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Writing

Listen Carefully…

One of the things I taught about this week in my advanced class was listening to see what the story is that needs to be told.  Sometimes we start out writing about something and then we veer off course and find ourselves writing about something completely different.  Many times those are the stories that are crying out to be told!  To find out what I am talking about write about something such as how you got your name, or what your favorite meals were as a child or what did you love to play with when you were growing up.  Write about one of these topics and see what comes to your mind.  If you find yourself veering “off topic” go with it and see what memories emerge. 

I shared in class that most of the Tammy’s I know are all right around my age and we all probably got our name from the “Tammy” movies starring Debbie Reynolds.  And there was always that song…”Tammy, Tammy, Tammy’s in love…”  While I was still living in the bay area I taught two little girls who were both in second grade.  Their family had just moved here from Taiwan and they were just learning english.  A few months after working with them they told me that their mom was going to have a baby.  Later we found out that her mom was going to have a girl.  I began to tell these girls this…”awwww, that is sooooo sweet, talk your mom into naming the baby Tammy, wouldn’t that be cute to have a little Tammy.”  They of course would just smile and laugh at me.  One day as their mother was getting closer to delivering I started talking about names again and this time the girls told me they wanted to name the baby “Ina”.  I told the girls…”Ina??  What kind of a name is Ina?  I think Tammy would be so cute!”  Well, it turns out their little best friend at school was named Ina so she was winning in popularity over me.  A few weeks later mom had the baby and the girls ran into my educational center and told me the good news.  I said, “how is little Ina doing?”  They told me that they decided to name her “Tamina”  (pronounced Tam-eeeeena).  True Story…so somewhere out there, there is a little Asian girl who is now about 5 years old named partially after me! 

So use this as an example to listen for what is the story behind the story…hopefully someday I will meet my little namesake!

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.


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