Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Slice of Life: Sharing our writing

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

Because I love to write, I have always invented ways and reasons for my family to write together. Now that my four daughters are between 14 and 20, I can't tell them what to do as much as I can model what I do and why I do it. Over the last 24 hours, both of my college-aged daughters have shared their work. Julia, a freshman, has been working on an essay about the intersections of songs and poetry (love this!) while Larkin, a junior, has been working on a wordless picture book. 

Many of you know my daughter Larkin either through her participation in the Slice of Life Challenge or because she has drawn several of the pictures that go with my blog posts. About a year ago, she told me that she was not only going to major in art, but she was also going to minor in writing. I can't tell you how fun it has been to share writing projects together!

For several years, I have worked on a middle grade fiction book, and some of the characters in it are fairies and squirrels. Larkin has contributed events, conversations, and descriptions--sometimes I get emails or pictures of her notebook pages where she has envisioned or created a scene from my story. Her divergent thinking always pushes my imagination, and I know she has both made me a better writer and my book a better  story. 

This fall, Larkin asked if she could use my basic plot line to create a wordless picture book for a class she is taking. Ummmm. Yes! Absolutely!!! She has shared some of the pages as she's painted them, but she finally sent the entire work to me yesterday. I'm sharing just a few screenshots of her paintings--there are actually 24 of them!

I'm also sharing this story because it's such a testament to the power of writing to bring people together. I sometimes wonder about the impact of my writing on my daughters, and Larkin's beautiful picture book is incredibly affirming to the importance of sharing our work with people we love.

Happy Writing!


  1. Those are incredible - what a powerful collaboration on so many levels! I cannot wait to read both books. It will be wonderful for you to share your process with teachers and students once your books are published!! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Those pictures are incredible! Thank you for sharing the impact of writing with not only us and your students, but your family. Your daughter is very talented.

  3. What a treasure... on so many levels!! It's no surprise your daughters are amazing.., they have the best role model!

  4. I remember about your family writing together, and think that's so awesome, Melanie. My daughter is a writer and has had a play produced, but her art museum job & now motherhood seems to have pushed it away, at least for now. We did do some early writing together, but no more. This collaboration between you and Larkin is over the top. The illustrations you've shared are so, so lovely. Please tell her I hope to read and review a book by the both of you someday!

  5. What a lovely thought to write together and have this connection for your conversations. The paintings are just beautiful and I too look forward to seeing it published.

  6. Wow, wow, wow! These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! And what an honor that she has used your plot as a basis for her art!

  7. The pictures are just charming, Melanie - what a beautiful collaboration!

  8. What a talent you have nurtured, what teamwork! Lovely, lovely.

  9. The ever-talented Larkin strikes again! Wow! Her illustrations are amazing. Why do I have a feeling that we're going to be featuring her in a TWT Author Spotlight a few years from now?

  10. So much talent in your family! Larkin's paintings are amazing! I hope to read this one day, as I am intrigued by fairies and squirrels interacting. :-)

  11. Your posts seem to come to my inbox a few days late. I love Larkin's work and since I know some of the story, they are all the more magical. I can't wait to hear where this project may lead the two of you.

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