I’m just now cooling off from a whirl-wind workshop week at the South Central Service Cooperative where I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the finest teaching women the South knows how to produce. We wrote, shared student stories and lesson plans, fanned the 100-degree heat, and ate like dainty field-hands.
And the writing…the picture above is the cover of the hastily put-together anthology of the week’s mad scribbling. I’ve always said that teachers writing together is a modern-day version of the old quilting bee. We circle the cloth, rock the needles, offer recipes and advice, and join the stories of our lives with perfect corners and skillful stitching. It’s true, and this anthology is the quilt we made together in the Harmony Grove Auditorium. Never mind that our nimble fingers were on laptop computers instead of muslin, at the end of the day we carried the words home. It’s the Sisterhood of the Traveling Stories.
And those pictures on the cover? Stephanie gave a fabulous workshop on writing our school-child pasts. The teachers brought pictures of themselves as children and wrote rich memories from childhoods spent in the South Arkansas pines. In the Fall, they’ll share these stories with their students. More importantly, they’ll share themselves as writers with the young writers in their classrooms.
Meet the ladies…
Special thanks to Sonya Russell, Debbie Fleming, and everyone at the South Central Service Cooperative in Camden, AR for their expertise, attention to the smallest detail, and gracious hospitality.
8 thoughts on “The Scribbling Women of Harmony Grove”
That's really neato! Makes me want to round up a bunch of “alternative” kids like myself and have a write-in.
and hey, I sent you a zine, did you ever get it? I hope, cuz the mail has been wonky for me lately.
Julia, I got your zine and I LOVE IT! How often do you make these? I've shown it around to everyone. I think you and your bunch should get together for a writing marathon/write-in and make a special zine of it. What fun!If you manage it, please let me know all about it.
I've been out of town and such, so I'm a little behind. Your mag is going in the mail first thing Monday morning.
Awesome! I was wondering if you'd mailed yet. Then again, it took a box from Amazon a week to get here from IN, so I wouldn't be shocked if you had and it hadn't arrived for whatever reason…the government seems to enjoy searching my mail. Often.
I make zines like whenever I have the inspiration to; I was doing a weekly hand-written broadsheet for something like three years then I switched to a monthly short fiction mag (16-20 pages), and now I do more like “theme” zines when I feel the need to. I sort of want to get back on a regular production schedule, but I've moved past the “broody Freshman babybat” point and it's harder to get something to hold my interest week after week. Plus the sheer man-hours that go into it…I have too much of a social life. Maybe I'll start doing typewritten things more often, I dunno…*ponders*
That you showed it around makes me happier than flies on Elvis, or pigs in shit, whatever your preferred metaphor is. Like to know people appreciate things I make. :]
Hey, Monda!! No, I was not abducted by aliens. Just been a tad busy. How are ya?? LOVE writing workshops. This post reminds me of the writers groups I've belonged over the years, both “official” ones for college credit & unofficial. You have to have the right chemistry, too. 'Cause they can be awful if the vibe is not there. But when the chemistry is right, oh, it's so juicy!!
I see Emily has updated her blog background. You, too. Me, three. Love all the updates. Which it was as much fun to clean my actual house as it is to clean my virtual one!!
Sorry about the few typos above. That's what I get for typing after a full day of work. Meant to say “wish it was…” but you probably figured that out for yo-seff.
Have to ask — how's the knee?
I've been mighty busy too, Kathi. And you're right – it's all about chemistry.
I'm going to saunter over to your new blog layout and check it out. I love a good spring cleaning that doesn't involve Pine-Sol and sweat.
The knee is progressing slowly. I guess this sort of thing is faster when you're 18 or 20.
A lot of things are faster when you're 18 or 20.
Snowballs flying your way—being bored and staying in all day just throws those of us who can only focus for minutes. Good excuse to finish my book,THE LACUNA by B.Kingsolver. Great read!