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Friday, September 6, 2013

Writing With Friends

Writing my book "Fall in Love With an Orange Tree or a Book" would never have happened without the help of my friends. My main character, Elena, is fictional, but most of what she experiences happened to one of my Latino honor students. I wanted to write about Latino girls who are passionate about education. One of them was Diana Ward gave me the title. When she came to the U.S. from Mexico, her mother told her, "Fall in love with an orange tree or a book." What she meant by that was for Diana to choose a life working in the fields or an education. Diana chose an education and now is the Director of Migrant Education for the Porterville Public Schools. When I wanted to describe a farm labor camp, my neighbor, Lily said, "I grew up in the Woodville Labor Camp. Let's go." We visited a friend of hers and I was able to describe the camp for my book. I can't describe the thrill I receive when readers praise the book. My writer's group is invaluable. One of our members read the first draft and after I listened to what she said, I rewrote most of the book.


  1. Shirley, I found your blog. You write BEAUTIFULLY!

    1. Thank you. It's so nice to hear from you. I'm new at using a blog so I'm happy it's working.