Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

Welcome back to the weekend! I am so happy you are joining me for coffee today. This weekend it is really winter again. There is snow falling, and then it rains, and then it freezes. Coffee is necessary — as always. I am having black coffee as normal, but I have lots of add ins for your cup.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week has been full of frustration and exhilaration.

Monday was a full day at work. I was testing students and attending meetings. Working with students put me in a great mood. I was quite sprightly that day. Tuesday was busy as well and I woke up not feeling right, so I canceled yoga class.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my #100rejectionsproject is going strong. I received an acceptance this week. Actually, I had one writing and one other type of acceptance. More on that second one next week. I wrote every day. I submitted several pieces this weekend and also did some revising and composing.

If we were having coffee I would tell you a friend went to a retreat and she generously shared her learnings and insights. It was exciting to connect with her and our creative group with this experience as the center.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had a video chat with a writing friend that was awesome! We were pressed for time but I always feel enlightened after I speak with her. We both had good news to share which made it even better.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I listened to great podcasts this week. I am also going to tell you that I am tired of podcasts about 2020 goals. I also am tired of the 2020 vision play on words. Enough already. I listened to a podcast interviewing Erin Morgenstern about The Starless Sea which was magical.

I am also tired of hearing writing podcasts and finding articles about about carving out writing time and creating a writing practice. I understand a lot of people are in that space, but I am not one of them. They are getting deleted immediately.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my writing practice with Sarah Selecky has been wonderful. I used it Saturday morning and it was just what I needed. She suggests doing the “I don’t remember” prompt using your non dominant hand. It was an interesting experience. When I was little I used to practice with my left hand because I was afraid I would break my right arm and not be able to write. The thought of that scenario was devastating and I made a plan “just in case”.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have many writing friends who have started the NYC Midnight writing challenge. They are given a genre, a character and an object and have to incorporate them into a story. I have participated before. You are able to get feedback from your story when you turn them in as well which is a great benefit to this contest.

I hope this week finds you well! I cannot wait to hear what antics you are all up to! Has anyone read anything really great this week? Let me know!

#IWSG January!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin,Victoria Marie Lees,Stephen Tremp,Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?

The compulsion to write began when I was 8 or 9 years old . Writing has always been a constant. At times of transition such as marriage, divorce, remarriage and graduations the words have roused me from sleep and demanded to be recorded. Many pages have been written in a half-
awake trance early in the morning.

Throughout school, my favorite assignments were essays. In third grade, I was chosen for a creative writing group that unfortunately only met a few times. I remember the yellow folders and the special feeling, but it didn’t last. I always worried that I had done something wrong, or didn’t write well enough which caused the cessation. A respected teacher praised my description in a fifth grade essay, but the act of writing was always just a hobby even though I spent a lot of time doing it. If I wasn’t reading, I was writing. It was just something I did.

In high school, I was forced to do an outline for a response to Macbeth. I was praised for the organization of this essay. The little feedback I received was not enough to make me a better writer. I read voraciously but never had anyone really make the connection that I could learn to be
a better writer from reading. I didn’t know how to take what I knew about reading a good story and make actionable steps to transfer to the written word.

Back to It #sol

On the commute this morning a few thoughts went through my head.

Why does it feel like one day of work after break erased all the rest and rejuvenation from the winter break?

Yesterday felt like 4 days smashed into one. I travel from building to building and even asked someone a question where I let it slip I thought it was later in the week.

These transitions are not easy for me. I struggle with the weather right now because there is no snow on the ground. I struggle with the abrupt change in schedule from the writing life to the coaching life.

The day even started well:

I had a great morning complete with my coffee ritual.

I wrote even though the words were not flowing easily.

My shower was hot.

I even put on makeup which is not an every day thing.

I picked an outfit I am comfortable in.

I still felt off.

I am exhausted.

Again I think: I’m uncertain how one day of work can unravel 2 weeks of rest.

I know logically this doesn’t make sense and I shouldn’t feel this way.

But I can feel the tears pushing at the backs of my eye and I’m not an emotional person on the drive in.

Yesterday the most energizing part of my day was my creative group ZOOM call.

Tomorrow I will restart again and hope it gets better as the week goes on. Otherwise, just send positive thoughts my way!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

Welcome to 2020! This is the first year roll over that I have not had the “scratch outs”. Where you write the date with the wrong year and have to scratch it out to put in the new one! Usually this happens to me on checks and my notebooks but not so far this year!

Let’s have some strong black coffee but I want to experiment with the Butter Beer recipe that I like at my local cafe. I bought the ingredients before you got here for our chat so we can try that if you are game!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am SUPER excited for the new year. It is the year of the STAR for me which is abundance and optimism. There are big things planned for this year and one of those big things is happening next month! Stay tuned if you are a teacher!

Please read this post through the link at Medium!

Three Wands – A Poem

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

Please read this poem here to support my writing.

The rolling wind brings
The power of three.
A star looks out for me
In the distance
Atop of the mountains that are
Beckoning me to come.

There is no fear
Only delight
From the True North.
The crow stands tall
High above
Considering all that is around him.

True North is
New lands to explore,
To move beyond.

Go after the dreams
You will not fail.
Fly to them
In this significant
Expansive life.

You will succeed.

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Other poems:Sleep MoonA Poemmedium.com

Souls of PeaceA poemmedium.com

Holiday Coffee Share

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Please support me and read this post here.

This is a busy week of holidays and family – for you too I am sure.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have had some heavy conversations this week. It comes with the time of year I suppose with the year end reflections. I am planning some big things for 2020 especially in the area of teaching. I am taking my strengths and running with them. Stay tuned for more details.

If were having coffee I would tell you I am going to stop trying to run at the dunes by myself. I am bombarded with memories I do not wish to relive when I am there by myself and I cannot do it anymore. I love the trees and the area but can no longer go there alone.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I miss Amy Krouse Rosentahl. I loved her work. Here is a TED talk you need to watch.

Would you like a refill? Maybe some water?

If we were having coffee I would want to talk about New Year’s Eve parties — have you ever hosted one? A long time ago I wanted to have a heaven and hell party — decorate upstairs white and airy and the downstairs in black and red. If I were to throw a bash on New Year’s Eve, which I haven’t done in ages, who would I invite? I would want it to be a memorable evening.

Neil Gaiman — I love all his writing and would love to hear him talk. I wouldn’t mind a road trip with him either. He seems to have loads of stories to tell.

Kelly Link — Love her writing and would love to hear about her book seller days — past and present.

Matthew McConaughey —no explanation necessary

Hemingway — I want to hear the stories and find out which of his stories are his favorite.

Who would you invite? Would you have a theme?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I do not appreciate the non winter like weather. It is 51 degrees and there is no snow. It is not right.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am exhausted. It has been a crazy week of activity. We went to the Kalahari water park resort for the holiday as part of the gifts for the kids. I was excited to ride the surf machine they have there. I did well but ended up doing a front flip which made everyone laugh. It was fun but I am glad to be home now.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the week between Christmas and New Year’s always seems strange. I forget which day it is and what I am supposed to be doing. I will be reading and writing and preparing for my self imposed 100 day challenge.A 100 Rejections ChallengeMy First 100 Day Challenge of 2020medium.com

If we were having coffee I would tell you I hope this past week was full of sparkly moments! I would love to hear about them and what is important to you this week.)


Tammy Breitweiser

Tammy is force of nature; woman of honor; seer of nuance; ; & an accidental inspirationalist who writes. https://mailchi.mp/e19e03e6cd33/tammynews

5 Education Reflection Questions

I love questions. I love to ask them of others and to reflect on them in my own writing and mind. I have a question collections from reading and also from podcasts. The end of the year is a great time to think about which questions I want to ask more regularly.

Here are 5 Questions I am pondering lately:

  1. What gives me life at work?
  2. What wears me out at work?
  3. Is there anything I can do to eliminate or diminish the effects of #2?
  4. What do I truly want to change?
  5. What do I miss from my teaching life?

Number 5 is the one that is popping out to me the most lately. Being a coach I am often just outside the teaching. I co-teach with others and model lessons but there is something different about having students that are my own day to day.

Student action and reactions to what I plan is exciting to me. I truly look forward to the discussions I have with students.

One thing I did recently was to make the notecatcher for students look like sketchnotes. My model on the large chart paper looks like the student version.

I want my 7th graders to be motivated and I was thinking about how I would like notes to be more fun.

In my own classroom I used to take risks and ask kids in my class all the time to evaluate our practices and reflect. My goal was always to give them strategies they would use forever, not just for the next assignment or test.

I miss the day to day schedule and the micro movements to change students behavior and academic action. I miss family meeting time, the group written chart story and mini-lesson, the independent writing time and conferencing. I miss the many real alouds a day and writing practice time.

I need to incorporate a time blocking schedule to my coaching life. The schedule between 3 offices gets tiresome some weeks. I need to dedicate certain days to certain tasks to keep myself on track and get more focused work completed.

Questions 1, 2, and 3 had me thinking about my first teaching job and a life-changing conversation. A good friend and I in the first building I ever worked in, had a discussion about what I missed about college. She asked me specifically what I missed with the idea that I could incorporate those missed experiences into my life now. The idea was to take the essence of the actions and make it real again. I took that to heart and made some changes that were wonderful.

Question #4 had both a small and large impact on my thinking today. The small impact is a self-editing idea that I learned in high school. A teacher advised reading my piece one sentence at a time, starting at the end. Taking the sentence out of context allowed me to focus on the sentence itself without the content of the story surrounding it. I would be less likely to skip over important details this way.

I would love to be able to work from home a couple days a month but not sure that is possible with the new schedule.

I am always trying to improve my practice!

Please read this piece here.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

A Christmas Reflection

It is Christmas Eve.

When I was little the anticipation was for today at 6 pm. That time marked the ceremonial beginning of Christmas at my German grandmother’s. The record would play with the church bells ringing and Santa would arrive. We would hear his bells before we saw him. I vowed every year to remember to ask about Rudolph.

At Oma’s the feast was always the same: ham, her unique potato salad, vienna bread, lime sherbet punch, deviled eggs and a relish tray.

As we got older we couldn’t wait to leave the house to get there. I have no idea how slowly my dad drove to stall on the way there. Even as an adult there was magic for Christmas Eve and we always began at 6 p.m.

After she died in 2000 the holiday was never the same for me. It was not as magical. My mother did not have the ability to recreate the atmosphere nor did she want to. She changed the time, the menu and the schedule.

I thought I would never feel that magic again until a couple years ago I came home to the house decorated for the holiday, the fire roaring, food and drink made and I was transported back again thanks to my husband.

Sadly, the house we are in now does not yield the same hygge feeling. The people are the same but there is no fireplace. There is a different energy here. I do have my memories.

New Ways

The more I read about Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland I feel I would be comfortable there. A lifestyle of being outside in the snow, saunas, reading, and great coffee sounds perfect to me.

Next year I must remember to begin the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokafiod — the Christmas Book Flood. It is a tradition of giving books and chocolate to friends and family and to spend the day reading. The perfect way to spend the day in my opinion.

Today it is 51 degrees and there is no snow. There is no traditional menu tonight but I have books given to me by friends. I think a day of reading is the perfect way to spend today. Maybe I will take the kids to the used bookstore later to pick out a book or two to begin anew.

What book would you give this Christmas Eve?