Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


My Querencia

This has been a summer packed with family gatherings and concerns, writing-related SCBWI business (which brought together 6 of our One Potato...Ten spuds), and the realization of a dream. Although I didn't manage much actual writing time, other than revising my first picture book manuscript, I did finally move into my long-awaited writing cabin.

The construction began last winter and continued sporadically through spring and into mid-summer. We hired a team of good-humored men to build the frame of what they teasingly called my "play house."

Then my husband did all of the interior finishing work. (I helped paint :>)

The exterior staining of the wood and painting of the door is still to come before winter sets in, and the bookcase may end up being my Christmas present, but the essence of my "querencia" is here for me to savor.

Just this past week, I traveled to North Carolina for four school visits. At Jacobs Fork Middle School (near Hickory), I led the students through a writing exercise in which they wrote about their querencias. I was amazed at some of the results after only a short 15-minute writing time!

In Spanish, querencia describes a place where one feels safe, a place from which one's strength of character is drawn, a place where one feels at home, where "whenever you return to it, your soul releases an inner sigh of recognition and relaxation."

This is mine.
Where is yours?


Christy said...

You made me weep with the beauty of your querencia and the description of the writing assignment. Lucky kids at Jacobs Fork Middle School, and lucky you. Happy writing!

Edie Hemingway said...

Thank you, Christy! I hope to hear about other writers' querencias.

Christy said...

I'm pondering this question.

Lauren said...

Edie, I loved visiting your querencia this summer-- what an honor. I also love the photo of you writing in your querencia. Thank you for this word and definition. I had never heard it before and it is powerful. I am not surprised that the students you introduced it to, took to it immediately!
My querencia is my studio, but I realize as I write this, that I have let go of some of the power of my querencia by leaving my door open too often for availability to my kids, or having the internet on with too many interruptions. I am going to work this fall to turn my studio space back to the querencia it was meant to be. Thank you again and what a great summer!

Diane Adams said...

I wonder where my querencia is. I haven't thought about that in a long time. I hope that I find that feeling that you express so well through your own safe space.

Mark said...

The "shack" is done!! Congratulations! As for my own querencia, I would have to choose either my office in our new house, or one of several local beaches where I wander when I need some solitude and inspiration.

David LaRochelle said...

"Querencia" is a new, and beautiful, word to me, too. I'm not exactly sure where mine is, but every time I go to the North Shore of Lake Superior, something opens in my heart and I wonder why I don't get there more often. This was the first summer I didn't get up there at all.
It was an honor to see your completed querencia, Edie, not to mention your fantastic house!

Suzanne Warr said...

What a lovely little writing spot! And I love that new-to-me word, querencia! In this house, the closest thing I have would have to be my long walks through the woods and fields where we live. I'd love to make a more indoor spot. Does your querencia have heat, so you can be cozy in winter?

Best of writing days!