Meet Bonnie McCarson

Meet Bonnie McCarson

This photo of Bonnie McCarson was taken at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, two years ago when she was on an “adventure.” Bonnie is a retired teacher with a lifelong interest in writing who also enjoys reading, travel, genealogy, gardening, and, of course, a good adventure. In her retired life she pursues a variety of new learning experiences and activities, as well as fulfilling her writing dreams.

Check out Bonnie’s bog here:

A Sample of Bonnie’s Writing

The Last Great Adventure


Bonnie McCarson

During our married life, my husband and I had a number of great adventures. Though many of them included harrowing moments, they were fond memories we often recalled. Now they remain as pleasant reverie and comfort.

The first such adventure began when we packed the few things we owned into a U-Haul trailer around the time of our first anniversary and moved from our home in the beautiful mountains across the length of North Carolina to a lonely outpost on the northeastern coast.  We’d gotten a job offer from that area when none were forthcoming in our home area of Asheville, and the person recruiting us had painted the area we would be moving to as a Garden of Eden. How could we decline?

Once we were settled in a rented cottage on the Currituck Sound, we discovered we were also just at the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp and that, perhaps, we’d been a bit naive. Dismal was a good word for much of the year we spent there, though it was educational. Living through a very cold winter in a summer cottage taught us much, especially that we wanted to move back, closer to home and to civilization. Currituck then was desolate in the winter.

We really made the decision to move closer toward home after making an impromptu trip back to Asheville for Thanksgiving — eight hours drive each way, during which time I read aloud to my husband and our puppy from Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.  A few years later in our new home in the Piedmont of North Carolina, after we’d taken on the adventure of becoming parents and building a house, we began to muse about our dream vacations.  Short of money, we came up with plan for seeing as much of the country as possible on a budget, inspired, of course, by Steinbeck and Charley.

Over the years, we had a number of memorable adventures, camping far and near.  Our trips became the subject of much reminiscing and laughter.

Life, as we all know, brings not only adventures but also great challenges.  After we gave up camping we had other adventures, like the marriages of two of our sons and the births of our grandchildren, but those travel adventures were the ones I recalled for my husband the day after he’d been moved into Palliative Care.

For two months he had been facing one of the biggest challenges of his life in the form of critical illness. Like Steinbeck’s when he traveled the country in his camper, my husband’s health was failing. When, per his wishes, the feeding tube had been removed, and his illness was sapping the last of his life, I reminded him of all the great adventures we’d had. We held hands and laughed and wept together, and accepted that inevitable one great adventure he was preparing to face.

 What Bonnie says about WordPlay

I’ve just finished emailing my writing group — a group that has been going for six years now.  About a year before we began, having such a group was a dream of mine. Then I took an Artist’s Way workshop with Maureen Ryan Griffin at the North Carolina Writers’ Network. I was launched. With a couple friends I was able to pull together a group of like-minded, creative women to commit to twelve weeks to study The Artist’s Way.

That was only part of my dream. The other part was to finish some of the many projects I had begun and/or wanted to write. I had been writing for a long time and had published poetry and nonfiction, but I wanted to do a memoir, a family history, and some fiction.  I was stalled and overwhelmed by the variety of things that I wanted to do. Though I did write and had been writing for many years, I was undisciplined and disorganized in the way I approached my writing.

Working with Maureen has given me the encouragement and the tools to get going and accomplish my goals. Last year I published the family history and was able to put it into the hands of my extended family. I have completed the memoir and am now well into a historical novel. I continue to write poetry and to maintain a blog.

Maureen has been a wonderful teacher, mentor, and guide with her coaching and through the many workshops I’ve attended. I continue to grow and learn in working with her.