If there is writer in the family then we are, by definition, a family that writes. The young in mine seem not to have trouble giving themselves the permission for which I fought so long and hard. My two daughters have written — Allison had her first short story published and Leslie has embarked on a series of novels with an unusual and feisty protagonist. My six grandchildren too dash off things as though there were nothing to it; both grandsons have had a stint at book reviewing and journalism, one granddaughter has ventured into the esoteric world of poetry along with playwriting.
All of them have written freely for whatever newsletters or other publications they are involved with. I am proud if I broke ground for my family, and perhaps I have pointed out a truth to others. She recently completed another work of fiction. What an interesting and inspiring piece! Thank you so much for giving it to us Blanche, and thank you Allyson for publishing it!
So many of us need that permission from … of all people … ourselves! The toughest critic, the loudest nay-sayer! I know this will give many of us courage. Thanks, Ally, for publishing that inspiring piece. Congratulations to Blanche Howard, and a big thank you to her for thinking of all of us.
Her spirit of encouragement shines through. Thanks, Allyson — What a great essay by Blanche Howard. I think having a busy life must help. Off now to read A Celibate Season. There it is. The question that every writer, at every level I think, needs to wrestle with sometimes.
Does the world REALLY need another book, essay, memoir, poem, story, travel piece or revelation on the great white light? Answer: yes!!! And I know it sounds obvious but everything is… obvious. Still, we need constant and regular reminding and those reminders come in all forms. For which I thank her, and you too, Allyson, for posting. Thanks for sharing this inspiring piece by Blanche Howard. Blanche is so right, we have to give ourselves permission to write.
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Granting Ourselves Permission to Write, an essay by Blanche Howard
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October 31, at pm. Yolanda M. May 17, at pm. Leave a Comment Click here to cancel reply. Site designed by Sidetrail Media Inc. I am proud of this work, but you know the story. My own creative work stalled. Winning the Loft Mentor Series in fiction for gave me time to focus on my writing again. The chance to work with mentors and fellow writers renewed my commitment to my fiction and inspired me to consider new possibilities.
How to Use Brand Names in Your Fiction (Just Like The Fault in Our Stars)
During this mentorship year, I revised deeply, wrote new stories, and clarified my vision for my manuscript. You may hear that it came to no good when Cha Cha McGee moved to town, but I will tell you otherwise. My aunt had sent me over with a blueberry pie. Cha Cha came to the door in bare feet and a yellow baby-doll negligee, two perfect round peaches where I kept my secret raisins. Her family was new, and she was one grade ahead of me in school.
She just stood there, looking at me through the screen door. Everyone already knew that the day before I turned eleven my parents and brother had driven off the high bridge by mistake. I thought maybe she was slow. I wanted Cha Cha to take that pie from me so that I could go home, but she had already decided that I should stay. Not thank you, or it looks wonderful, or how nice.
I wanted a witness. For someone with good sense and authority to see that pie. I wanted to teach Cha Cha something about how we did things. McGee around? And Mr. Can you believe that?
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The year before I might have laughed right along with her. I used to laugh like a regular girl. I could have pretended to laugh. I had learned how to do that. From the start, something about Cha Cha McGee made me want to tell the truth. For the first time of many, Cha Cha McGee gave me something unexpected and completely necessary. He only talks to me when he wants something. The twin boys are his own, but not me.
I was both uncertain and grateful regarding what I would later come to understand as her peculiar brand of kindness. But I was beginning to like her company.
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And Cha Cha McGee laughed at this. Oh, her laugh was a singular sound. I always take mine black. I could feel how clever she was, where this was going. I was worried that no one in charge had seen the pie yet, not knowing that most of the time, Cha Cha McGee was the one in charge.