April Weekend Coffee Share

Can you believe it is April!? 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 my spring break was this week and it flew by. If I am honest, I am not looking forward to next week but feel like it is a “rip off the band-aid” moment. Once I am in the thick of it, it will be fine but the anticipation is not fun. I keep trying to reframe things unsuccessfully.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you April is all about poetry. I have been enjoying reading old favorites and new ones that show up in my inbox every day. Writing a poem every day has been a breath of fresh air too. Since I have been remembering more of my dreams they have been more of a part of the poetry that I write than ever before.

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 we went camping this weekend to a favorite spot. It was great and I was able to hike in the sun and sit around the campfire.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I bought a new car this week. I pick it up on Monday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I enjoyed the walks I was able to take this week during the day. I went in the late morning which was the perfect time. It was colder than I thought it would be this week though.

——-

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.

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.

Weekend Coffee Share #SOL21 #day21

I am so happy you are meeting me for coffee! Welcome to Sunday! It is sunny and officially spring!

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers blog for the March challenge! I have been able to post to the blog every day. That hasn’t happened since….probably last March! HAHA

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you work has been confusing. There are all types of decisions made for our face to face transition that do not make sense and other decisions that are simply just not being made. I have made the decision to start seriously getting ready that Monday before students show up because it is going to be a lot of trial and error anyway. There are lists upon lists being made, but I am not taking action yet. This is partly due to some actions I did take and then had to redo them all because the directives changed!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you walking and running in the sun has been wonderful. We did have a little snowstorm though which seemed like a jolt! I think we may be past the snow now…maybe.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my #10MINFOR10DAYS free challenge and it has been so inspiring. You can sign up here still! It is a 10 minute creativity challenge. I love the 10 minute time frame and am always amazed at what can be accomplished.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am trying something different with my freewrites and meeting a bit of resistance. I did use the prompt, “What is beneath the words..” with some success this week. I am having trouble letting go which is odd. I normally can let the words flow pretty easily.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the PUSH group was amazing this past Tuesday again. I love this group and it is always so fueling. The mix of talent in the group works for everyone. Next week we are talking writing, prompts, and writer bios.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am still participating in the Two Writing Teachers blog challenge. I have been posting to the blog daily. It has been wonderful to reconnect with so many teacher writers and meet some new ones! I always am so inspired by their posts.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I met with my critique group this week and we workshopped my story. It was interesting to hear the perspective from writers who do not know my writing well. This story was more a literary fiction style rather than my weird flash fiction and they had insights expressed in a new way to me. It was wonderful. I was so nervous beforehand too so it was also a relief!

——-

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.

Weekend Coffee Share #SOL21 #day14

It was warm…and then it got cold again. Let’s just sit inside today shall we? I have strong black coffee but have some add in’s if you like. 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. That hasn’t happened since….probably last March! HAHA

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 evening schedule was a little different this week. I did not have as many meetings scheduled which I was thankful for. I love to learn and interact with other writers and friends but sometimes it can be too much. I had several meetings stacked on Tuesday but they were all wonderful. The rest of the week was free and I took some longer walks and read or just relaxed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I do not welcome Daylight Savings Time. I even wrote an article about it here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did a lot of walking this weekend. Some was necessary in order to pick up my car being repaired and other times I was just enjoying the weather. We got the kids out there too so that was wonderful!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am hosting a #10MINFOR10DAYS free challenge starting Monday (tomorrow). You can sign up here! It is a challenge for people who want to change their life in 10 minutes. I love the 10 minute time frame and am always amazed at what can be accomplished. You will receive a daily email with inspiration. I am excited to share some techniques that light me up! Hopefully, they will work for you too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am taking a break from classes for a bit. I need to curate and settle with some of the fantastic information I have taken in the last couple of months. I will still be reading but will take some more time to marinate some ideas. I am also planning my own flash class that I am going to be teaching soon. I am trying to decide which platform I want to use in order to do it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my son passed the test and now has his driver’s license! It is a huge milestone and I am so proud of him.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am still participating in the Two Writing Teachers blog challenge. I have been posting to the blog daily. It has been wonderful to reconnect with so teacher writers and meet some new ones! I always am so inspired by their writings.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been freewriting with a different lens. I am trying to focus on what is emerging and in the present rather than always going into the past. I am also rereading some journals and seeing what pops out to me especially in the way of patterns.

The new moon is here! What plans do you have for the next cycle? I feel big things brewing these next couple of weeks!

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.

Weekend Coffee Share

It is the weekend! Welcome!

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers blog for the March challenge! 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 joined a new critique group this week. We were matched through the Chicago Writers Association. It seems like a good match all around. We worked out details of how we are going to move forward. One brave soul (Thanks Liz!) shared the beginning of her novel and it was great conversation. We started a Slack (which you know I love!) and I am excited to see how this works out. We are meeting bi-monthly and I am sharing writing next.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better. I also tell you the most current happenings I am offering.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my PUSH group was amazing this past week. We used a visual prompt and I was blown away by everyone’s writing. I am considering having everyone submit a flash story that surrounds one prompt and publish them. As a teacher, I see unique approaches to a prompt all the time but the talent of this group astounds me. I am honored to be able to have such great conversation each week. Our conversations continue about moving from Unpublished to Published in our course materials as well.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am not looking forward to Daylight Savings time next weekend. I will try not to complain too much about something I cannot control.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I started reading George Saunder’s new book about the Russian short stories and how he leads his classes through it. I am fascinated by it and so easy to read. I look forward to digging into it more today.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am hosting a #10MINFOR10DAYS challenge starting MARCH 15! Sign up here! It is a challenge for people who want to change their life in 10 minutes. This is a free challenge. I love the 10 minute time frame and have changed my writing routine using it. When you sign up and starting March 15 you will receive a daily email with inspiration. I am excited to share this method that has worked so well for me!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this was the last week for my Slow Novel Lab with Nina LaCour. I am thrilled I took this class and was able to get so much out it. I met some great writers along the way as well. I will use her exercises over and over for all sizes of written pieces and highly recommend it. This round, she had us in small groups that met once a week and it was helpful. We were able to ask questions and benefit from everyone’s questions!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the board decided to have students come back on April 8th. We are using a cohort model so I will have one group that comes to school in the building on Mondays and Tuesdays and a second group that will attend live on Thursday and Friday. While at home, they will be online joining class. It will be an interesting pivot for everyone.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers blog challenge. I have been posting to the blog daily. It has been wonderful to reconnect with so many talented educators I know and love to read! I learn so much during this month and have a running list going of things I want to try with my students and my writing.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I would love to hear what you are working on and what you find inspiring.

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the weekend!

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week was a struggle. There was a lot scheduled this week and by the time we got to Wednesday I was exhausted. I had to cancel some things in order to not lose my mind. How was your week?

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better. I also tell you the most current happenings I am offering.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been thinking a lot about what we ask for and what we do not. I wrote my newsletter about it that went out Friday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I hosted two events this week. One was my regular weekly PUSH group which was amazing. It is always rich with conversation and that hour fuels me in so many ways. The other was a write in where I shared three of my favorite prompts. There were a handful of us so we were able to read what we wrote in 7 minute increments. We laughed so hard and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to a flash fiction festival this weekend. Saturday morning was a workshop by Kathy Fish and Sunday morning was a workshop by K.B Carle. The whole festival was amazing. It normally is in person so the pandemic does allow for us to attend from my living room and my run. I was able to get two drafts out from Kathy’s workshop. I always enjoy working with her.

It is an amazing practice to see all the names that I recognize in the zoom call.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I started running again this week. I had been walking for almost the entire pandemic. I ran two summers ago and worked my way up to 13 miles in a single run just to make sure I could do it again.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am hosting a new challenge starting March 15! You can sign up for this free challenge here: https://mailchi.mp/18cdb0dbd335/10min10days. It is a 10 minute daily challenge for 10 days. I will send you daily inspiration for those 10 days. It is going to be amazing.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I would love to hear what you are working on and what you find inspiring.

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the weekend!

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 am hosting a write in on Thursday! Sign up here to get the info! I will provide the writing space and prompts and you provide the creativity!

If we were having coffee, I would tell I went to a writing circle on Sunday on Zoom (of course). It was an amazing experience. The host was Jane Brunette who I recommend highly. You can find her website here. There were prompts, writing, reading and sharing of favorite lines. It was magically fueling!

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better. I also tell you the most current happenings I am offering.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week has been rough. I have had some periods of sadness and discomfort. I am trying to figure out the sources and also how to deal with them. Writing is always a solution!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I got my second COVID vaccine. I did not have a reaction this time, so that was a delightful surprise. I did have to wait a lot longer to get the second dose however. The change in the schedule compared to a regular week really threw me off somehow. I am thankful my school corporation cares enough to push to get us the vaccine. Many teacher friends have not been as lucky.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I watched Brene Brown’s NETFLIX special. Her work is always enlightening to me. I have been asking myself, “What is the story I am telling myself?” ever since I watched.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am taking Tommy Dean’s microfiction writing class and it is great. The prompts are interesting and I am meeting some new writers I hope to stay in contact with after the class is over. Do you have a recommendation for a great class? I am taking Traci Skuce’s class starting on Monday. I loved her writing summit and am excited to work more with her so soon. Over in my Patreon Slack community we have been sharing resources this month! Many of them free.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my 100 day project is moving along, but I haven’t posted on Instagram this week. You can check out the snippets about my main character Jack that I have posted if you go here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am reading Wintering, The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May and loving it. She is such a rich storyteller at the sentence level and I am resonating with so much of her prose and ideas.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I would love to hear what you are working on and what you find inspiring.

Snowy Weekend Coffee Share

It is the weekend to “celebrate hearts” as one of my kindergartners said this week.

Welcome to the weekend! It is still cold and snowy here. It is amazing!!!

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell my story was published Saturday at Fiction Kitchen Berlin. I loved writing this story and am thrilled it found the perfect home. If you want to hear more about where the story came from, you can read that here.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better. I also tell you the most current happenings I am offering.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am making progress on my novel rewrite. I had to have several conversations about getting out of my own way! Taking some pressure off myself and telling the critics to get in the trunk has helped.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I published a new episode of the podcast about a technique I use all the time in writing classes. Quickwrites were introduced to me fairly early in my teaching career by Linda Reif. You listen here. I used an Ada Limon poem I love for this exercise.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my 100 day project is going well. Since I have a group of writers in my circle I get to hear about their processes as well. You can check out the snippets about my main character Jack if you go here.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today.

First February Weekend Coffee Share

It is Freezer Saturday today. As I write this, it is 4 degrees F. The wind chill is much colder.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better. I also tell you the most current happenings I am offering. This past Friday I wrote about an insightful conversation I had with my friend Jenna.

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 PUSH group on Monday night was a fun life giving conversation about writing. We started with a writing exercise which was interesting. Everyone shared different sparkly sentences from their freewrite and they were amazing. We are meeting next Tuesday to discuss week 1 of my Unpublished to Published course. I am so looking forward to it!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I listened to Brene Brown interview Simon Sinek. I love his work. He just came out with a new book about finite and infinite thinking. There are many things that cannot be “won” that we are culturally told we can. This leads to frustration. I always feel I am expanded when I listen to Simon speak.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had my parent teacher conferences this week. They were all smooth and positive. The weather turned nasty this week so we were allowed to work from home on Thursday and Friday. I was thrilled.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my writing class is going well and I am making strides in my novel rewrite. My goal is to have this draft as polished as I can get it by the end of March. My spring break is that last week and I should have time to get it where I want it to be by then to be able to get it to the next step. I have had to rethink what my definition of “work on the novel” is. This rewrite is requiring more thinking and research that does not involve word counts and words on the page necessarily. Having my #the100dayproject centering around Jack [my main character] focuses my attention on the novel at least once a day. This is my own trick.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am sharing a word a day and encourage you to send me a word too! I gleaned this idea from Julie Paul. She is a Canadian writer who has a group of writers who exchange words and the 10 minute freewrite that comes from these words. Here is my word from today:

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is supposed to frigid this weekend and I am pleased to report I am not going anywhere. I have begun the weekend with listening to nourishing things and writing. There are books I will pick up from the library on Monday during my lunchtime.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have continued to walk every day. It has been cold so I have to dress correctly out there! It is a joy to walk in the snow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am taking a hermit crab writing class on Sunday. I am excited to see what I generate and the feedback that I will be able to give and get! It is on a new platform called BAND I have never used before so that is an exciting component as well.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I cannot wait to see what words you share with me!

Last January Weekend Coffee Share

Saturday rolls onto the calendar once again. My kindergarten students are having trouble learning the days of the week this year because there is a mundane quality to daily life in a pandemic. Most of them do not leave the house. There is not much distinction between weekdays and weekends. Zoom classes seem to be not as disruptive to their timelines as I would have thought at the beginning of all this.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better.

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 PUSH group on Tuesday night was a fun life giving conversation about submissions and #100dayprojects. The groups were so fun I am continuing them. The next one is on Monday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you next week I have parent teacher conferences and I have to be at work until 7pm both Tuesday and Thursday. I am not looking forward to this schedule. Most of my parents are asking for earlier times in the day for our chat so I will be working on my own projects as the day stretches into night.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I love my library. I was able to pick up several holds. I also checked out Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon. I am loving her poetry lately.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we had a surprise snow day last Tuesday. I slept and read and wrote. It was a glorious gift of rest.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I got my first round of the COVID vaccine this week. I am still apprehensive about the whole vaccine business if I am honest. I felt light headed and tired afterwards. My arm hurt as well. I go for the second round in a couple of weeks. Being a teacher, there are lots of reasons to get the shot, but my lack of faith in information that is given as fact unnerves me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did something that scared me a little this week. The worst that can happen is that I get a rejection but it still made me want to throw up a little before I hit send.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is supposed to snow this weekend and that makes me giddy!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I cannot wait to read what you were up to this week!