The End? #sol21 #day31

Today is the last day of March

For those of you who read my post yesterday about truth and lies I must confess that I cannot juggle! The other 2 statements are absolutely true!

*********

have been doing this challenge for so many years I lost count. I do remember being in Hawaii doing the challenge in the hotel’s computer lab when my son was 4. He turned 18 at the beginning of the month. Maybe I was there from the beginning?

I have posted every day. I have read other posts and commented every day.

I know that there will be people that will cease to write until next March. I will miss them. Some will continue to write and share on Tuesdays moving forward.

But I will miss this bustle of community and knowing there were blogs I looked forward to reading every day. I have come to rely on this daily interaction.

The inspiration from others writing will continue to show up in my posts over the next couple of weeks. I have a list of structures for future writing.

For me, April is about poetry. I am not sure if I will post daily or not. It depends. I will write every day of course, but am not sure what I will proclaim publicly. I have considered sharing daily poetry prompts.

May will be about the Storyaday challenge. I plan to write about my process and how I approach the prompts – or not. If I veer from the prompt given I will talk about what I did write about!

*********

Sometimes, I look forward to the month ending and not HAVING to post daily. This year I do not have that feeling.

Thank you for reading and for commenting. Thank you for sharing my challenge and my post structures and making them your own. It has been a great month.

What will you miss?

Two Truths and A Lie Tuesday #sol21 #day30

Two Truths and A Lie

Can you tell which is which?

  1. I can juggle and used to entertain at children’s parties.
  2. I have run races from 5K to 50 miles and won an ultramarathon.
  3. I hate left turns and will avoid them when I can.

Do you have a guess?

How is it Day 30 of the month and this challenge already? The months are once again whizzing by for me. I sorta enjoyed the slow living of the lockdown/pandemic year. Every day for the month of March I post on my blog and then comment on three other blogs at twowritingteachers.org.

Monday:Poetry On My Mind #sol21 #day29

Every March I write a blog post a day and share on the Two Writing Teachers blog. Teacher writers from around the world share and comment on each other’s writing. Throughout the year, we do this on Tuesdays!

What did you write in your notebook this morning?

April is poetry month and it has been on my mind.

Every day I receive many poems to my inbox. I read some of them quickly and some I savor.

Today, the poem I read was How Many Lives Have We Lived in Paris? by Cyrus Cassells

As I read the poem I thought about identities lived throughout your life.

There is a structure with the poem where the phrase “The life of…”, then a verb with -ing, and then there is description of the life. The end of the poem is mostly one liners with asterisks in between.

I used this poem as a mentor text and guide and wrote my own in my notebook.

I started with “The life of..” and then did a freewrite about whatever came up. I was transported back to college and the first residence hall room I lived in. The new to me clean space that was a sickening beige color. It was the perfect palette to create this new life and identity for myself.

One of the lines I was drawn to is, “On a raucous kids’ carousel:/Its red gold undignified Sundays-“

I noticed lots of objects in the poem as well and tried to think of the objects connected to the identities I was writing about.

I then started to make a list of all the identities I have had over my life.

It is still a draft of course but a practice I love to engage in often.

I do not always start my mornings with reading first. I often start with the dream recollection I have. Today I did both.

What did you write in your notebook today?

I would love for you to share a snippet in the comments!

Weekend Coffee Share #SOL21 #day28

I am so happy you are meeting me for coffee! Welcome to Sunday!

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers blog for the March challenge! I have been able to post to the blog every day.I have been so impressed with the quality of the writing this year. Everyone seems to have stepped up their game!

Thank you to Natalie for hosting the link party for all things Weekend Coffee Share!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my spring break started this weekend! It does not feel like it yet. Maybe Monday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was able to go out for drinks with my friend and it had been so long since I had done that I was quite giddy about it. We had a great time.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you one of my blogging friends wrote about Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher starting up their YOUTUBE series again. I am so excited that I am able to listen to them chat. I love their books and was excited to hear them speak at a teacher conference several years ago. I always learn something and am inspired to write something after listening to them. I have many days to listen to and am excited about it!

One of the articles Penny shared is one called, “7 Questions, 75 Artists, 1 Bad Year.” The questions are interesting and ones I will write to myself. It is also fascinating to read what other artists have done and reflected on this pandemic year. You can check out the article here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a wonderful life and writing conversation with my friend Linda. I am so happy to have met her and she inspires me every time we chat.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the weather seems confused. One day it is warm and feels like spring and another day it is chilly and I am back to wearing my winter coat to walk! The wind always seems more fierce in the spring which is why I never cared for spring marathons when I ran them!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been listening to podcasts as always. I have been skipping around a lot though. I start some and then get interrupted and do not go back to it. There are some new ones I have been trying out. I do love the Gotham Inside Writing and I listen on Spotify. I re-listened to the Flash Fiction episode yesterday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been remembering more of my dreams lately and that has made for interesting writing in my notebook in the morning. I am working through the associations I have with the images that come up for me during slumber.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the Mama horse on my walking/running route has been coming to the fence for some love and apples and it has been thrilling. She has such a protective and strong energy about her. Her colt, TJ, has such a child like excitement when I walk by. He trots to the fence to say hello. Mama comes slowly and more cautiously.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been writing every day. I have been writing in the present tense still and it has been opening up some new channels for me. April is going to be about poetry for me but I am taking some time to just write and not worry about taking too many classes. As I was cleaning out Google drives this week I stumbled upon some flash pieces I need to come back to and revise. I have several wonderful critique groups running right now and am looking forward to getting some more pieces polished.

——-

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I always love when we chat!

I would love to hear what you are working on and what you find inspiring.

Share Four Somethings #SOL21 #day27

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Blog challenge. Teacher writers post every day for the month and comment on at least 3 other posts.

Today’s structure comes from awkwardly graceful. Brooke references Heather’s blog which is where she got the idea. Thank you to both of you!

Here is Heather’s explanation of the format:

What is Share Four Somethings? It is a monthly link-up where you literally share four somethings. The first is Something Loved. What did you love this month?

The second category is Something Read or Said. You get to choose. Was it a book (or five),an e-book or a podcast you listened to? Please share!

The third category, and maybe my favorite, is Something Treasured. What happened in the past month that you are holding close and treasuring?

The last category is Something Ahead. This is where you share what is on the horizon. What do you have coming up, and is there any way we can support you, encourage you or pray for you? So please join us in sharing Something Loved, Something Read (or Said), Something Treasured, and Something Ahead.

***

Something I Loved

This month, I loved many things. I loved that I started running again. I loved that I have posted every day all month on this blog. I have loved my PUSH meetings I host every Tuesday and the life giving conversation that comes out of that. I loved that I made some breakthroughs in my writing and am moving forward in a clear direction that makes sense for me. I loved how fulfilling and successful my #10min10days challenge ended up being!

Something I Read

I have read a lot of blogs this month and have been loving it! I have learned so much, and also learned some new structures. Here is a link to a post where I recommend a few of the blogs I have been reading this month. I am reading Lineage of Trees from Jane Brunette and Inner Work by Robert Johnson. I am waiting for my copy of Writing Open the Mind!

Something Treasured

There was a lot to treasure this month, but time with my friends has to be it for March. I spend great time with my friends in my PUSH group, writing groups and a drink out with a friend. It has been years since I have gone out with a friend!

Something Ahead

April is all about poetry for me. There is Poem in Your Pocket Day. I am taking a class about writing poetry with author Chris LaTray which I am THRILLED about! Concise beautiful words is my goal for the next month.

What are your Four Somethings?

Friday Writing #sol21 #day26

Fridays are all about writing!

Right now I am sitting in my bed, freshly showered from my walk, feeling like it does not feel like spring break.

Right now there are worry gremlins in the back of my mind eating away at me as I try to bash them with Whack-a-mole paddles…maybe I need a new tactic.

Right now I smell the chili warming that I am about to eat.

Right now I am happy I do not have to set an alarm.

Right now I wonder if it will feel like break tomorrow…or not til Monday.

Right now I am so tired.

Right now I am looking forward to writing in the morning and not having to get out of bed.

Right now I am enjoying watching The Real World London…again.

What are you doing or thinking about right now?

Thank you for reading and responding!

Thursday:Questions #sol21 #day26

Do you have a desk?

Thursdays are all about questions and this is mine to you today.

Throughout my teaching career the subject of teacher desks has always been a controversy. Some people are in the camp that they should not be in the classroom at all and others are ok with it.

I have wavered back and forth through the years.

Do you have a desk you work at in your home space?

I do not typically sit at the desk at school and work with students. Usually it is at a table or within the student’s space.

In my classroom now, I have no desk and I will admit…it is driving me crazy.

I have come to learn that I like having the deep drawer to my left that has the files for each of my students. I can take assessments or writing or notes and plop them right in there. Safely organized for when I need the information.

The surface is honestly the grounding place for all important papers [which the amount of always seems to grow even still in the era of teaching under COVID].

I have requested a desk so I hope it comes soon…I need drawers to fill.

How do you feel about desks? Do you have one at home?

Which camp are you in? Pro or Con Desk? I would love to know in the comments.

Wednesday:What Am I Reading? #sol21 #day24

Wednesdays are all about reading!

One of the ways I became a better writer was to use Ray Bradbury’s advice of reading a poem, a short story, and an essay every day for 1,000 nights.

My general things you can do with the text:

  1. Just read.
  2. Write down lines that you are drawn to.
  3. Write out a whole section word for word to get the feel of the author’s words.
  4. Write and start with the sentence stem: This piece reminds me of…
  5. Read the piece out loud to hear the author’s voice and rhythm.

Poem: Burning the Old Year by Naomi Shihab Nye

Laura Robb introduced me to Nye at a Writers At Work conference in Sun Valley, Idaho years and years ago. Ever since that day I have sought out and read her poetry. I have read it for pleasure and for teaching.

Short Story: The Stone by Louise Erdrich

This story has an object at its center which is a structure and craft move I love. This story has me wondering which is a good characteristic for my reading!

Essay: On Keeping a Notebok by Joan Dideon

How do you feel about vanishing things?

The Joan Dideon is a classic essay for writers. Nina LaCour talks about it on her podcast Keeping a Notebook which is where she got the name.  Most writers keep some sort of notebook. It is a longer essay, but worth the read.

What are your favorite recommendations?

What are your thoughts about these choices? I would love to know!

Ten on Tuesday #sol21 #day23

A Ten on Tuesday List

This is a prompt I have given often to students in the past.

It lends itself to ideas for more writing later. You can give a topic or leave it open.

Here is my list for today:

10 Things I Have To Get From The Store

  1. Ice
  2. Blueberries
  3. Lettuce
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Garlic Herb Tenderloin
  6. tortilla shells
  7. DayQuill
  8. Sparkle wine in a can
  9. Eggs
  10. Trident

What list of ten would you make today?

Every day for the month of March I post on my blog and then comment on three other blogs at twowritingteachers.org.

Monday:Energy Challenge #sol21 #day22

What Fueled Me:

  • Coffee
  • 10min10day challenge responses and community (sign up here)
  • Idea of edible spoons
  • Talking to my kids
  • New ideas
  • Reading a revision of a friend’s flash piece
  • Voxer
  • Talking with my friend
  • Giving a gift
  • Knowing PUSH group is tomorrow
  • Time alone
  • Writing

What drained me:

  • Worries
  • Busy weekend
  • Rain
  • Waiting

What I learned:

Things that are worrying me I have put on the calendar to take care of so it lessens the emotion surrounding it. Other things just have to work themselves out. The worry doesn’t help it along I know but the realization doesn’t make it go away either.

Having more time with my friend does make the day better.

I would love to hear what some of your answers are for today if you are willing to share in the comments.