About Yvonne

Yvonne PearsonI grew up in Glo­ry, a rur­al com­mu­ni­ty in the mid­dle of Min­neso­ta. Every vis­it­ing preach­er at our church opened his ser­mons with a joke about being in Glo­ry.  I rode the school bus to town and I was delight­ed when “mud sea­son” shut down the schools. Bus­es got mired in mud­dy roads dur­ing spring rains. The smell of fresh mown hay and wild ros­es still make me yearn for the coun­try­side where we used to play. It feels like anoth­er cen­tu­ry.  Um…oh yes, Yvonne… it was anoth­er century.

Becom­ing a Writer. My efforts in writ­ing began at twelve years of age when I won hon­or­able men­tion in a writ­ing con­test. I don’t remem­ber the sto­ry any­more, but I sure remem­ber the prize: a paper­back nov­el about a girl who was a mem­ber of a per­se­cut­ed Chris­t­ian com­mu­ni­ty liv­ing in Rome’s cat­a­combs. The big­ger prize was recog­ni­tion.  Some­one had acknowl­edged me as a writer. That prize per­co­lat­ed in my sub­con­scious until I was ready to claim it.

Recog­ni­tion came next from my Eng­lish teacher for a short sto­ry. On my paper she penned, “You write so mov­ing­ly.” Unable to resist the impulse to brag, I whis­pered her com­ment tri­umphant­ly to fel­low-stu­dent Tom. He gave me a with­er­ing glance. “I’d rather write well,” he whis­pered back. His advice was good. My goal: to write mov­ing­ly and well.

As an adult I moved to Min­neapo­lis, where I worked first as a jour­nal­ist, then as a free­lancer, and final­ly I added a career as a social work­er. But my first love is cre­ative writing.

Philoso­pher Roland Barthes observed, “A cre­ative writer is one for whom writ­ing is a prob­lem.” I hap­pen to be some­one for whom writ­ing is a prob­lem. I wor­ry the words on the paper end­less­ly, and even then, it feels like I can’t make them say what I want them to say.  I keep cir­cling around the things in my heart, attempt­ing to put them out into the world in the forms of poet­ry and sto­ries and essays and memoir.

Some days I love writ­ing; some days I real­ly don’t.  But on all days I am stuck with words.  Stuck like cot­ton can­dy on a kids’ face.

Besides writ­ing, I like hik­ing, read­ing, quilt­ing, cook­ing, walks with friends. And trav­el­ing: Trekking to Africa, or Aus­tralia, Cos­ta Rica, Peru, Israel. And clos­er to home: canoe­ing the Bound­ary Waters Wilder­ness and sail­ing Lake Supe­ri­or. Hug­ging my grand­chil­dren. Savor­ing a choco­late hazel­nut truf­fle. Lis­ten­ing to birds in the box elder tree out­side my bed­room window.