Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest: The Writing Bug

                                                                          

DL Hammons, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl) and Matthew MacNish (The QQQE) are hosting the Origins Blogfest where writers share their stories behind what inspired them to become writers in the first place.  Please be sure  to visit the Origins of the many talented authors and bloggers.

I began blogging a little over a year ago when both of our sons were away at school, and we were officially empty nesters. This was a perfect opportunity to be heard, without the shock of being seen in my pajamas. Through blogging I could connect with the outside world before I brushed my teeth in the morning, and after I finished flossing at night. This enabled me to still spend quality TV time with my husband,  as well as, having an outlet to temporarily distract me from missing my children. In the meantime, I got back in touch with  a few old friends who actually read my blogs on Facebook; although, I had hoped to reach my second grade teacher.

I'll never forget the assignment to write a story about my best friend. While most students were writing about other classmates, I decided to write a story about my mom. I wrote about all of the fun things we did together including our special "girls day" in Disneyland where we went on the Mad Tea Party, and It's a Small World  rides, while my dad and brother went to an All-Star Game.

I really don't remember which other activities I included in the story, but I just enjoyed spending time with my mom. Whether it was going shopping, playing Barbies, or going to the movies, we always had fun; unless I got punished for crying for no reason.

After the papers were graded, my teacher read my story to the class, and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed that everyone else wrote about having real friends. She even told my parents at the open house what an accomplished writer I was for a seven-year-old. That was probably the first time that I was told I was actually good at something, aside from cleaning my plate.

I continued writing throughout grammar school, high school and even college. In high school my parents bought me a portable electric typewriter which was also a great gift to my teachers. Now they no longer had to endure deciphering  my smeared lefty cursive prose. I always enjoyed the exhilaration that came from playing with words, and attaching meaning to them. The ability to evoke a wide range of emotions, made me feel empowered; yet I chose to play it safe with a dependable job that included writing letters instead of stories.

Decades later at a special birthday party for my mom, I mentioned my gold star paper in a toast. I said that she was still my best friend, and even though she managed to save her TV Guide collection from 1972, my touching second grade story about her somehow went missing.  Then she looked up at me, and marvelled at how well I cleaned my plate.


                                                                    

54 comments:

  1. This is such a touching story. I love my mom like this. I applaude the admiration and love you have for your mom. As a kid, it took guts to not feel embarassed when all the other kids were writing about their "real friends". Your mom is your real friend and I know she is proud. We will not have our moms around forever and I love reading someone who truly treasures their mom.

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  2. How well I remember the horror of having the teacher read aloud something I had written....it generally meant disaster was forthcming on the playground.

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  3. awe, loved your origins story! So sweet! And cleaning your plate is a very worthy quality. LOL.

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  4. This was wonderful to read, and touching.Thanks for sharing.

    Yvonne.

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  5. I think a lot of us got sidetracked by life, but the writing never really left us. It was just dormant for awhile. Great story.

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  6. That's sweet your mom is your best friend. And funny she still has all those old TV guides.

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  7. Hi Julie. Just stopping in as one of the co-hosts, and am now your newest follower. Nice to meet you!

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  8. Lovely story. Made me tear up. You definitely know how to evoke emotion.

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  9. You are an excellent story teller, Julie. I love how your pieces evoke sweet emotions, deep meaning, and humor. From your descriptions of your mom (I laughed that she marvelled at how well you cleaned your plate), the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
    xoRobyn

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  10. Melissa - Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Now if only our kids appreciated us as much!

    Delores - "Disaster on the playground" was inevitable for me anyway, so I enjoyed the satisfaction in having my papers read. Now if my math test results were read instead, it would be a different story! Thanks Delores and I hope you're feeling better!

    Katie - Thanks for co-hosting this fun-filled blogfest! Unfortunately, I still excel at cleaning my plate!

    Yvonne - Thanks and have a fabulous trip!

    LG - So true about being "dormant for awhile." In my case it was a very long time, but hopefully it will all come together one day. Thanks LG!

    Alex - She finally parted ways with her collection a few years back, but it wasn't easy! Thanks Alex!

    Matt - Thanks for co-hosting this wonderful blogfest,and for following me!

    Tonja - Thanks so much Tonja, and I can always count on you to make me laugh, cry or root for your kids! Julie

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  11. Haha, oh wow. Funny how these things stay with us, and our moms don't really remember! Great origins story.

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  12. Love this story, Julie! You are so skilled at weaving touching moments and humor together, your stories always make me laugh and get teary-eyed at the same time. What a beautiful relationship you have with your mom.

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  13. What a wonderful story, Julie. I'm glad you had a teacher who believed in you, too. Makes a difference, doesn't it?

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  14. Julie~I for one am glad you became an empty nester! I so enjoy your blog and I think you are a wonderful writer and quite a talented poet as well. Thank you for sharing how you came up with the name of your blog. You are very lucky to have had a mom that was not only a mom but a friend as well… I will try and contribute to this request. I think it is important for other out hors to understand what part of the soul our words come from…Hope you and yours are well… Much love always…… Lou xoxo

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  15. Awww - kind of a bittersweet ending, there! I can't say that my parents ever saved any of my writing, either, though they did save my hand-drawn cards. It's great that you are enjoying getting into writing though via blogging. Blogging has been such an adventure for me!

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  16. The last paragraph made me laugh. Liked how you brought that all back together. Horseback riding was the first time I discovered I was good at something. Writing came shortly on its heels.

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  17. That is such a wonderful tale(even though she didn't keep the story). You went above and beyond, giving us two ORIGIN's in one, birth of a writer and birth of a blog. :) Thank you so much for sharing today!

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  18. Nice to meet you via the blogfest--such a great story about your mom being your best friend! And yes, writing is great b/c you can sit in your pjs and compose. Not an empty nester yet, just trying to write while the kids are still at home!

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  19. Robyn - Thanks Robyn, and you are an excellent story teller, poet, romance writer and chocolate advocate! I also loved your Penthouse story!

    Jennifer - I really enjoyed your story too, though I almost had to sleep with the light on afterward! Thanks Jennifer!

    Julie - Thanks so much and I always look forward to your stories that inform and entertain!

    Susan - The difference is that my teacher may have just felt sorry for me! You picked a fabulous first blogfest Susan!

    Lou - Thanks for the kind words and I hope you started writing again. I look forward to seeing more of your heartfelt poems!

    Margo - I remember saving some of my boys' best papers, and after writing this I better make sure I put them in a safe place! Thanks for following me, and I hope to see more of you!

    Mary - Thanks, and your story had all the ingredients of a touching Hallmark movie! I admire your perseverance Mary!

    DL - Speaking of going above and beyond, you really outdid yourself with this blogfest and I loved your story! Between this and Deja Vu you pulled together 2 amazing blogfests in a matter of a few months! Thanks so much for everything DL!

    Heather - You were wise to get started sooner than later. Thanks for following me and I look forward to getting to know you!

    Julie

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  20. wonderful story!
    its amazing what some kinds words can do for one's self esteem!

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  21. What a great "origins" story. You have been a writer at least since you were old enough to write :-) Probably a born writer... I think the gift of story is truly that--a gift. It is innate among some humans. Learning technique...lol, not so much innate. Wonderful post. I would love to do this next year. :-)

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  22. Nice story with Mom. Glad I found this through the origins fest

    Bornstoryteller #132

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  23. Tara - And it's something we never grow out of! Thanks Tara!

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  24. Teresa - This has been a great blogfest! I'm glad that you're doing A to Z, and I really appreciate your thoughtful comment!

    Stuart - Thanks for visiting me and I will do the same! Julie

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  25. My heart is aching. . . I feel rejected!

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  26. I love, love this story! OMG - so beautiful. You are an amazing writer. Keep it up! I think finally I can write things with my name and not anonymous? I'll publish and find out! xoxoxox

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  27. Anon - I don't think we officially became best friends until a few years later. If I had written about you, you probably wouldn't have thought to save it either. And there is the issue of you not inviting me to your Sweet 16....but you have more than made up for it! Btw, why do you always wear dark glasses and a hat whenever we go out together?

    Sue - You certainly are becoming bold! Have you been drinking Shamrock Shakes for liquid courage?! This means so much coming from a college professor, a doctor no less! Thanks Sue!

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  28. It's so nice to learn how other people became writers :) Lovely to meet you too :) I love your blog :)

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  29. That's a wonderful tale. Funny, I would think a teacher is just asking for trouble having the class write about fellow students - that's got trouble written all over it. Nice to meet you!

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  30. I'd like to know why anon wears dark glasses when you go out together too! Seriously though, that is really moving. As you may remember my Mum died almost a year ago. Recently when I was sorting through some of her things (I've still not sorted it all) I found the needle case I made for her in sewing class. I couldn't have been more than about 7 years old and it wasn't much of a needle case but she'd been using it to keep her needles in all these years and I never knew. There'll be other things that your Mum has kept. Trust me. I know there will.

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  31. Hi Julie!
    Great to meet you on this blogfest.I Love how you went against the grain and wrote about your mom. What a special person she must be.

    your newest follower,
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  32. Jade - I've also enjoyed learning how other people have become writers, and meeting interesting bloggers like you! Thanks for following me!

    JeffO - I don't think I really thought of it as a competition at the time. I was just happy I knew how to spell mom. Nice to meet you too JeffO!

    Rosalind - I love that your mum saved your needle case, and I know that you still miss her dearly. My mom held on to this ugly sculpture of a head that I made in grammar school, and it was so ugly that I finally made her throw it out. I think I only completed one side of his head, but for some reason she displayed it in the kitchen. Thanks Rosalind, and you were right again!

    Nutschell - You look very familiar. Are you sure we haven't met before? Thanks for following me, and I look forward to getting to know you better! Julie

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  33. Aw what a sweet story. My Mum is one of my best friends too. Nice to meet you on this great blogfest :)

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  34. And again, you get me at the end! I love how you always manage to add in a just that right bit of flavour at the right time. That's the sign of a true writer!

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    1. A touching story and a revelation about a writer. Your Mom was so much honored by you.

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  35. I always try to clean my plate. And a complete collection of TV guides? How awesome is that?!! You were fortunate to have the typewriter in high school. I only got to use one when my father would bring his home from work or in college when I'd go the library to use the ones there. I would have loved to have had my own typewriter.

    Lee
    Is product placement tacky?
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  36. I'm so behind on the Origins bloghopping! What a sweet story--and how special that you had those times with your mom!

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  37. I'm sure that you cherish the time spent with your parents. Your story was lighthearted and refreshing.

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  38. Claire - So nice to have met you too, and thanks for following me!

    Talli - Thanks for giving me hope, and I look forward to reading more of your books. You'll probably be completed with your next novel before I get caught up with Willow!

    Manzanita - Thanks so much, and I'm still thinking about how much fun your family must've had with the baseball team!

    Lee - They were just the free ones that used to come in the Sunday paper, and truth be told I was a pretty picky eater, but I always cleaned my ice cream bowl! I was lucky to have had my own typewriter though, and it really helped me get through college. Thanks Lee!

    Laura - I'm also behind, but it's nice that we can always go back. Thanks Laura!

    Jackie - Thanks for visiting me, and for the kind words!

    Julie

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  39. Julie, this is a beautiful essay and a touching tribute to your mother all rolled into one neat package. Just excellent.

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    1. Thanks so much for making my day Carol! On second thought, you've given me enough encouragement to last through the month! Julie

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  40. I imagine your mother had *many* memories of your accomplishments. YOU ARE her Gold Star!

    We mothers often seem more interested in whether or not our kid is still alive and well (i.e. "clean your plate"), than if we kept that special achievement with the rest of the special achievements, which tend to overwhelm even the deepest of cedar chests and scrapbook albums. *g*

    I love your best friend story of Origin, Julie! It looks like you've chosen the right path for you since your kids shuffled out the door. Ours are getting closer by the day. Please say they come back! *wink*

    So glad to *meet* you here on the Fest!

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  41. Sucen - Thanks for following me!

    Scarlett - I'm so glad to meet you too! Thanks for your lovely comment, and yes our kids do come home for breaks! I enjoy reading your fun blog and look forward to sharing lots of laughs with you! Julie

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  42. I love your writing story. It is interesting the paths that lead us to this road. I am here via an early A to Z wonder about. I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Valerie, Thanks for following me, and I look forward to learning more about you!

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  43. Greetings from a fellow Empty Nester! I'm visiting from the A to Z Challenge sign up list. Enjoyed your story!

    KarenG

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  44. What a great beginning! And how nice that you and your mom are best friends - I hope she appreciates it :) It's not everyone who is a good plate cleaner and a good writer! :)

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  45. What a sweet Origin story! Wish I was that close to my mom. And now I know why you are so wildly creative: you're a lefty! BTW - you've been tagged. Hop on over to my place if you wanna know more. I hope you participate. I'd love to know even more about you!

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  46. Karen - Thanks for visiting me, and I'm looking forward to the A to Z Challenge!

    Susanna - Hey, maybe this would be a good pitch for a children's book! Thanks Susanna!

    Nancy - Thanks for " tagging" me! Speaking of being "wildly creative," you did a great job with the questions! It was nice of you to think of me! Julie

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  47. I love your story. It is interesting lead us to this roads of journey I am here via an early A to Z wonder about.

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  48. What a moving story, Julie. It is funny how some events and experiences stick with us and shape who we become. You truly have become a magical writer...I really felt completely drawn into your tale and could almost feel your mother's presence on the corner of "the page".

    What a wonderful Origins post - thanks for sharing it.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  49. Jeremy - Thanks for stopping by and I'm heading over to your place!

    Jenny - Thanks for the lovely comment! I've never been called a "magical writer" before, and will treasure this moment for a long time to come! Julie

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