just a smidgen

Behind the Scenes: A Blog Tour of My Writing

Da Vinci quote
I was asked to join a writing blog tour, so this post is a departure from the norm. My food writing friend, Marlene from Life Through the Kitchen Window, invited me to write the next piece for a growing blog tour called: A Behind the Scenes Blog Tour of My Writing. It’s an opportunity to get a behind the scenes glimpse at how blog writers craft their words. We are asked to answer four simple questions.
I have been following Marlene’s blog for some time now and love her unique photography and writing style. Not long ago, I was thrilled to learn that Mar was in town and I had the opportunity to meet with her in person and chat over a cup of coffee. Her response to the Blog Tour can be found by clicking here. Mar is one of the few food writers I know that have taken her passion to the next level by teaching cooking classes and writing a weekly column! Marlene Cornelis is a London-based food blogger and local freelance food writer who believes life is better when you have fun in the kitchen — and then write about it!
See her philosophy —  Real Food, Real Simple, Real Flair — in action at Life Through the Kitchen Window.


My Writing Process

What am I working on?

Well.. right now I have a huge pan filled with homemade granola baking in the oven and it fills my home with the scent of browning oats and pecans. Handfuls of dates will be tumbled through the warm granola after it bakes. Outside birds twitter their discontent over the heaps of wet snow that have ravaged their tree branches. All of my family is home together and my puppy is curled beside me… and I write.

My words and poems are inextricably woven into these simple threads of my world. Visually and emotionally based, they give voice to my every day experiences.

I would love to say that I have a novel in the works, but I’m just not that sort of writer. I won’t say it will never happen, but for now, I write poetry. I have this blog to “gather” my poems together and publishing them here is enough for me. I think sharing my writing on other blogs or in magazines is lovely if it inspires others to write or to read poetry.

I have written a Chap Book, a series of poems, I am still not sure if I will ever attempt to publish it. It was the process of writing that I needed, it was my way of examining a series of events and the emotions of the people involved in an experience that was life altering for my family.. it was my way of making sense where there was none to be found. I would like to take a poetry writing class and have someone give me feedback on these and other poems. So taking my writing to the next level by going to school isn’t out of the question.. but for some reason, I’m afraid learning “how” to write poems will take away the spontaneous joy I have when writing them.

I have the words to a child’s picture book written and my next goal is to take an Illustration class so that I can add drawings and paintings to my words. The idea of giving it to a professional illustrator has crossed my mind, but there’s a little voice inside me that tells me I should illustrate it myself.

So, at some point it might be time to take more art lessons (painting and drawing) and these, too, will inspire my poetry.

How does my work differ from those of this genre?

My blog writing is different in that my photography, projects, recipes and words all intertwine. Not every post is a poem, but most have poetic phrases in them. Sometimes I quote poets and poems that I love and almost always my beliefs about life and the world around me are apparent. As a mother of two, this blog is a place I hope my two children can look to one day, not just for recipes and crafts, but for answers to some of life’s questions.

Given that my words simply tumble out, inspired by a singular moment or thought that comes to mind might make my poetry different, but I doubt it. Almost all of my writing is visually and emotionally charged, it simply follows a path from my heart to the page. I don’t plan, I don’t write for any other purpose than to document the thoughts and feelings that often take me by surprise. I guess in that sense I am a “backwards” writer, I don’t have a plan or purpose in mind and I seem to write every day even though that’s not the goal.

Why do I write what I do?

Like many, I grew up with a diary, then journaled and I have always had a passion for books, paper, pens and writing. Words are my twin, they echo my essence and writing makes sense of who I am and how I am connected with those around me. I would be remiss not to mention that the beauty of our earth is one of my greatest inspirations and I love to write when I am moved by the simplest of moments whether hiking or just sitting still in nature.

How does my writing process work?

Usually an emotion stirs, then a single word or phrase comes to mind and rests there for a while. Often first thing in the morning, before everyone is awake, this creative process begins. My mind wanders and turns words and phrases around until I think “I must remember to write this down”.

I am still learning about different forms for poems and often just write free verse. Sometimes it’s a real challenge getting my ideas and words to conform to a “required” number of syllables and lines. I write then rewrite so many drafts I lose track. Sometimes even days after I’ve published something I will go back and rework my words to get it just right.

So my blog isn’t really just food writing and it isn’t styled after a simple diary or journal entry. Each entry is a “finished piece” of writing, together with photography and a DIY or recipe that ties it everything together. It’s more like writing the book of my life, I guess, with each blog entry a “chapter”.

I would like to introduce you to the next writer in our growing Blog Tour of writers: Cecilia of The Kitchens Garden. Her photography is incredible and her writing takes my breath away.. it’s that good. She documents her life on the farm, but interspersed are words so beautifully crafted that they inspire me to keep writing!

Cecilia of the The Kitchens Garden is a New Zealander who lives, works, writes and documents her farming days on the the Great Plains of Illinois.  She takes us along as she zooms up and down the learning curve of growing her own good, clean food. In fact her goal is to feed herself and her reluctant husband for a year from her own farm. She hates going to the supermarket that much! Her daily farm journal with pictures is all about this journey. 
Love, Smidge


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