Here is a part of that blog entry:
I am a school teacher. Though I retired last year, I still can’t say I ‘was’ a school teacher. It defined me for the past thirty years – almost half my lifespan to date. I took it very seriously, and loved every year. My hair was long, and I most often wore it pulled back or twisted up. When, at forty, eyeglasses completed the look, friends teased me about being the stereotypical school teacher. As I liked being a teacher, that suited me just fine.
One year, I had a student skilled as a sketch artist, and she came to ask me after school if I would let her sketch me. I said yes, and as she worked, she told me that she was intrigued with my hair, twisted up and into a bun each day. She said, with the coloring of gray streaks amid brown with occasional reddish-blond strands, it reminded her of a cinnamon bun. I liked that description, and liked the sketch she finished. She liked it, too, and submitted it to the school’s monthly newspaper. I can’t put my hand on it now, but know I saved it for several years afterward, flattered that my schoolteacher stereotypical look had made an impression on a student.
The teacher across the hall from me just a few years ago was a young man, and we shared many conversations about government and politics, amazingly in sync with each other’s perspectives. People would expect that we would have disagreed, coming from different genders and generations; rather, we would share our views and have fun trying to impose today’s national challenges on our leaders from centuries before. It was my privilege to teach nineteenth century history, with all of the excitement about abolition and westward expansion, and we would discuss immigration and women’s rights today with equanimity. The little old lady with the bun in her hair and the tall handsome young man were a pair to see, heads together sharing historical pictures, and laughs that brought other heads up to see what was so funny.
To read the full guest blog entry, be sure to visit Madison's blog by clicking here.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Oh yes, I always learn something by writing the truth! I learn how I came to a decision, or who was in my way, or how I managed to go around an obstacle, or deal with an issue. Most of what I learn is that I am a strong person, that I have dealt with much in life so far, and that I can handle whatever is ahead.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers? Read, read, read. Pay attention to what you are reading. Listen to the flow of words in a sentence. Pay attention to punctuation and use it sparingly but accurately.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you for reading. Remember why I said I write: I have a message to share in each of my books. It is my message, and if you agree with it, or have an Aha moment, please tell me. And if you disagree with it, write for yourself my message and yours, and then share your results with others. With today's technology we can self-publish quickly and easily, but it will not do much for your self esteem if you don't edit carefully.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ? I have done so many things already, before becoming a teacher, while being a teacher, but if I could start over as a young person, I wouldn't do anything differently. I've only begun publishing my writing, and I have so much more to write ... what I write today is different than what I might have written younger, but if I were writing younger, I wouldn't have all the memories to write about that I have.