Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I've Made My Home In Oregon

Whew! That was a long silence between postings, but moving to another state with one dog and one cat is not easy. Not to mention finding a good Internet provider here in the mountains. But, I'm back in my childhood state of Oregon where blackberries run wild, and where you can see to the bottom of the creeks.

I mention childhood, because writing for children requires us to tap into our childhood memories and feelings. What was it like to lick the blackberry juice from your fingers? How did it feel to be in a fight with an older or younger sibling? Or even your best friend in grade school or junior high?

Some memories consist of blackberry pickings where the juice stained my fingers and the thorns stuck to my skin. Of fighting with my younger brother, who thought he should be boss when I was the eldest of the siblings. How I pulled my best friend's ponytail, because the popular girls bullied her into joining them and dumping me. I can't believe I took that out on her! And with violence!

Also, it is important to take time to feel like a child, for the times we felt safe and secure from the world and all its chaos. A few days after arriving here, I plopped flat on my back next to my dog, Heinrich, and I stared up at the blue sky. When I was a child, I used to camp out at night in the summers on our front lawn with my siblings. Now, before bedtime, I look up at the stars so plentiful that you can see the sparkling Milky Way.

Until next time, practice remembering what it was like (yes, even the painful parts) so you can write with honesty.

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