Writing Lessons & Where I’m From


One of the things I’m enjoying in the New Year is taking my first writing e-course.  I chose this particular one because it focuses on an area I’m grappling with in my writing  – Finding Your Writing Voice.

Ally Vesterfelt {author of the book Packing Light} is guiding a small band of writing novices like me through exercises to help us not only hone our own unique voice, but figure out our message as writers.  {More information about her e-courses opening this spring can be found here.}

Our first writing assignment was a poem.  The thought of writing poetry practically sent me into a case of hives, but once I started writing, it unexpectedly and rapidly spewed onto the page.  This was my first time actually fleshing out a writing exercise like this, though I’ve seen variations of it before.

Mustering up my courage to share it in this online space isn’t easy for me, but doing so makes me feel like I’m finally starting to get to the heart of why I write.


 I’m from the cherry wood upright piano I learned to play on.

I’m from the tiny kitchen with the window above the sink and the closet in my room where I made a pretend childhood library from my young adult paperbacks.

I’m from my mother’s soft hands, and the way she took care of me when I was sick.  From “Does this mean I HAVE to take you to rehearsal?!” and “Love You, Sissy!” to her childlike rebellion.

I’m from Star Trek re-runs and Herbie Hancock and The Phantom of the Opera records.

I’m from the scent of her freshly washed hair and perfume, when I hugged her goodbye in the dark of the morning before she left for work at the hospital.

I’m from the bedroom at the end of the short hall with the light blue curtains and the twin bed.  I’m from Gammon Elementary across the street and the three-legged race at the National Awana Olympics.

 I’m from the First Bible Baptist Church and middle school choir anthems The Walrus & the Carpenter and The Prayer of St. Francis.

 I’m from the way she cursed and her handwritten lists.   From her astrology knowledge she espoused, then said she didn’t believe.  I’m from her heart and her excellent advice when wearing her nurses hat.

I’m from dinner in the living room while watching T.V. and Christmas Eve Gumbo and new traditions with my husband’s family.

 I’m from birthday cake in a metal pan and ‘Happy Birthday Sarah’ in thick icing letters.

I’m from love and fear and basement doors slamming and cassette tapes playing and simple means.

I’m from loving step-parents and the reserves of strength I never knew she had.  From a distant Father and “You’re My Favorite Granddaughter!”

I’m from divine saving grace of a Godmother and spiritual families.

I’m from 5 year old salvation at the church down the street, and the house on Dellrose.

I’m from more love than I’ll ever remember.


2 comments on “Writing Lessons & Where I’m From

  1. I love writing too!!! I took a class on poetry (reading/analyzing, not writing) last fall and for the first time in my life, found out what it’s all about!!! Your poem is great! In fact, I’m thinking about writing my own little version of it!

    Tell me more about the class you’re taking right now! I’ve heard about it and always wanted to know more about it. How does it work? How long is it?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂

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