When Wings Unfurl

Two years ago, I attended a writer’s conference and had the pleasure of meeting Gabriela Pereira, the author of DIY MFA. The slogan of her book is “knowledge without the college”. Reading through the book and listening to her teaching helped me think about my work in progress in new ways. Recently, I signed up for her DIY MFA Book Club so I could further explore the concepts in her book and possibly connect with other writers. For our first assignment, we were asked to explain our “zero moment” or the moment we knew that writing would be our passion. She writes, “When you remember and record your zero moment, it’s a way of celebrating that crucial step.”

This is my story.
A four-year-old girl with dark, curly hair holds a book out to her mother and asks, “Will you read to me mommy?”
Torn between reading to her daughter and getting housework done, her mother sighs and sits down.
“Why don’t I teach you to read? That way, you can read to me?”
The little girl smiles and nods.
Three years later, mother and daughter are in the grocery store. The mother is checking off her list while her daughter stares at the notebooks.
“Mom, can I have a new notebook?”
“Don’t you already have a journal at home?”
“Yes, but I want to use this to write poems. We just learned about them in school.”
“You can have one. Let’s get going.”
“Can I also buy these pens?”
“What’s wrong with the pens at home?”
“There’s nothing wrong with them. It’s just that these pens are special.”
“Yes, put those in the cart too. Let’s get going!”
Three years later and the little girl is almost a teenager. Every weekend, her family goes to the local flea market to buy discount goods for the house. While there, her mother looks at kitchen wares, her father looks at knives and guns while the almost-teenager searches for books.
“Mom, can I borrow a dollar on my allowance? They’re ten cents each!”
The mother hands her daughter two dollars. Minutes later, she returns with two large bags full.
The mother asks, “When are you going to read all of them?”
“If I can take these to the car, I’ll start now.”
Two years later and the she’s an awkward teenager with frizzy hair and silver braces covering her teeth. She stands near her teacher’s desk, biting the tip of her pen and shifting from one foot to the other. She’s waiting to hear what he thinks about her poems.
“They’re good. I think they sound like songs. Have you considered being a songwriter?”
He likes what she’s written!
In her heart, a writer’s wings unfurl.


This was also written for the YeahWrite Weekly Non-Fiction writing contest. Click on the link and check out the other entries and vote for your favorite!


17 thoughts on “When Wings Unfurl

  1. Oh! This is a terrific exercise. I loved the exploration of that moment you knew you were a writer, and that in many ways it wasn’t a single moment, but a repeating signal. I was a little uncertain about the formatting you chose initially, but once I started reading, the formatting made sense. It was a lovely homage to the shape of poetry.


  2. Well done. I could relate on so many levels having a young child. It’s powerful to provide a child with what they need to express themselves so that they can find their passion in life. I know I will remember this story if my daughter asks for something that will enable her to exude her creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

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