo. Actions do speak louder than words. =)

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