Posts Tagged ‘daughters’


mother daughter workshops

March 13, 2014

I teach a number of workshops with my writing partner and middle grade author extraordinaire, Lindsay Eland. Our favorite is the mother daughter class.

For two hours, Lindsay and I lead middle school girls and their moms through an adventure of writing and artistic expression. It’s a blast.

First, we introduce ourselves by creating opening pages in a journal. Then partners swap journals with each other and make a page for the other person. Moms generally paste pictures, phrases, and words like “beautiful, strong, and spirited” on their daughter’s pages. The girls post their own descriptions, often offering insight to their mom’s lives. In our last class, one girl cut out a picture of a yawning lion and said, “My mom is strong like a lion, but she yawns a lot.” I can relate.

The class continues with lots of laughter, animated conversation and personal convictions, ending far too soon. At the end, we ask the girls to share books that they’d like their moms to read and vice-versa. It’s an empowering exercise: one that I think more parents should try.

If you have kids, ask them what they think you ought to read. It might surprise you. I guarantee they’ll be excited that you asked and elated if you actually read them.


The Help

January 14, 2010

We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought. –The Help by Kathryn Stockett

In honor of Martin Luther King, my blog takes a different approach this entry.

Someone told me The Help was a book about Southern Black maids, and the women they served during the early 1960’s. It is. But it’s so much more.

Kathryn Stockett wrote a fictional book about Jackson, Mississippi during desegregation. She wrote about mothers and daughters. Race. Culture. And identity. She wrote a story about the poor and the rich. About suffering and triumph.

She writes of women.

There are so many things I could say about The Help, but I’ll say only one. Read it.