Getting down to the ‘Bones’ of writing

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, July 23, 2011

“What you fear will not go away. It will take you into yourself and bless you and keep you. That’s the world, and we all live there.” — William Stafford

I think the first day of school will be coming up before long and students will be writing their own thoughts in their first classes. However, I doubt this will be the case. Instead of students writing what is on their minds they will instead write what they will be told to write.

Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” ought to be introduced in the elementary grades. Fourth grade would be a good time to begin.

Email newsletter signup

“Writing Down the Bones” is utilized by Tim, an English teacher teaching in Adams who resides in Austin. The book needs to be in the hands of all students and the majority of English teachers or just plain old ordinary homerooms. And when they aren’t using them their siblings or parents could use them. They might even decide to have their own writing group.

The third Wednesday in Plainview begins at 7 p.m. where people gather from the area — that also includes Austin and Rochester. There are wonderful chocolate chip cookies and coffee available and an almost endless supply of used books.

There is an author who shares his work for the first 30 minutes or so. Last Wednesday it was Gary Holthaus. Some of you may have listened to Gary share his story along with his companion who provided the stimulating musical accompaniment at the library, a night to remember.

“Learning Native Wisdom (by Gary Holthaus) is perhaps the most profound and right-on, dead-center narrative I have read in a decade. These musings are uncannily brilliant in the way they refresh our sense of the already-hackneyed term sustainability. This book engages readers as if they are in active dialogue with a great mind and are being asked to think as deeply and passionately as the writer.” — Gary Paul Nabhan, author of “Where Our Food Comes From” and founder of Renewing America’s Food Traditions.

I suggest that you give some consideration to a third Wednesday in Plainview.