Thanks to author Pat Mora for writing this blog.
I look back at my few pieces of writing, in pencil, from elementary school. How did I feel about writing on lined, tan paper long ago? I remember my pleasure typing on the gray typewriter I received when I graduated from eighth grade. I loved the feel of the keys, the peck, peck, peck. How mature I felt, in an odd way, validated by producing text. I typed rhyming poems. I still hunt-and-peck with two fingers.
I wrote as part of my English major and then on my students’ papers—the seventh and ninth graders, the high school juniors and college freshman, the community college students and the essays of university students. A major part of my writing life was that, of course, I was reading, and eventually reading to and with my own children. That duality, that strong braid of reading and composing text, my fascination with languages, particularly English and Spanish, became a significant way that I explore and learn.
In 2003, thanks to a Fellowship to write in Italy, I decided to explore the question that educators and librarians at all levels had asked me for years: how do you do what you do? How do you write? Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students was my exploration, my answer.
In deciding to write my family memoir, House of Houses, a significant challenge, I listened: for me, an essential part of writing, to voices and memories, and created a multi-generational family hacienda made of voices and stories. The mortar: family affection. I hope that teachers read and assign the memoir to their high school and college students to encourage them to view family and landscape as sources for inspiration and reflection. Because my family voices are among my favorites, I’m beginning a middle-grade version of House. Why? To share what I love and to explore what I hear and discover at this time of my life. Peck, peck, peck, whiffs of oxygen.
A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat Mora is a popular speaker on creativity, inclusivity and advocacy. Pat writes for all ages—children, teens and adults. She’s the founder of the family literacy initiative Children’s Day, Book Day /El día de los niños, El día de los libros, (Día). The year-long commitment to linking all children to books, languages and cultures, and of sharing what Pat calls “bookjoy,” culminates in celebrations across the country in April. Pat received Honorary Doctorates in Letters from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo and is an Honorary Member of the American Library Association. The mother of three children and an Austin granddaughter, Pat is married to anthropologist Vern Scarborough. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she savors the Southwest landscape, reading and working on new manuscripts. Pat tweets @patmora_author. Find her on Facebook and read her blog.