Friday, June 3, 2011


Mornings in Paris, 2011

I adored reading and writing stories when I was a little girl. Library visits with Mom began early.

My love of reading slowed down during the school year in high school. I still enjoyed reading during the summer months, I just didn't like being told what to read. My desire to write grew during this time. We were given assignments, but I recall a generous amount of freedom within those assignments. I need freedom. This also began early. I was inspired. I wrote all sorts of things and wanted to write more.

As an undergrad, the university drained my love of reading and writing and there was a period of recovery following graduation. My mother brought me back to reading with The Kitchen God's Wife. It was the first non-required book I had read in years. I was lost in it and it sparked a new interest in reading fiction that remains with me today.

After writing my resume and cover letter, there just wasn't much of a need to write. Sure, I wrote what I needed to write for work, but nothing fun or creative -- pure function. Thankfully, I did keep a journal. I wrote in it sporadically during most of the year and obsessively while on vacation.

Graduate school is what brought me back to writing. The funny thing is that my major was photography. Focusing on distilling my visual art down to the essence of what I wanted to say brought me back to writing. I was constantly trying to sort out my intentions, thoughts, and feelings and writing it all down was most helpful.

Now I have this workshop with instant publishing and people like you reading what I write, offering support, and consistently recommending fabulous books. Thank you. This is not something I could have predicted even ten years ago. Technology can be pretty amazing.

I was late to the game. My first reluctant entry was in 2008. This space began as a joint project with my husband. We wanted to document our kitchen garden. Obviously, things are quite different now.

I'm not sure how to explain what keeps me going or inspires me to write in this space. I just know I like it here.


  1. I'm glad you're here. You always inspire me.

  2. <3
    (and i don't use internet-speak-symbols lightly...i truly enjoy your posts, writing + photos)

  3. What a great post, Denise.

    Technology can be pretty amazing indeed. I will say though, the Kindle and other devices that take away from the cedar-dust smell, paper folds, and fluttering pages are quite alarming to me.

    Your memories of visiting the library with your mom, ring close to heart.

    Again, great post.

  4. Your words are a pleasure to read, well thought and carefully placed.

  5. So glad you decided to fill this space. Your words and photos are a gift. Keep it going... X

  6. ... and I like your space.
    so, so much!

  7. ah, the backstory that sheds light on your photography as well.
    as writers all, we need to write, and we want to be read.
    these workshops, as you rightly name our blogs, satisfy both.

  8. I love that you name our blogs, workshops. Just love that!

  9. Every post is a joy to read and your photos as well! I'm so glad to be here and share all of that. I too felt my love of reading fade at school and university, a syllabus kills all inspiration for me but perhaps it would be different for me now. Today I feel lost when I can't read at least a few lines and have a huge pile of books to get through. The Internet is such a great tool, how our paths cross.

  10. I'm glad you chose to create and sustain this space because it's a joy coming back to it again and again. Keep up with the love of reading and writing! It's nurturing these passions of ours that make us truly feel alive and inspired. And is there anything else better than that?

  11. oh, yesss. i like it here, too.

    was just pondering the very same thought...always do, truth be told.

    years of working in bookshops killed my love of reading, but slowly it returns, bit-by-bit. x

  12. Ah, and so the fabulous photos are explained....

    I lived at the library as a child. Even in my teen years i would stagger home with a stack of a dozen books at a time. This left me with little homework time.

    The love of reading has never left me. And brought me to your blog to stay.

    Keep writing, I'll keep reading.

    xo Jane

  13. The small town where I grew up had no library but a book mobile that came every so often. I remember it the size of a UPS truck, lined from floor to ceiling with shelves of books, mainly paperbacks.

    I loved that tiny library, the escape it offered me from a school where I didn't fit and a desert with no where to hide.

  14. I love each and every post of yours, Denise.

    Your major was photography? - I'm jealous!! It didn't occur to me that I COULD major in something like that when I was in college.

    I know exactly what you mean about reading. I used to daydream, in college, about graduating so I could actually read something I wanted to read.

  15. I am so delighted you are here. And I too sometimes wonder why I still am, but I know there is a reason.

  16. I like reading your stories. I am often curious how you can write so freely. Tonight,I came back to your site because I wanted to read something good, something which lead me to cozy mood. Thanks for the another story, Danisse.
    I hope you keep writing as your heart desires.

  17. Thank you for sharing your journey, Denise. I love your writing and have often wondered what you did in college to get you to this place. My oldest son has an interest in photography and plans to use that for his major, too. Your post gave me more hope for him in pursuing his passion.

  18. I am so happy to be in your "workshop". The digital age has lots of downs, but this sharing thing is what I love of it, and making remote friends with common spirits, that I probably would have never met without the computer.

  19. and I know I like reading what you write here. I find your words, book suggestions, thoughts, and poetry references inspiring and thought-provoking. Thank you. Annie x

  20. Tracy, :)

    Pen and Paperie, Thank you.

    Nix, I still love holding and reading real books, but I'll never say never. I used to think I'd never leave my beloved darkroom or touch a digital camera.

    Poshyarns, Thanks.

    Janis, For now, I am happy, so on I go.

    Tiziana, Thank you.

    nancy, Yes, these workshops seem to work pretty well.

    Jane, It removes the pressure.

    Emily Vanessa, The internet can be a great tool. It's in the way that you use it, as the song goes.

    Joanna, No, there really isn't anything better.

    Lucy, Thank you. I know now not to ever work in a book shop.

    Jane (flwrjane), I remember knowing the number of books we were allowed to take out at once and always wanting the maximum. I'm still working on not piling up too many books, but things could be worse. I'll take this as an acceptable problem.

    Rachael, My closest library branch is closed for renovation and we have a book mobile, very close to what you describe, that visits weekly. I remember seeing the library as a welcome escape when I was 11 years old and we moved across the country. I did not enjoy being the new kid in school. Judy Blume helped.

    Lecia, My undergraduate degree was a BS, Psychology major. My graduate degree was not an actual degree in Photography, it was an MFA. We didn't technically have majors, I believe we chose a focus for our intended curriculum/area of study. My focus was in photography, but I experimented with many mediums.

    mosey, There is a reason. You inspire people.

    coco, Thank you. I like the way you put it -- I will continue to write as my heart desires.

    the Lady, Just to be clear, my undergraduate degree was a BS in Psychology. Photography came after years in the corporate world, in grad school, much much later.

    Amelia, I totally agree. The ability to connect with people we'd never have connected with without this technology is such a big change in the way we live.

    Annie, Thank you.

  21. i can assure you, i love visiting your space.
    and it's interesting to discover you have this hang for photography too, because i remember this is how your blog first appealed to me. somewhere in the past you've had an image of a sprout in a glass of water (maybe my memory is not serving me well at all), and i kept coming back to it...
    so anyway, i find photography and wordography are sistas, really.

  22. n, I like that sprout in the jar too. It's always nice to see a comment from you. Thank you for visiting.