The Ghost of the Mill Girl

One of my takeaways from Sara Pennypacker (who has an awesome wardrobe) was something to the effect of  “we write stories to right injustices”.

One injustice was that of little Lalar Blanton. When I was her age, the bane of my existence being pushed into every team sport under the sun, the mean girl at school (who just so happened to be my teacher) and algebra homework. She had to work in a cotton mill probably not unlike the factories where much of our “stuff” is made today.

The crazy thing to me is, that was considered OK, possibly the moral high ground, in her day. As a 21st century mom whose kids better not leave school until they have a Master’s, that blows my mind.  It also makes me wonder what was done to me when I was a kid, what we do to our kids today, that will horrify future generations.

My money is on wild rice and CCD.

Writing Inspiration Thursday #1

The Backstory behind these Abandoned Places

I was fascinated this weekend with – well everything about SCBWI and the amazing geekery that was the steampunk-themed Miami conference in general – but specifically Lois Duncan’s workshop where we ran with basic character/goal/obstacle cards.  My classmates (workshop mates?) got everything from a story about a cheerleader who secretly wants to be a mathlete, to a mentally unstable ostrich looking to gain magical powers and fly.  I, ahem, wonder what weirdo came up with the latter?

The real topic of both those storylines, would’ve been self-acceptance. In other words, the same seed that becomes a state of the art in 2079, jumbo jet “smart” plane in one writer’s mind, becomes a phosphorescent, 12-legged octopus in another’s. That was one of my takeaways from the amazing Lois. And that’s what makes writing so addicting; we’re our own little gods in the universes of our laptops and minds.

If nothing else, these pictures plus time to let my/your imagination run wild, have got to make for some amazing writing fodder.

How did these places get abandoned? (I reject whatever logical explanation, I’m “out there” and an aspiring fiction writer) Why? There’s a book or ten in here somewhere…

And yeah, you read that right – I MET LOIS DUNCAN!