Monday, October 21, 2013

Brussels Sprouts! Fall Garden!

We've never grown much besides lettuce, spinach and collards in our fall garden, but this year we're branching out to brassicas--broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. I have no idea how long this stuff takes to grow, but I love having a green garden in October.

The remains of the lima bean vine. It's done producing, but I can't bring myself to tear it down. It's a nice piece of architecture in the middle of the garden.

So here I am, posting a new post only minutes after I posted my last post! And I don't have much to say, but I'm trying to get back in the habit, so here goes.

I'm in the process of planning a summer writing workshop for kids. It would be a week-long morning workshop, and I'm interested in exploring not just the writing process but creativity in general. To that end, I want the workshop to involve a lot of creative play. You might write about a character, but you might also spend time drawing a map of your character's neighborhood, making a diorama of her room, even sewing her a (small) quilt and then explaining what the different fabrics mean to your character.

One of my dreams has been to "build" one of my books not only through words, but also through artifacts. Maps and wardrobes and forks and spoons and buttons. In a story I'm working on now, for instance, there is a weekly newspaper published for the town's African American community. If I built the world of this story, I'd actually write an issue of this paper and print it.

It would be a kind of theatre, I guess, with sets and props and costumes. I could have exhibits in my attic! I'd only charge a dollar to see it!

So I think my writing workshop would really be a world-building workshop. Do you build worlds? Do you have collections, altars, dollhouses?

Oh, before I forget, my Halloween quilt (I'm going to finish quilting it today, I hope):



Jo said...

I would have loved your workshop.I created all sorts of worlds as a child. There was the time I became obsessed with American pioneers (this was before I read the Little House books) and I made my whole room into a log cabin.
You should definitely transform your attic into Frances-world. I would absolutely pay a dollar to see that!
Good luck with the autumn garden..

Pom Pom said...

Hi Frances! I love your Halloween quilt!
I like your writing workshop idea of building a world. I think getting into the character that way is a sweet and growth-inducing exercise.
I like your fall garden, too! I couldn't wait to pull out the bean vines. I got tired of the beans.

Tracy said...

I wish I was a kid who lived near you. Your workshop sounds like a whole lot of fun. One of my favourite literacy activity discoveries this year is to show children the pictures in a picture book and get them to write the story they see.

It would be interesting to see an author's story artifacts. I would absolutely pay a buck (and probably more) to have a peek into what the author was envisioning when they wrote.

Beautiful quilt - as always. Because writing is not your only creative gift!

PS. I read one of your books (Secret Language of Girls) a couple of weeks ago. Miss Mischief adores your work, but I'd never read any of her 'Frances stash' myself. I LOVED it.

Gumbo Lily said...

Fall gardening sounds lovely. Mine is all put to bed. Just a few carrots remain in the soil until it REALLY freezes which might be this week.

The Halloween quilt is wonderful. How will you quilt it? You really can poop out the quilts, can't you?


GretchenJoanna said...

What a wildly cheerful quilt for the season!

Your workshop sounds very exciting. It brought back to me the feeling I had when I gave a series of creative writing workshops for homeschoolers many years ago - and before that it was a day-long thing I did called Lovable Language Day. (blush) It is wonderful that some children will have the chance to catch your spirit!

wayside wanderer said...

Beautiful garden! I want to take your writing workshop. One for children would be right about my speed, I think.