Avoidance of I #SOL20

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Every week on Llama Tuesday I write a blog post and share it on the Two Writing Teachers blog. Then I comment on at least 3 other posts.

Here are the rules:

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog.
SHARE a link to your post in the comments section.
GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

There are 31 days left in 2020 which means I have 31 more writing prompts to publish. Do you have plans for the last 31 days?

I sit in my living room getting prepared to go to the building to work by the light of the Christmas tree.

Yesterday I had a writing conversation with a friend and we were talking about craft. I read a piece yesterday that started too many sentences that began with “I”. It was distracting and took me out of the piece.

All the years I have taught, I have loved to teach writing. I am sure it had something to do with the fact that deep down I want to be a full time writer but that was not an acceptable career choice in my family. I figured that teaching writing was the next best thing.

Teaching kindergarteners to write is a amazing because they have little prior experience.

One of the things I do is avoid having my K student write sentences that begin with “I”. What ends up happening is that later when they are writing more you get pages of “I” statements.

I like dogs.

I like to swim.

I love my mom.

It sounds all the same.

Sentence fluency is something I start with so that is the skill that becomes the habit and not the list of I statements that I would have to try to break later. As often as we can, our shared writing sentences begin with any other word.

Yesterday we learned the sight word GO so the sentences we wrote were:

We go camping. and

We go outside.

Details now are in the illustrations where lots of academic feedback is given. I have also taught them how to give feedback to each other. They discuss what they are writing outloud and then cues are picked up by other students.

In my live class you will often hear: “W. said he is adding a sun. I think that is a good idea and am adding one too.”

or

“I like the way A. added details to his butterfly. I am adding some to mine. He reminded me.”

Of course, one of my favorite questions is: Is it time for writing YET?

What have you noticed about teaching writing this year? I would love to hear in the comments.

High/Low/Learn #SOL20

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Every week on Llama Tuesday I write a blog post and share it on the Two Writing Teachers blog. Then I comment on at least 3 other posts.

Here are the rules:

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog.
SHARE a link to your post in the comments section.
GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

There are 38 days left in 2020 which means I have 38 more writing prompts to publish. Do you have plans for the last 38 days?

One of my obsessions lately has been journaling prompts. I even found a couple of podcasts dedicated to journaling. On an episode of Writing Your Best Self I heard a writer talk about logging the high of the day, the low and what you have learned.

I follow this method similarly with my energy challenge that comes from the author of The Third Door. I log what fueled my energy, what drained it and what I learned from those observations.

I was reminded of a protocol I learned at the EL Education conference last year in October called HIGH/LOW/BUFFALO. In this version, you share a high and a low and something completely out of left field! Some people need some prodding in order to be silly sometimes. It helps to get to know people in a hurry.

My day of working from home has just started but here is mine so far (Subject to change by the evening)

High: Wellness of my family and it snowed!

Low: I was woken up early by loud vehicles driving by

Buffalo: I learned today that pickled carrots are a thing and I am writing about them!

What are yours?

I would love to hear in the comments!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Welcome back to the weekend. Thank you chatting with me today. What can I get you? Coffee? Cream? Sugar?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the week felt heavy. Many COVID cases are coming closer to me. Work is a high volume problem area. Places are starting to shut down again or modifying service. It seems we are right back to where we were in March. (Insert big sigh)

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter. I wrote about traditions, pain anniversaries, and Thanksgiving. You don’t want to miss the next edition of the Inner Circle Secrets Newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am working on my story for my final project in my Short Story Intensive. I still have to cut 1000 words… It is due to the group on November 30th. Then it goes into the first round of critique by the teacher and another member of the group.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my writing prompts are going strong. I have gotten so much pleasure out of this project. More than I suspected. You can receive daily emails of the new prompts and get access to all the previous posted prompts by signing up at my Patreon here. Each prompt comes with a reflection.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my friend Jenna is opening her coaching program connected to Human Design! I am so excited. She is amazing and insightful. You can find the info here about her offerings. You won’t be sorry you signed up for a session. My sessions with her have been incredible and I always leave energized with new information.

Here are some words from Jenna herself:

I created the Clarity + Connection Conversations offering to make it easier; to clearly identify the next steps that are best for you and to provide you with the encouragement and accountability to see them through.

No matter the session you select below, these Conversations are designed to focus in on an area of your life where you need guidance, reference the nuances of your unique design, help you gain clarity on the answers you seek, and solidify your next steps forward.

Do you need a warm up? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was inspired by my students this week and our readings of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. I had one little that insisted everyday that was the FAKE version of the story. His version was the only REAL one with the pigs not getting eaten.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I enjoyed my walks this week. The sunset was part of all of them. I was able to listen to some good podcasts as well. Lately, I have been disappointed in the podcast feed.

If we were having coffee I would wish you a wonderful week and American Thanksgiving! The holiday will look different for many this year due to lockdowns and travel bans.

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing gathering every weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Hello! Welcome back to the weekend. Thank you for joining me for a chat. Can I pour you a cup of coffee? Cream? Sugar?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to the dentist twice this week. Once for a cleaning and then for a filling and repair. It was supposed to be on the same day, but the dentist’s daughter had a high fever and they had to reschedule. For the first time in my life the numbing didn’t take. It was luckily a small amount of decay so I muscled through with three little electric shocks. I am happy that all the repairs are over and I just have cleanings to look forward to.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter. I wrote about my perfectionism this past Friday. It got quite a response. You don’t want to miss the next edition of the Inner Circle Secrets Newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a writing class on Saturday. I also have a writing call with my Intensive group on Sunday morning. I have been writing every day. I am doing a combo of Sarah Selecky daily prompts, the Nancy Stohlman Flash Nano prompts, and my own regular writing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we are in the last 50 days of 2020 now! You can receive daily emails of the new prompts and get access to all the previous posted prompts by signing up at my Patreon here. Each prompt comes with a reflection and more info as well.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a story published this week at Five on the Fifth! I was excited this story found a home. I love it so much. You can read that here. Another story I love is being published in February of 2021 in another fantastic publication. More info about that as we get closer.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I enjoy reading my horoscopes from Chani Nicholas. I have always been fascinated by astrology but find Chani’s work extra special. Even if this is something you don’t “believe” in they are great sources for writing inspiration as well. You can sign up for her emails here.

Do you need a warm up? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I starting doing drawing videos with my students this week. It is super fun and takes 5 minutes. My students are fantastic writers and have come so far in 11 weeks. We drew a cartoon fox and turkey this week and they were so detailed and fun. I highly recommend this Youtube channel. Even if you just like to doodle yourself with no kids they are super fun! It is a great way to be playful.

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing gathering every weekend!

Inspiration from Everywhere #SOL20

Come join me and other teacher writers at the Two Writing Teachers blog. Every Tuesday teachers blog a slice of their life and others comment. It is a wonderful community.

One of my favorite questions is, “What inspires you?”

Here in Wisconsin, there are hints of November. I am in the midst of NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) and getting ready for Thanksgiving. The weather however is warmer than it was in the spring. It has been over 70 degrees here over the last couple of days.

I am feeling a bit rebellious about it. I should not be wearing a t-shirt and shorts to walk. I will have to use this feeling and details in a story this week.

This week in class we are utilizing the website Mystery Science. The kids really like these videos, as do I, because they are interesting and we always learn something new.

Yesterday we watched a video about poisonous plants. We learned about the Manchineel tree that can kill you. We saw trees that had grown around signs, benches, motorcycles, and bikes. Not only did it ignite lots of conversation from my 5 year olds it fueled our writing as well. The students wrote in their journals what a tree would “eat”.

One little one kept saying, “That is terrifying!” I write down their comments all day long. I have to go back through my teaching notebook and log them all in a document. The kid speak alone is gold.

The video even inspired my writing. For one of the daily prompts I needed to write a story from the POV of something that normally doesn’t have one. I wrote from the perspective of this tree with the warning label.

What has inspired you that was surprising lately? I would love to hear in the comments.

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Welcome! I am so happy you joined me today. I am so ready for a casual sit down with some coffee with you today. I have regular black coffee with some espresso added for some extra kick. What would you like today?

This week has been one of not much sleep for me. With the time change and everything going on in the world I seemed to be thrown off in a major way. I also sunk right into a vivid dream each time I went back to sleep too which is highly unusual. How has your sleep been this week?

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter. I wrote about connection in these strange times last Friday. You don’t want to miss the next edition of the Inner Circle Secrets Newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you last Sunday we traveled to Chicago and went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Then we ate Giordano’s pizza. It was a fun day in the city. Quieter than normal due to Covid and less people everywhere.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I picked up many short story collections this week from the library that has been glorious. I read from the 2020 Best American Short Stories Friday night. T.C. Boyle has a story in there called The Apartment which was delightful. I have Emma Cline’s new collection and also Nicole Krauss’. I think Nicole has some of the most beautiful sentences in the world!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the last 100 days writing prompts is so much fun! You can receive daily emails of the new prompts and get access to all the previous posted prompts by signing up at my Patreon here. I post the prompt and writing process ideas and my personal experience as well.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a story published this week at Five on the Fifth! I was excited this story found a home. I love it so much. You can read that here.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know I have a podcast?” A close friend of mine has jokingly accused me of hiding it so here is the link! It is now available on six different platforms, including Google Podcasts.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that through logging my words I realized I write a lot more than I imagined. I have an established writing routine that works for me and am unsure a challenge of any sort will influence it at this point. I love the community of NANOWRIMO and believe every writer should participate in some aspect. You don’t HAVE to write a novel. You can be a rebel. But if you want to establish a writing routine then doing it with a worldwide support group is the time!

Do you need a warm up on your drink? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been enjoying my journaling in a whole new way lately. Are there prompts you like to use? A resource or a person that I might not know? Please share with me! I am examining the writing process journal with a new lens too. There will be more about that coming soon.

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing gathering every weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Thanks for joining me today! It is November this weekend. Do you know what that means?

NANOWRIMO!

For those who do not know that is National Novel Writing Month. The month where writers get together in all types of community and support each other to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I would love to hear about your writing goals for this month.

I have my black coffee today. What would you like to drink today? I have some pumpkin scones and cranberry too.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you November also means the time change. This is not my favorite time of year for sure. I have issues with sleeping and feeling tired anyway but the time change is jet lag without the trip.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you there are some major things happening this month for me. It is an emotionally charged month for sure. The writing community will help and I am motivated to achieve my goals as always. Work and writing will be good distractions.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the last 100 days writing prompts is going excellently! You can be part of the fun! Sign up at my Patreon here. Here is today’s prompt:

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I hosted a write in this week and it was creatively fueling and fun! We laughed a lot and got a lot of writing done in a short time. I am looking forward to the write ins for November!

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know I have a podcast?” A close friend of mine has jokingly accused me of hiding it so here is the link! It is now available on six different platforms, including Google Podcasts.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what you did for Halloween! It looked a lot different this year for us. We had a little party at the house since there was no trick or treating with a spooky table. The witch fingers and vampire teeth were a hit with the kids.

Do you need a warm up on your drink? Ice water perhaps? Another scone?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I always look forward to the new month. It feels like everything is full of possibility. What are your plans for November?

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing challenge every weekend!

Need Some Inspiration?

A List and Some Thoughts for You Today

One of my favorite short story authors is Amber Sparks. She posted today on social media her book was on this list from Bustle.

Normally, I scroll through and only click on one or two selections but there was something about this list that drew me in.

I put 5 of the collections on my holds list from the library. I already have read Amber’s book (which I HIGHLY recommend). Another one I have checked out from the library right now and am currently reading:

Another one of the collections is from Nicole Krauss who is a fantastic novel writer. Her sentences are beautiful. The overall description of the short story collection didn’t grab me but my knowledge of her writing style is enough for me to check it out.

Other thoughts:

Short stories are great if your time or attention is clipped since you can hold the whole story in your head at once.

They are great models if you are a writer for how to get a beginning, middle, and end in a short space.

Because the form requires words to not be wasted usually there are gems of lines to take out for quote lists and writing prompts.

Happy Reading!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Thanks for joining me for a quiet chat today. It has been a week of ups and downs for me. The last few days have been calm and I am thankful.

What would you like to talk about today?

I am back to my black coffee today. I tried a new brand and it is dark and rich and delicious. What would you like today?

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been continuing to participate in OCTPOWRIMO and writing poetry all week but only in my notebook.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I read a story on a Zoom gathering with the Sarah Selecky Writing School earlier in the week. I assumed there would be more people, but it ended up only being 12. This fact burst my idea to just listen and not read. The comments were positive and the other writers shared amazing work.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am pleased how the 100 writing prompt project is progressing. You can be part of the fun! Sign up at my Patreon here. Here is today’s prompt:

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was asked a question about using Twitter as an author. I do not recommend any social media platform you do not like. Don’t use it because “it seemed like a good idea.” Your authentic person needs to shine through.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know I have a podcast?” A close friend of mine has jokingly accused me of hiding it so here is the link! It is now available on six different platforms, including Google Podcasts.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know it is November next weekend?” That seems crazy to me. It also means the time change which means the jet lag feeling. I am looking forward to reading In November with my class. It is a picture book I adore.

Do you need a warm up on your drink? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I submitted two more stories this week. I am looking forward to hearing back from the editors!

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing challenge every weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I am so glad we can sit together and chat today. Thanks for joining me. What would you like to talk about today? What is the most important thing on your mind?

I am treating myself with a pumpkin spice latte today! I am going to celebrate the season with my beverage. What would you like today?

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you have ever read Turn of the Screw? This novella has come up several times over the last week for me. Nina Lacour used it as an inspiration for her wonderful book Watch Over Me. I downloaded it on a reader on my phone and started it last night.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been participating in OCTPOWRIMO and writing poetry all week. It has been a nice change from my regular writing routine.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did not walk every day this week. At school, we had to stay late both Tuesday and Thursday to do virtual parent conferences. I missed the feeling and the routine of the walks. The weather is quite windy this weekend so I have to bundle up! Winter is coming.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am excited how the 100 writing prompt project is moving along. The responses to the prompts are good and everyone is making them their own. You can be part of the fun! Sign up at my Patreon here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you Nina Lacour was on the Marginally Podcast. It was a great interview. She also was on First Draft with Sarah Enni which was an amazing conversation to listen to as well.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know I have a podcast?” A close friend of mine has jokingly accused me of hiding it so here is the link!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I adore Ray Bradbury and his influence. So many of his quotes have had an impact on my writing life. I came across a new one.

Write a thousand words a day and in three years you will be a writer.

Ray Bradbury

My friend Amy has convinced me to do the million words in a year challenge. We are starting November 1. It is more than 1,000 words a day but doable. I am excited that I am taking on challenges that have expanded past the 30 challenge boundary I usually participate in.

Do you need a warm up on your drink? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I heard an exercise taken from screenwriting called “List of 20”. When you need anything for your story, make a list of 20. If your characters need to get out a situation make a list of 20 ways they can get out it. Your brain will make you write down the obvious ones first. After you get past number 10 then you may get to something more unique.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my October workshop for my Patreon is impactful! I made it a self guided recording this month because the exercises are more personal. One participant, Jenna, said: The October Workshop was SO good! Thank you for sharing so many incredible insights and exercises. I’ve been feeling a little low and fuzzy-headed lately, and this workshop was really a breath of fresh air. You can have access to this workshop and the past ones by clicking here.

What are you most excited about from your week? I would love to hear in the comments. How are you getting ready for Halloween – if you do anything?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I ordered whiskey glasses that are created for Old Fashioneds because I saw this drink recipe. I cannot wait to make it!

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing challenge every weekend!