Bright Future: She’s got the ‘write’ stuff

Published 12:04 am Thursday, September 29, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Gabby Morace, 13, is a student at Vidalia Junior High. She is enjoys writing poetry and short stories.

NATCHEZ — Throw Gabby Morace a topic, and just try to stop her pen from moving.

The Vidalia Junior High eighth grader said writing always came easily to her, and her participation in the gifted program has given her more opportunities to pursue her passion.

“I write poetry, mainly,” Morace said. “And the Japanese short poems called haiku.”

Besides penning her own three-line haikus, haikus are her favorite genre of poetry to read as well.

“Haikus are usually about nature,” Morace said. “And my favorite (haikus) are about winter and snow — I guess because in Louisiana you don’t see much snow.”

Morace said her gifted teacher, Fran Nolan, spends time with her twice a week to work on creative writing — mostly poetry and short stories.

At top, Morace writes a short story outside the school Wednesday afternoon in Vidalia.

“She gives me a topic and my brain just goes wild,” Morace said.

That’s how an alligator ended up on a motorcycle in one of Morace’s stories. Nolan suggested “animals,” and Morace let her imagination lead her down a bizarre, but humorous road.

“I was thinking about football, and the Florida Gators had just played,” Morace said. “So I wrote about an alligator that rode a Harley.”

Morace said she also writes nonfiction.

“I write about my life, and things I’ve gone through,” Morace said. “I also write at home — I keep a journal.”

Morace said lately, her journal has been privy to big changes coming to her life.

“Lately I’ve been writing about my mama,” Morace said. “She’s pregnant with twins!”

Morace said she has been formally recognized for her writing as well, placing well in the Chocolate Milk Café — a publishing project for area students, as part of the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration.

Morace describes herself as a reader as well. She has been known to get sucked in to the “Twilight” series.

“I love the drama and suspense,” Morace said.

While Morace said she really hasn’t begun to think about college writing, she can envision a book in her future, maybe.

“That could be a possibility,” she said.

Besides having a knack for all things literary, Morace is an athlete too. She is a cheerleader, and serves as shortstop and pitcher on the softball team.

Morace excels in academics as well.

She is a straight-A student, and has maintained straight As since entering middle school. Morace said if she can maintain an A average throughout her eighth-grade year, her name will be engraved on a plaque in the hall.

The goal does not seem to be out of reach for her.

Morace’s advice for students who might encounter writer’s block is to remember that there is freedom in writing.

“Don’t put limitations on how you think,” Morace said. “Anything’s acceptable.”

Morace is the daughter of Katrina and Matt Tarver, and Mathus and Mary Waller.