#FMF Remedy

Every Friday I set the timer and write with the one word prompt from Five Minute Friday.

The remedy for lots of ailments is the same thing.

I think about loneliness and creativity and the remedy for these. The smell of lilacs comes to mind. The fragrance and the blooms drip from the branches in my Oma’s garden of no more.

People are a medicine I need but often avoid. Community must be carefully curated. It needs to be energizing, not draining but always seems a fine line to me.

This week I cancelled everything in the evenings. A remedy of sorts. It was a delicious break but not as fueling as I would have suspected it would be. There was no pressure to get home or for anything to get done before I had to be on Zoom. I didn’t even take the computer out of my bag this week.

I felt off. I woke up Wednesday frustrated and the day went downhill and then back up again. I didn’t have my intellectual conversation I have become accustomed to Tuesday night. Maybe that was why.

Tuesdays seem like Fridays because of the new teaching schedule and then the rest of the week is just confusing. There is no remedy for the confusion of late it seems.

Poem in Your Pocket Day #SOL21

Every Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers Blog teacher writers share a blog post and a slice of their life. We comment on at least 3 others after we post our own. I do this every Llama Tuesday and the entire month of March.

Poem in your Pocket day is Thursday this year. It is always a day I have handed out little poems. Many years ago [many schools ago] I handed out my favorite poem, “Secrets” by Naomi Shihab Nye. A friend sent me a picture weeks ago in response to my newsletter showing me she still had it.

With all the hustle this month I almost forgot. I have been writing and reading poems all month. I have been focused on poems because of all the posts and shared poetry but honestly poetry is a part of my writing practice. I learned a long time ago poems were a way to bring students to text who were reluctant. I think it is the white space!

Poem in Your Pocket day was initiated in New York.

I haven’t decided which poem to carry around this year. I have come to know so many amazing poets this year. Ada Limon, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jim Harrision, Ross Gay, Kaveh Akbar. Some were new to me and some I delved in deeper to their words and images.

I think I might use Ross Gay’s Thank You Poem. Or Ada Limon’s poem about planting and harvesting carrots, “I Remember the Carrots.”

I love that some poems are small, like an appetizer. The anticipation before a larger reading session. Something you can read and reflect on in the cracks of your day. Something to reread and find something new in each time.

I Remember the Carrots:

Will you join me in sharing a poem this year? Or carry one in your pocket?

I would love to know which one.

Weekend Coffee Share

It is the last weekend of April! Can you believe it? Time has been playing tricks on me for sure.

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the teaching with my cohorts went smoothly this week in kindergarten. The pace feels quite different and I move groups of children from here to there to everywhere. They play separately, together which is a new experience but they are adjusting well. I am glad to be able to do cut up sentences and making words with them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been transcribing more stories into the Google Drive from the notebooks. I am gearing up for Storyaday. It was transformative to my writing life when I stumbled across a podcast about it so many years ago. I joined the write in on Saturday morning and saw some friend’s faces I hadn’t in a while!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am obsessed with Elizabeth McCracken’s new book The Souvenir Museum. I listened to an interview between her and Karen Russell and it was fantastic! I found several other interviews with her and listened to them on my walk as well.

Would you like a refill? Some water? I bought the sparkle water you like! I think there are some homemade chocolate cupcakes with the cream filling left too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am sad I missed the deadline to sign up for the 2 day, 10 words, 1 poem contest. The words were released yesterday though so I am writing the poem anyway! You could use them for a story as well. They are unusual words and I had fun looking some of them up.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my poetry class is over now and I believe I will miss it. I enjoyed this group of people immensely this month.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am looking forward to May. I have many things planned and ready to launch. It is going to be a great gathering month!

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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.

I am already looking forward to our chat next week!

I am gathering creatives for a Fabulous Flash Fiction class in early June! Sign ups will be May 15. Sign up for info here: https://mailchi.mp/d376163c35bc/fabulous-flash-fiction

I am teaching a class about What the HECK to do with all your freewrites! You can sign up for info here: https://mailchi.mp/866f580e114c/freewrites

What Makes Your Heart Beat Faster? #sol21

What makes you heart beat faster?

Being at school,

The Hello song pulling everyone from their seats to dance,

The whisper of, “Can I hug you when we get back to the room?”

Good news on the writing front,

A vision coming true I hadn’t even IMAGINED 2 years ago,

The rejection email for the poems sent last week,

The snow falling on my walk,

Seeing the new baby horse,

The sight of the first spot being open – “My spot”,

A message from a friend,

An encouraging workshop,

A new person to learn from,

The hug and kiss greeting from my husband,

The gratitude for the life I have created here.

What makes your heart beat faster today?

Weekend Coffee Share

Thank you for stopping by! I am always glad when we can sit down to chat. I have some strong black coffee today. I keep trying new varieties and have not landed on one that I love. I keep thing back to the Intelligentsia coffee. There is a cafe in Chicago I went to several years ago to meet friends. Black Cat was the variety I believe. The way they made it there was strong and not bitter.

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it was a busy and rough week. Rough in the sense that there were a lot of adjustments throughout the school day. I always felt “ON”. Do you know what I mean? On Friday, I kept forgetting what I was doing in the middle of the task so I know I was tired. My students wrote a combo fact vs fiction story about the moon and Jingles the yellow dog. He went to the moon to have his birthday party – just so you know. He brought his friend Cupcake the Cat to DJ for his dance party. We worked on the illustrations for the books Friday afternoon. There was creative energy flowing through the room and it was good.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was able to attend my poetry class and we delved into a deep discussion of truth and purpose with poetry. “Do we do enough?” was a question that came up as well. It was so interesting. This class is a great mix of female and male which I think really adds to the perspectives. I am so glad I was able to get into this class. It has been a highlight of the week.

It was interesting as well to hear about how others approach poetry. Many of us read poems every day. We are quick to abandon ones we do not like. Some special select words for the day for writing or meditation or both. Some study poems for days or weeks to see what you get out of each reading. How do you read poetry, if you do?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you dreams have been at the forefront of my mind and the topic of my last newsletter. I had several friends respond to me! I am finding that there is a strong feeling either way about dreams just like first reading experiences. I am so glad people are sharing their experiences with me. It seems I may have to start a dream sharing circle.

Would you like a refill? Some water? I bought the sparkle water you like! I think there are some homemade chocolate chip cookies left too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been thinking a lot about writing conferences. I need a good one…and soon. I need to be in the same room [NOT ZOOM] with some writers. I need to have a drink with another writer and talk about ideas and how we capture them. I want to fill an entire notebook in the span of 2 days. To attend a panel and then run to a spot in the sun to write a story that I love. I want to drink great coffee in a new town.

What is something you are craving!?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had some dynamic conversations this week. I am blessed to have such amazing friends.

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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.

I am already looking forward to our chat next week!

Look How High I’m Going! #SOL21

Swings and Sun – The Perfect Partnership on a Monday afternoon.

“The swing is tickling me!” – one of my kindergarten students exclaimed as she pumped her feet back and forth in the afternoon sun yesterday.

At first I thought she had said, “The sun is tickling me.”

The joy of being together – even masked – on the equipment is hard to describe.

After pushing another student for a few back and forths I realized what she meant.

I asked her,” Does the swinging make your tummy feel funny?”

YES! The recognition of someone understanding what she meant was priceless. She doesn’t know that is the same feeling as being on a rollercoaster….yet.

One of my favorite parts of kindergarten is how they chose their words to describe something. It is one of the many areas we can learn from them!

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Two opportunities are coming soon:

Fabulous Flash Fiction class – sign up for info here: https://mailchi.mp/d376163c35bc/fabulous-flash-fiction

What Do I Do With All These Freewrites?? course – sign up for info here: https://mailchi.mp/866f580e114c/freewrites

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the weekend. Thank you for joining me for coffee today. I am always glad when we can sit down to chat.

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to the dentist this past week. I do not like the dentist. I had to wait for 30 min and was in the chair less than 30 so it was a great visit. It was strange to actually sit in the waiting room. I haven’t had that experience for over a year.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you April is all about poetry. I have been taking a class on Thursday evenings and also sharing poems with my students. Friday we read Pickles and Cheddar which my students thought was delightful! I attended a poetry reading on Zoom on Saturday which was fun. There are so many poems coming to my inbox and I love it! I sent out two poetry submissions this week as well so I am happy about that fact!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you a writing book that was recommended to me has been amazing: Writing Open the Mind. I have been doing the exercises and loving what pieces are coming out of them. It has become my new favorite writing book.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am planning a class about what to do with all the freewrites that you accumulate! If you are interested in keeping up with updates you can sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/866f580e114c/freewrites

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it rained all day Saturday here so it was an indoor day. I wrote and read and watched movies. It was a glorious way to spend the day!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have my writing circle this weekend and I am looking forward to it. I find the class so life giving and encouraging.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have been using the Sprinkled Inspiration prompts to write in my notebook. I really like them and they come right to my email every morning. You can check them out here.

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

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

Are you wanting to generate FABULOUS FLASH FICTION?

This unique flash writing workshop is built for beginning to advanced writers who want to generate short pieces of fiction.

There will be prompts, a live meeting, writing time, feedback, and support In June! Sign up here to get all the details!

Poetry Month Day 10

In my class this week with Chris LaTray he shared this poem from Jim Harrison.

Harrison is not a poet I was familiar with before this month and this poem resonated with me when Chris read it aloud. It served as a mentor text for us to write our own I BELIEVE poem.

My poem ended up being a lot of one liners that are different things I believe. A list poem almost.

Here is an excerpt of my draft:

I believe how the numbers lay on your W2 does not dictate your worth.

I believe 5 year olds should be listened to and heard.

I believe your title doesn’t mean jack shit to whether I respect you or not.

I believe reading is the gateway to everything,

But coffee is another.

Others that shared in our Zoom class took one belief and expanded it.

It is always fun as a writer to hear other people’s approaches to prompts and their process.

I suppose I could take each of my lines and expand it as well for a different feel and more in depth look at the emotions and experiences underneath.

I Believe
By Jim Harrison

I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake
in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,
the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,
used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,
abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,
gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls
who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies,
leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,
turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods,
the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands
of birds I’ve talked to all of my life, the dogs
that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow
me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.

What is inspiring you this month?

Poetry Month #Day8

I submitted two poems last night. It seemed only fitting after I held the SEND IT OUT section of the Unpublished to Published course I teach through my Patreon.

Today I am using the #verselove post as inspiration. You can read the post here.

The mentor poem used is Nazim Hikmet’s poem, “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved,” which can be found here: https://poets.org/poem/things-i-didnt-know-i-loved

The phrase, “I didn’t know I loved…” resonated with me this morning. There is also a mention of paper lanterns in the poem which struck me this morning.

I often like to use multiple prompts in one writing just to see what happens. Other prompts I am using today are a business card and exposed wood beams in a structure.

We will see what happens!

I had never seen this poem before but really like it. What do you think?

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Are you wanting to generate FABULOUS FLASH FICTION?

This unique flash writing workshop is built for beginning to advanced writers who want to generate short pieces of fiction.

There will be prompts, a live meeting, writing time, feedback, and support In June! Sign up here to get all the details!

#IWSG April

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!

April 7th’s question, if you’d like to answer it, is:  Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Thanks to our awesome co-hosts for the April 7 posting of the IWSG! PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!

This month’s question gave me pause. I usually consider myself a risk taker. I have burned down my life several times in order to find happiness and start fresh.

I do like to play with my writing, more so than in real life honestly. I will try exercises and classes to see where it takes me. I am not afraid of the page. Those pieces don’t typically make it out of the notebook unless there is a real draw from it for me to do something with it.

I do love it when my own writing surprises me.

Right now I am playing with dreams and my subconscious. I have an amazing writing book that I am working through the exercises called Writing Open the Mind.

I am also playing with a Personal Universe Deck!

In the past, I have played with the same piece and written sections from a different point of view or a different type of first sentence. You just never know where those experiments will take you.

#happyreading #happywriting