#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!

January 6 question – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books? The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren ,J Lenni Dorner,Gwen GardnerSandra Cox, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

It seems to vary according to the story of what takes me out but a fairly quick answer. Sometimes it is a strange reference that doesn’t quite fit in my mind or a repeated phrase that is not powerful in the way the writer intended.

An editing mishap will take me out of the story most times.

If there is too much exhibition, especially in a short work. Repeated explanation that is unnecessary.

If it is not holding my attention and I am not compelled to read past the first couple of pages then I usually will stop. I may try again, but most likely not. It might just be that I thought the book was about one thing and was about another.

I love when there are lines that sparkle to me that I have to stop reading and write down immediately!

Just like I feel I can learn something from anyone I meet I feel that way about books as well. There is also something new to uncover.

#happyreading #happywriting

A Love Letter to Ten #SOL21

Every Llama Tuesday I

Write a Slice of Life.

Share your link in the comments section of the Two Teachers Writing Blog.

Give comments to at least three other Slice of Life stories

Dear Ten,

Why do I love you so? I live my life in increments of 10 minute chunks even though my attention span is much longer.

I love my lists of 10 I make to fuel my own writing later.

I thought of you today because I used to give a “Ten on Tuesday” prompt to my students. I wanted them to learn the value of a list and knew even back then that Tuesday needed special attention.

Today my kindergarten students make a Ten on Tuesday list of things that you smell:

  1. Cereal
  2. Chicken
  3. Macaroni
  4. Flowers
  5. Farts
  6. Dog poop
  7. Perfume
  8. Pizza
  9. Burgers 
  10. Bananas

Lists of words can be easily expanded to lists of phrases and then to sentences. A list of 10 always seems doable. If you pay attention to the world around you it makes you a better writer.

What do I write in my lists?

  1. Lines I want to use

2. Overhead conversation snippets

3. Strange things I saw on the way to work or on a walk

4. Names I like

5. Strong verbs

6. What I remember from dreams

7. Fun things kids say

8. Descriptions of places

9. Metaphors

10. Weird signs

In other words: Anything I find fascinating

There is a power of ten that is connected to the truth of things. Sit and write ten minutes about how you spent your last hour. The truth of the moment will come out.

You allow me to open my heart and let my light shine, even if only for 10 minutes.



Love Letter to Ten is #5 in my #100dayproject.

Dear Fellow Educator #100dayproject

Dear Fellow Educator,

Today is the last day of winter break. I know I will walk into my classroom tomorrow and it will feel like I never left – that there was never a break. It happens every time. It is a bittersweet moment.

I saw an article this week about the DOOR concept as far as it relates to teaching. There is a mass exit from the profession during these pandemic times and it is not because of the children. It is all the other stuff on the outside of the classroom door: the things we cannot control, the rules that we must follow that do not make sense, the endless meetings, the paperwork, etc. There are always pros and cons to every job whether it is in education or not. I am looking forward to seeing my little kindergarten faces tomorrow but I am not looking forward to setting an alarm or being on someone else’s schedule. There are many things that bring me comfort and blogging and connection is on that list.

I first started blogging with the intention to connect with others who were doing the same job as I was. At the time I was a TAP Master Teacher. There weren’t many people that had that same job that I knew at the time. I was desperate for connection. The end result of the blog turned into something so much more. I found my teacher tribes early in Two Writing Teachers and TeachWrite which I am thankful for.

Yesterday I was reintroduced to how great it feels to be connected to other people professionally. I was part of the Teacher on Fire roundtable yesterday and we discussed our #onewordfor2021. It was a lively discussion of sharing stories and dedication. It was also an introduction for me to some dynamic people. I was introduced to Fresh Air at 5, a fellow educator’s TEDTALK, and Teachbetter. It was quite an impressive lineup of people.

I couldn’t help but think that it was a closing of a ring. I was introduced to the one word concept many years ago. I was part of the Indiana Reading Association and eventually became an executive board member. I remember sitting in a conference room at one of the hotels downtown Indianapolis listening to a presentation about it. Then we watched Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle talk. I do not remember what that first word was I chose but have been choosing them ever since.

I love this process so much that in my Patreon the December workshop was about sharing my process for choosing my one word. I love the anchor of one word to guide decisions and keep me aligned with my vision for the year.

Passion, Be, More, Create, Write – they have all been words I have lived for a year at a time. This year is PUSH. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and to take massive action. I have big plans for 2021 and I am setting the fear aside.

One of the teachers yesterday said that not only do we have the word for the year but then they compound as we live on. They are always with us. It felt so true in my body when she said it.

The experiences I have as an educator in the classroom and with interesting people also are always with me. What sticks with you?

Happy Sunday. Enjoy the last hours…



New Year Coffee Share

Welcome to 2021! Thank you to Eclectic Ali for hosting the coffee share every week.

It is snowing here and it makes me so happy. Let’s settle in for a chat and several cups of coffee.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I walked in the snow and sun all this week. We have been busier so the walks have not been as long as last week but still longer than the normal work week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I started a new 100 day project on January 1st. It is an essay/letter writing project. I am going to play with it for a little while before I decide how or if to share.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I realized I have not explained where my label of the Accidental Inspirationalist came from! I am working on an essay that will come out soon so all the mystery will be uncovered.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I sent several submissions today. One is a story that I love so much. I am not doing an official submissions or rejection project this year because I don’t need to. The mindset is changed and the habit is established. I have realized I am an expert habit former! It is part of the secret formula how I get so much done.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I started the Sarah Selecky Six Senses writing program on January 1st. I am approaching the prompts to write a longer story over the week, not as a simple 10 minute prompt. At least that is what I am doing this week. I have another program I just signed up for but will save that news for another day.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was on the Teachers on Fire livestream roundtable about words of the year! It was an amazing panel and I was so honored to spend an hour with these people. You can check out the many valuable selections here at the YouTube channel.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am so excited for my first PUSH Inspiration group on Monday! We are talking about journaling and I am sharing my top three ways to show up on the page! I would love if you could come! Sign up here to get the link to the Zoom!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today.