Monday, March 22, 2010

Writing as a Keepsake

Saturday I attended my writers group (MFCW). I taught the lesson this time and used this month's Writing to Distraction writing prompt as it's basis. "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon is a wonderful poem that incorporates aspects of her life into the prose.  It creates a wonderful writing exercise and as a result you end up with a keepsake that tells a little bit about who you are.  The benefits are numerous: it records your legacy, is clutterless, is good therapy, it's lot's of fun, and it gets the creative juices flowing for poets, auto-biographers, and even fiction writers.

To start the lesson off I brought a box filled with some of my own keepsakes, things that tell where I'm from. Then I asked the members if they would each share a few things that tell us where they are from. I was very touched by how much sharing occurred.  It gave us the opportunity to get to know one another better and share some special things about our lives. There were lots of smiles, laughs, and even some tears.

Then I read the poem "Where I'm From".  At this point I could see the writer in everyone emerge. You see, they already had shared. They already had something to write about.  So in essence, our time of sharing was a brainstorming session.  After this I shared some tips for writing our own "Where I'm From" poem.

We spent about 15 minutes or so writing, it's amazing how fast the ideas come once they start to flow.  We shared our rough drafts with one another. I think we were all amazed.  It was nice sharing something that wasn't all polished off either and for me, that was an exercise in itself.  I feel so much closer to the group now and more comfortable sharing what I've written. I also have a new keepsake that is meaningful to me personally and that I can share with others.

Here's Where I'm From . . .
I am from kings and queens, and the land of trolls, from crusaders, and pilgrims, and pioneers. I’m from Pinnacle Rock, Camp Marion, Mississippi moons, Endless Mountains, Snow Falls, Streams in the Desert, and Beulah Land.  I’m from Tak så mycket, pickled herring, and two bits. I’m from molasses cookies, stuffed quahogs, and steamed clams. I am from Lily of the Valley and Lady's Slippers.

I’m from my own little corner in my own little world, these are a few of my favorite things, and somewhere over the rainbow.    I’m from What Color is Love?, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and Tell Me Why.  I’m from dandelion wishes and good night prayers.  I’m from family Bibles with worn passages.  I’m from “Jehovah Jireh” written into the front steps .  

I’m from wandering into the wardrobe, thinking outside the box, never ending stories, and the land time forgot.  I’m from exploring trails on horseback, chasing butterflies, and collecting precious stones.   I’m from ancient ruins, castles in the air, dream houses,  an era gone by.

I’m from the prison of hope, the valley of pain, mountains of praise, manna in the wilderness, crossroads of faith, rivers of joy. I’m from “Jesus Loves Me This I know”, “Precious Jewels”,  “He’s Everything to Me”, and "My Father's Eyes".  I’m from “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow”.

I’m from Lapis Lazuli, crystal tears, a stained glass heart, and vanquishing fears.  I’m from learning how to walk again. Knowing who I am. I’m from a garland of grace. I’m from love and faithfulness written on the tablet of my heart.  I’m from a jewel in His crown.  I’m from the God of second chances, and many more.

Remember, this is the March Writing Prompt & Giveaway.  Some of you have already entered. So don't be shy.  We'd love to read where you are from!

If you don't have a blog and would like a chance to share your poem, please email it to me and I'll post it here.

 Have you done any writing as a keepsake? I'd love to hear about it . . .


  1. Beautiful Carla, just beautiful.


  2. This was beautiful!

    A story I wrote about my daughter Jolene--about her treasure box that revealed much of what she held precious, that we discovered after her death--has been published in Too Soon to Say Goodbye. But I should do one like this for my own life. ;)

  3. Darlene, I'll have to look at that post about Jolene's treasure box. Precious. It may be healing for you to do your own. Love you.

  4. Blessings and prayers,

  5. Wonderful idea, I'll have to bookmark this! Thanks for sharing:)

  6. Awesome, Carla. I think I'm from the nuthouse, but shhhhhh, don't tell anyone!

    I'm sorry I missed your class. I REALLY would have liked to go!

  7. I'm glad you all enjoyed my poem. It's such a fun thing to write and I recommend it to you all, even if you don't get to it by the giveaway deadline of the 31st.

    Groovyoldlady, I won't a word! Maybe you can come to the group next time. Btwy, I would love, love, to read your "where I'm from" poem.

  8. Hi Carla -

    Delightful! I'll have to give this a try.

    Susan :)

  9. Love this Carla! I enjoyed reading the others as well.


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