In the Berry Patch is the direct descendant of a simple writing exercise. The instructions were to choose five interesting adjectives and five interesting nouns, then pair them up in different  combinations. Try it—it’s fun! Take my list, if you like: drowsy, merry, tattered, darkling, and crinkled, and mix and match them with echoes, sunbeams, birdsong, strains, and wishes. You’ll get things you probably wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I know I did—crinkled wishes, drowsy sunbeams…

I don’t know that I would’ve come up with "tattered birdsong" otherwise, and I loved the little picture it put in my mind-- a cold winter setting with a raw wind rattling old berry canes, and from somewhere deep within the tangle comes a snippet of song, just a frayed little tatter, nothing more. It begged to have something more done with it, so I wrote a little haiku-inspired verse around it:
                                 Tattered birdsong                                           
                                                  from brambles
Nice. Still wasn’t enough, though. That little shred of a picture kept at me, wanting to be expanded into something more. I finally sat down one day and wrote it at the top of a blank page of college-ruled notebook paper. (No keyboards for my rough drafts—I’m a pen-and-paper gal!) Started to write, not knowing what the heck I was writing—fact or fiction, children’s or adult, story or essay. The story took shape word by word, and I was happy to see it turning into something that could be a home for some of my own memories. While the story is fiction, many of the details came from my childhood, and the main characters are composites of some of my relatives.
When I began writing the story, I had the thought that if it turned out to be something I was happy with, I’d send it around to publishers and see if I could find one who liked it; if not, then I might look into self-publishing. However, the closer I got to finishing the book, and the more I was learning about self-publishing, the more that option made sense, and that is indeed the route I chose. So, after receiving  feedback from several readers and making the necessary revisions, it then became a matter of finding an illustrator and a printer, and now finally, at long last, I have a book!

3/26/2013 04:06:49 am

Great, keep up the good work.
I'll have to try a "haiku"...someday.

Aunt Marlene
3/27/2013 01:39:38 am

Great first book. Keep up the good work. Love this site. Very proud of you.

3/27/2013 12:14:00 pm

Wow! You did it! Your blog is up and running, you have a website and you are ready to get your AWESOME book out to the world! I was reading "In the Berry Patch" out loud to my kids the other night and we were so much enjoying it! (And it's been a little while since I've read out loud to my kids, being that they are in middle school and high school!) I just told my eldest..."I'm so proud of 'Mrs. G', look what she did!"

I hope to see you on Twitter and Pinterest in short order!


Wendy @Kidlutions

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