Every Tuesday I write and post at the Two Writing Teachers blog. A community of teachers then read and comment on each other’s blog posts.
This is a writing exercise I use every May with students. It is a quick sentence starter that leads to some interesting forward moving conversations about goals and dreams. It also is a good way to start thinking about small pieces of a bigger goal that can be accomplished now.
I used the prompt as a quickwrite – I set the timer for 10 minutes and just let the subconscious take the reins. Here are a few of the sentences I wrote:
One day MAYbe…
my perfect writing mornings will be more of an everyday occurrence.
I will organize my journals.
I will meet Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link.
I will be able to pinpoint the magic I possess with children so I can transfer the skill to adults and coaching.
Today please join me for a coffee. We have some catching up to do!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was a guest blogger on Teachwrite’s blog on Monday. If you missed that post you can read it here. It is called Ten Minutes of Truth.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am still writing everyday with Storyaday May. This week my stories got a little dark and a little emotional. It is not a bad thing, but it was surprising to me. Here are some of my favorite prompts this week:
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am using Sarah Selecky’s writing prompts every day. It is pushing me to think differently about stories somehow and I am pleased with them. Some I will revise and submit and others I will expand. I am considering her Story Course for my birthday. I would love the benefit of mentors but the price point is not one I can swing right now.
If we were having coffee I would tell you I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to earn a scholarship to a writing conference. It happens and I will still keep writing. I was hopeful this time. I threw my hat into the ring so I am pleased with the effort.
If we were having coffee I would tell you my students did their Living History event on Wednesday. Children from the elementary school come and learn how to dip candles at our station. There is a fire where we melt the wax and my 8th graders do a skit to explain the process. They really did a great job and led the little ones well.
While we are having coffee, I will tell you the Bradbury Trio challenge is going strong as well. I am hoping the input of great writer words will influence my writing and help me hone my craft. I need to make sure I am savoring the writing and not just ticking off the poem, essay, and short story for the day. I was doing that with the books I was reading just to get the number. It doesn’t make it satisfying if I do it that way.
Do you need a refill on your coffee? I am going to get another.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I received my Small Beer Press publication on Saturday. If you have read my blog at all, you know I adore Kelly Link and her writing. One speech I watched she spoke about horoscope stories she had written for a friend’s Kickstarter. I found the booklet of stories for sale and have been reading them over and over. I will use it as a model to write my own.
If we were having coffee I would tell you I am nearing the end of the school year. The 31st is my last day. I have some training this summer but not too much. I am going to be teaching a workshop on Better Conversations at the end of July. I have a flash fiction writing class at the beginning of July I am super excited about as well. My birthday is in June too so that will mean a good dinner!
If we were having coffee I would tell you I finished reading a novel. I have not been ticking off the books like I have in the past since I am focusing on the Trio. I would recommend this book.
It was well written and there were some surprises at the end. It was a Book of the Month Club selection several months ago.
LifeInPoetry has honored me with a sunshine blogger award! THANK YOU!
So how does this work ?
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4. List the rules and display sunshine blogger award in your post/ on your blog.
5. Notify nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
Life In Poetry’s QUESTIONS FOR ME :
1/ Between Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter You prefer…Why ?
Winter. I love the cold and the snow. There is something cozy about being wrapped up in a blanket in front of the fire and reading or writing. Ah…I love it. Hygge is amazing and I feel I achieve it more in the wintertime.
2/ You like to write: Where ? When ? Alone ? With a Workshop ?
Everywhere…all the time! I have a hard time writing in coffee shops because I listen to the conversation around me. I get good material but not any work done. I write every where but like to write when I first wake up in bed especially on a rainy weekend morning. I do enjoy working with other writers, but that is mostly online right now.
3/ What is your favourite Sound ?
The laugh that cannot be faked by children. The laugh that just pops out of them. It is even sometimes as a surprise to them as well which makes it even more delightful!
4/ You can choose to go anywhere (in the World) into the Countryside, where would you go ?
Germany. Hands down, no question.
5/ Who would you like to interview (a person from the past or present.or future !) ? What questions would you ask ?
I will say that my favorite people have been so wonderfully interviewed it would be hard to top it. Tim Ferris interviewed Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link has given some wonderful interviews. I would love to pop into Kelly Link’s writing group and talk to her, Holly Black and Casandra. Caroline Donahue from the secret library podcast or Sarah Selecky who is a wonderful writing inspiration would be people I would like to interview also.
The questions would be what is on their mind right now.
What obstacles are they dealing with?
What is the story only they can tell?
6/ Your favourite clothes, outfit ?
A big comfy gray sweater and worn in jeans. Barefoot if I can get away with it!
7/ Your favourite authors ?
Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Sarah Selecky, Mary Oliver, and Naomi Shihab Nye.
8/ Your favourite Music ?
Whatever strikes my mood. I love classical.
9/ Your favourite Painter ?
I don’t have one. I appreciate art and like going to the Art Institute of Chicago.
10/ Your favourite Film Director ?
Guy Ritchie – Rock’n’Rolla is a move I love the cinematography of !
11/ Your favourite Poem ? If you can, include it.
This is a hard one…I love so many..
Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
only for secrets–
tucked in the pouch pocket,
pressed in the corners,
one light and liquid suitcase,
one glittering suitcase
filled with tiny
And I will carry it
to the other side of the ocean.
I will carry it
so no one knows
what I hold.
Because its cargo
is more precious than socks
Because a secret is a ticket
and without it
the trip would be
My nominations: All these bloggers have great content!
Lately, I have noticed shadows of things that I thought were new to my life but actually are not. It is amazing what reflection can bring forth.
I think of myself as a reflective person, and not just at the end of the school year. I always want to learn and become better and reflection is a large part of this process in my opinion.
With my discovery of short stories and I being creative soul mates over the recent last couple of years, I did not think that I had that much experience with short stories before. I had no recollection of reading many of them in high school other than The Celestial Omnibus . I do have a special place in my heart for this story, which is why I suspect it stands out.
Yesterday, while looking for something else, I stumbled across my ELA folder from school. In my corporation, writing samples were saved in a district folder that followed you from elementary to senior year where it was given to you unceremoniously. I have kept it all these years.
Curious, I started thumbing through it and was reminded of papers I wrote for Macbeth and for Of Mice and Men…then I stumbled on papers in connection to short stories.
Today please join me for a coffee at a little diner that looks like we have gone back in time. The mugs are ceramic and thick. The booths are red pleather. There is a buzz in the air that is snippets of conversation from babies to retirement age and the smell of strong coffee.
While we are having coffee I will tell you this past week was full of testing, late nights, and writing.
While we are having coffee I would tell you Storyaday May is going strong. I have written everyday and it is going well. I am following the prompts from Julie and Sarah Selecky. Most days I am able to combine both into one story which makes me happy and satisfied for some reason. I also was able to come back to my manuscript and start to write some stories that will be embedded into the novel. At my writing retreat in Feb. I was able to outline the whole book and see where there were holes and alignment issues. my brain is starting to plug those holes as I write which is exciting.
While we are having coffee I would tell you I am enjoying my writing community. I am checking in with the group every day. I have a few people I talk to more often with email or private messages. Monday night was our video meeting and it was nice to do some timed writing sprints with people around the country. I was also able to check in with a small group on Friday as well which was a great vibe.
While we are having coffee, I will tell you the Bradbury Trio challenge is going strong as well. I cannot pinpoint works this week that have stayed with me. I did relisten to The Ormulu Clock by Muriel Spark.
While we are having coffee I will tell you testing has gone on all week. I had my regular group two days and then on all the off times I was doing make up tests. It gives me time to write by hand since I cannot be connected to technology. I welcome the tech vacation every year at this time.
While we are having coffee I will tell you I had a good coaches meeting with one of our consultants. She is always motivating. We talked about goals and reflecting. The year is not over for my building yet so I am not quite in the end of year mode.
While we are having coffee I will tell you I am back to running. I am having some complicated feelings about the activity to be honest. I was hard core before for various reasons but now the motivations for the runs are different. I had a glorious run at the national lakeshore on Friday and ran down a new trail which was beautiful and sandy. I even ran along the water which I have not done in years. the stairs took me to overlook the park too.
Do you need a refill on your coffee? I am going to get another.
While we are having coffee I will tell you I am tired but am not dwelling on it. Sunday is Mother’s Day. I have complicated feelings about this holiday. I will spend some time with one of my sons and enjoy that. The rest of the day I will deal with my memories. Maybe it will end up in a story.
It’s time for the FMF weekly writing prompt blog link-up. Writers across the world get together, set a timer for 5 minutes and write to the prompt.
This week’s writing prompt from Kate is : PRACTICE
Perfect practice makes perfect. Practice just makes permanent.
This is a phrase that has been with me for years. I think it is form Madelyn Hunter who is an educational guru.
Practice is how we cultivate skill. Practice the journey that is meant to be enjoyed.
I have a writing practice.
I have a running practice.
I have a reflection practice for teaching, learning, and coaching.
But practice takes time.
I played and practiced the violin everyday from 6th grade to 12th grade, which is a lot of hours.
After so much practice, there is a wonderful moment when you breakthrough to the next level. Then you know the practice has done its job! It is an amazing feeling.
I often think of the 10,000 hour rule that is credited to Malcom Gladwell. It is that many hours to become good at something. New skills taking honing, attention, and intention.
All my children practice for their sports. Practice does not need to be boring. I usually don’t think that it is, but I know this is not always the popular opinion. Practice also doesn’t have to be drills. In fact, my youngest plays games at soccer practice but doesn’t know it helps him become a better player.
I have to remember to enjoy the practice, to enjoy the journey because sometimes practice is the next right step.