Writing From My Roots

I have this great little moleskine notebook that my darling husband got for me for Christmas. He had it engraved on the cover with the words Come On Home. Those same words are on the inside of our wedding rings. They’re from our song, Christmas TV by Slow Club. I use this little notebook to collect short story ideas, because I roll over bullet journals once a season, and I need something that lasts longer for story ideas, since I might not get a chance to write more than three of those in a season.

It’s a reminder, every time that I look at it, to write from my roots.

Let me tell you what I mean by this, because I realize it’s a little bit of a strange thing to say.

Writing from my roots means writing from my home, my family and my history.

I write about my home town a lot. I think I might have already mentioned that I have an intense love/hate relationship with this place. Butler is a drying out steel town. Our steel mill is shut down, and has been for awhile. We don’t really make many new things here, which means that our economy just recirculates the same money over and over, year after year. Sometimes, it’s like trying to breath stale air. No one moves here for work. You’re either trying to get out or get by until you die. I’m included in this, because I’m trying like hell to get out. I think it’s pretty obvious that this feeling of frustration often makes its way into my writing. My American world view certainly changes how I see the word, and I write from that root as well.

My family is kind of messed up. I don’t speak to most of it because the majority of my family have no desire to be part of a healthy or supportive relationship. It’s more back biting, more of a situation where you don’t get help without expecting to pay something back for it. But my own nuclear family is wonderful. I have a great husband, and two kids that I love all the time and like most of the time. My mother in law is an amazingly openhearted person who has gone out of her way to make me feel like her child, not just the spouse of her child. I write from those roots.

I was born in 1986, and so I have a far different world view than someone older or younger than me. I saw my country grow scared after 9/11/01, and we haven’t stopped being scared since. I have seen my country become polarized, seen politicians who are supposed to be representing me say things that just flagrantly ignore the laws of science. I have seen heroes, real life heroes stand up for us, and be ignored or shunned. I have seen technology take leaps and bounds that I never thought possible. For instance, I used to watch Inspector Gadget as a kid, and I wanted Penny’s book. You know, the one that was pretty much a computer that had a cover. Yeah, I have a tablet now that’s pretty much the same thing. I have seen us get smarter individually and dumber as a whole. Our policies have gotten more tolerant, our people have gotten more narrow minded. I write from those roots.

What roots do you write from.


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