Southern Roots and Northern Blossoms

Hello to my readers and to any new followers I’ve gained recently! Thank you for reading my words. I started this blog two years ago, and I am so glad I did. When I started writing two years ago, I just wanted a place to record my thoughts and practice the habit of writing. Over time, however, I found my voice, and my writing has evolved. Now I mostly write about my journey as a writer, but I also write about my life here in Wisconsin and my memories about the South and sometimes about what is happening in the world that evokes a response from me. I hope you’ll find my posts meaningful and my words at times funny, poignant, interesting, provocative, and encouraging. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll follow my journey!

When I moved to the Midwest some 20 years ago, I had no idea what my life would hold. The title of my blog, Southern Roots and Northern Blossoms, came from something my mother’s friend, Shirley Friedman, said to me after I expressed my concerns to her about moving away from all that was familiar and comfortable. I was concerned I wouldn’t be successful away from the South, the only home I had ever known. She said, “Now, sugar, you have southern roots but you’ll have northern blossoms.” She was right. I’ve found success here in all the ways that truly matter, with my friends, my family, my career(s), and my dreams, and I want to share my insights and observations with you, my readers.

Since I moved here, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover both my profession, teaching, and my calling, writing. Though I was always interested in writing–I was an English major after all–I had no idea how to go about writing stories or novels. Then I took a class with Richard Behm at UW-Stevens Point called Teaching Creative Writing, a part of renewing my teacher certification. I discovered my love of creating a story, of bringing into the world something completely original which had never been before. Shortly after taking that class, I proposed, wrote curriculum for, and began teaching a creative writing class to high school students. What I didn’t expect was that I would find my passion for writing in that class. Before that I was a dabbler, a wannabe writer. During and after teaching that class, I took my writing seriously and have now completed my first novel and am working on my second while I revise my first.

If you’re an aspiring author, I hope you’ll find in me a kindred spirit who shares your love of words, images, and stories. I’ll share with you what I’ve learned and also what I’m reading, especially passages that sing. If you’re from the South, I hope you’ll find my memories resonate with you and remind you of aspects of the South that you love. If you’re from the Midwest, I hope you’ll see this region with the same wonder and affection I do, except for winter. I’m not sure I’ll ever appreciate winter.  Expect some sarcasm and occasional whining in that season. 🙂 Wherever you’re from I hope you’ll follow my blog and share your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear from you!

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