|Mrs. Stanley's class. Fourth Grade.|
Can you find me?
Mary Ann Schilling.
What do these three women have in common?
They were three teachers who helped me to become the writer I am today.
I mean, truly helped.
I mean, where-would-I-be-without-them? kind of helped.
Mrs. Stanley was the first teacher who marveled at my 9-yr-old writing, who nudged me to step out of the rhyming poem box and write free-form, who distinctly made me feel creatively special.
Mary Ann Schilling was my creative writing teacher in high school. It was an angsty time for me and she went out of her way to not only let me know that my writing was good and special, but that my take on life was important and mattered and was worthy of being expressed however I chose to express it.
|A good teacher's note: |
". . . the honesty is there -- keep working with it --
otherwise writing is pompous and phony!"
And, Jessica Treadway, an amazing writer (and published author) in her own right, who was my creative writing teacher in college at Boston University, probably one of her first years of teaching.
|Her most recent award-winning short story collection, |
Please Come Back to Me.
Two things in common for me about these three teachers:
a. I am NOT a saver, but I have kept all their handwritten notes/assessments of me and my writing from that period of time,
b. I distinctly remember how each of these three women made me feel when I showed them my writing. I can remember the exact feeling of someone thinking what I did was valuable, worthy and special.
Through my book -- and the magic of facebook -- I have been back in touch with each of these extraordinary women. I am grateful for them, grateful for the chance to thank them, and grateful for the lasting connection. This has most definitely been a highlight of my first two years in publication.