One of my favorite quotes from the fascinating and brilliant Eudora Welty.
The Writing Life, Books, and Things That Make Me Go, "Ah"
One of my favorite quotes from the fascinating and brilliant Eudora Welty.
Where I’m From is a type of self-discovery in the form of a poem that has been classroom classic and taught throughout the world for years. It easy to do and creates a truly unique perspective of your roots – where you’re from.
The ‘Where I’m From’ movement began with George Ella Lyon – a poet, writer, musician, storyteller, and teacher. Her idea was inspired by a book by Jo Carson titled ‘Stories I Ain’t Told Nobody Yet.’ Among the quotes in the book was this: “I want to know when you get to be from a place.” This quote inspired her to create a poem to help her find out just where she came from.
It’s easy to see why it became so popular because we all have our own story to tell and this poem ‘exercise’ helps you to zero in on the details of your story by exploring your background, home, childhood, upbringing and family.
If you want to give it a try, use the simple template below:
The WHERE I’M FROM Template
I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.
I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)
I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).
I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).
I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.
I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).
From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).
I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).
Personally, I loved writing my ‘Where I’m From’ poem and it gave me new insights into myself and my life.
Where I’m From
I’m from fresh white sneakers, and cold Coca Cola, and JiffyPop
I’m from the small towns with perfect lawns and friendly gossips
I’m from the Royal Oak trees, pink fragrant roses, and the soft blue sky
The lazy clouds that hang low and become faces, dogs and lizards.
I’m from Irish tempers quick and hot and belly laughs that wet your pants
From Patsy and Lucky and cantankerous Lottie
I’m from blue collars and steel men with strong dirty hands with hearty appetites for food and cold beer
From an ‘answer for everything’ and ‘just like your father’
I’m from altars, incense, and holy water
From jaunty Sunday hats
From parables repeated by brides of Christ and hushed prayers that rattle beads
From the green hills and heather teeming with faeries and leprechauns
Potato salad, hot dogs, and hamburgers
From the motorcycle man who siphoned gas from tractors and the roller rink darling who lied about her age – the brother who died too young and too alone
I’m from boxes in the attic that sealed in the smiles and forced poses
The faded black and whites glued to table tops – the grainy grins that fight the years
Early bed times and late night ice cream cones
Lakeside vacations and car trips
Lazy summer days eating red ripe tomatoes that drip down our faces
From public fireworks and sweet watermelons
And images never lost but buried deep inside
How about you? Want to find out where you’re from in this truly unique and special way. Give it a try and feel free to post it in the comments. Or just keep it as a little treasure all your very own.
I bought the WAR of ART out of curiosity – not because I have stumbled onto Pressfield and his website and Writing Wednesdays blog posts. In fact, I ignored it for a while. Then I started to notice that many writers I admire mentioned it or its concepts, or quoted it. Despite the fact that I am usually disappointed by books on writing and often find them to be ‘nothing burgers’ I found a used copy of War of Art and bought it.
(the book was) Definitely not what I expected.
For those who are looking for a definitive ‘you fit slot a into slot b’ type of advice, this book is not for you. You will not find methods of writing faster, or exercises to break writer’s block, or prompts to inspire your imagination.
To me, the book was about the soul of writing. What it does to your soul and what it will do to your soul if you ignore your calling. It is not practical advice, it is metaphysical advice. It is not food for the mind but food for the soul.
the WAR of ART was what I needed to read at that moment. It was serendipity. It was the shift in perspective that I needed to make.
(as a side benefit) It also answered questions that had driven me up the wall.
I am glad I bought it and read it. I am changed because I did.
If you are looking for answers to the deeper questions not just about writing but about art, about your place as an artist, about submerging into your art, this book may be for you. If you are looking for a “nuts and bolts, just the facts, and tell me what to do” kind of writing book, then you probably won’t appreciate this book.
My rating is five stars but it’s subjective – I don’t know if it will help you – I do know it helped me.
Good hunting, Annie
I’ve become quite a fan of author Diane Dickson and read many of her other books and Twist of Truth doesn’t disappoint.
In the opening, we meet Simon Fulton, a man recently released from prison for the murder of his own sister. He is filled with resentment and bitterness because he has spent years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Returning to his home town, he is ripe for revenge and justice.
But avenging the injustice of his situation isn’t nearly as black and white as he believes. And though he encounters plenty of antagonist people from his past who are not happy to see him back home, it’s his encounter with Gloria, owner of the local B&B, who has the most impact on him. Her kindness and compassion begins to change him and his plans shift.
What begins as an instinctual desire for revenge becomes a search for the truth and the possible promise of an actual future. However, the truth has some thorns of its own and the twist at the end turns everything on its head.
If you like good, solid mysteries that don’t need spewing viscera and car chases every two seconds, you’ll like this. Highly recommend. Five stars.
To round off our St. Paddy’s Day weekend, I thought a little dance might be in order…
And maybe something a little more street….
And though St Paddy’s Day is coming to a close may the green be with you.
Have a good weekend. 😉
I thought it would be fun to do a cheat sheet that takes British terms/slang and converts to its American counterpart. I think I got a little carried away because the list turned out to be huge. And not too pretty. Anyway, for lovers of trivia, and maybe even a few Brit writers here you go. Annie
|FOOD / FOOD RELATED|
|Jacket potato||baked potato|
|Pudding||dessert (pudding is one of many desserts in America, maybe you call it custard?)|
|Takeaway||take-out or carry-out (or by its name “Chinese” “Italian” “Thai”)|
|Cooker||stove, cooktop, range|
|Eating Irons||Cutlery, flatware, silverware, silver, table ware|
|Lounge||Living room, great room|
|Garden||Yard (although we often have gardens in our yards)|
|Pub||bar, watering hole (if it’s bad it might be called a dive)|
|High street||main street|
|Loo||bathroom / restroom / washroom/ head/john|
|Car park||parking lot, parking structure|
|Motorway||highway / freeway / expressway / interstate|
|Snail Home||Motor home, trailer, RV, camper|
|Cinema||(at the) or (go to the) movies|
|Phone box||phone booth (although these are pretty rare in the U.S. these days)|
|CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES|
|Dummy||pacifier / binkie|
|Bum bag||fanny pack|
|Pants||men’s underwear/briefs /boxers / shorts|
|Knickers||ladie’s underwear/panties/briefs/ thong|
|VEHICLES / VEHICLE RELATED|
|Road surface||pavement /blacktop/ road|
|Flyover||overpass / freeway bridge|
|Number plate||license plate / tags|
|Artic||semi truck, 18-wheeler, big rig|
|FURNITURE / FURNITURE RELATED|
|Telly||TV / television / boob tube|
|Settee||couch or sofa|
|Hoover||vacuum cleaner / vac|
|Bin||trash can / garbage can|
|Justices of the Supreme Court||Judge (only Justices of the Supreme Court are called Justices)|
|My Lord||Your Honor|
|Mum||mom, mommy, mama, ma|
|Dustman||garbage collector / garbage man|
|Barrister||attorney / lawyer|
|Copper||cop / police / law enforcement|
|Postman||mail carrier / mailman / mail person|
|Mate||friend, buddy, girlfriend, boyfriend, bud, pal, gal pal|
|PHRASES / OCCASIONS|
|Brilliant||great, cool, awesome, wonderful|
|Cheeky||smartass, wiseguy / smarting off|
|Mad||crazy / nuts / insane|
|Kip||Sleep, snooze, nap|
|Nick||steal, lift, swipe|
|Arse/bum||ass, butt, behind|
|Taking the biscuit||takes the cake|
|Uni/University||College, Grad School|
|Wanker||jerk, asshole, son of a bitch|
|Yonks||ages, long time, month of Sundays|
|Pear-shaped||disaster, a wreck, trainwreck, fubar (fucked up beyond all recognition)|
|Pissed||drunk, hammered, wasted|
|Wag off||To waste time, dick around, fuck off, screw off|
|Brassed off||pissed off, angry, mad|
|Cock up||screw up, mess up, make a mistake|
|Dodgy||suspicious, questionable, not to be trusted|
|Knackered||tired, beat, worn out, done in, exhausted|
|Posh||high class, pricey, expensive, classy|
|Fortnight||two weeks, couple of weeks|
|Skint||broke, tapped, penniless, flat broke|
|Postal code||zip code|
|Fag||smoke / ciggie / cigarette|
|Protectives||condoms / rubbers|
Feel free to add to the list…
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