Story Walk #SOL21

On most Tuesdays I blog and post to the Two Writing Teacher Blog . Teacher writers read and then comment on at least three others posts.

I have been working with the 4 year old kindergarten in my building this year. One class I visit weekly for a writing and reading lesson. These little ones are embracing their author and illustrator identities whole heartily. Today one of the first questions I got from students today is “Why is your hair black?”

I decided to dye my hair black from blonde again. It is October, it is almost Halloween, and it feels more like me right now.

In my town the library does a story walk in parks and other public outdoor spaces with a children’s book. Pages are printed and dotted along the path so kids can walk and read. I decided this was a perfect project to do with some classes in my school.

The 4K teaches with themes. Trees has been a great thread through the weeks. We have read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Caps for Sale. The students were learning about deciduous trees today!

When we did Chicka Chicka Boom Boom we talked about what else could be in the tree besides letters and coconuts. Lemons came up and then we called it a lemonade tree.

Today we talked about what silly things could go into trees and that is what they each wrote about.

Here are some the ideas:

Door tree

Macaroni tree

Pizza tree

Toy tree

The lost stuff tree

Shoe tree 

Sock tree

In order for the students to draw a tree they were advised to trace their hand which was a great way to have them do it.

The teachers wrote the sentence on the page and then they are going to be displayed on their lockers for everyone to read as a story walk.

It is exciting for everyone to see the great work these little ones are doing.

I cannot wait to see what they write next.

23 on Tuesday #SOL21

On most Tuesdays I blog and post to the Two Writing Teacher Blog . Teacher writers read and then comment on at least three others posts.

23 Things I Did This Morning:

  1. Woke up at 4 a.m.
  2. Had coffee
  3. Wrote in my notebook
  4. Responded to writers in Slack
  5. Listened to the MFA Writers Podcast
  6. Showered
  7. Found my green pants
  8. Straightened my hair
  9. Drove to work
  10. Did door duty
  11. Made schedules for two reading coach visits next week including links to tools and documents needed
  12. Drank more coffee
  13. Answered email
  14. Updated my calendar
  15. Looked at reading reports
  16. Delivered a student book to a teacher
  17. Read The Very Lonely Firefly to a class
  18. Facilitated writing and illustrating for the class
  19. Picked up a 4 year old student who is reading
  20. Made log entries for the work I did yesterday
  21. Changed the schedule after hearing from one of the coaches
  22. Had a conversation with the EL teacher about reading assessment
  23. Went to a grade level team meeting

It is interesting to see what I do when I list it out…

Ten on Tuesday #SOL21

On most Tuesdays I blog and post to the Two Writing Teacher Blog . Teacher writers read and then comment on at least three others posts.

Tomorrow is the first day of fall and I am thrilled.

Here are ten delights about AUTUMN:

  1. twinkle lights
  2. cozy blankets
  3. coffee, but sometimes hot cider
  4. crows
  5. candles
  6. thick stew with crusty bread
  7. thick Irish wool sweaters
  8. reading the book In November to my students
  9. layers of clothes
  10. the crisp breeze flowing through colorful leaves on my walks

I would love to hear what fall means to you in the comments.

June #CoffeeShare

Welcome to Sunday! It is COFFEE TIME! But honestly, when is it not?

#thankyouforsharing

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

#lastdays

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my last day of this school year was Thursday. I am relieved to be done. This past year was full of a lot of success but too many pivots.

#BradburyRevisionChallenge.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you for my Bradbury Revision Challenge today I read

Story: https://flashboulevard.wordpress.com/2021/06/12/sherrie-flick-the-bear-and-i/

Poem: https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2020/02/28/heid-e-erdrich-i-feel-like-a-fool-do-you/chronicles/poetry/

Essays: The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg – Schedule

And Not a Novel A Memoir in Pieces Jenny Erpenbeck On “The Old Child”

I am obsessed with Sherrie Flick lately and she had several new stories published yesterday. They are weird ones about bears and I like them a lot. I pay attention to her endings.

The poem I heard about from the How Do You Write? podcast from Rachael Herron and the author was her guest. It was a fascinating interview and I love this. poem.

The NG chapter was about the schedule of silence and readings at a retreat. NG says that you can use the schedule for yourself or a group. I have a retreat document that I need to revisit and revise. I have not deployed it yet but need to plan a day for it.

Would you like a refill? Some water? Something stronger? I feel like talking for a bit longer.

#writing

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I continue to write every day. With more time I am experimenting with some techniques and processes. I use my walks as part of my writing time. I do feel a bit of a transition of schedule as I do every summer. There is a changing of roles and primary responsibility when the schedule changes this much for me.

My plan is not to take any new courses right now. I have taken so many over the past year and need to play with some of the techniques and just write. With my Tuesday PUSH groups I have the opportunity to take my curated learning and share it with other writers. This gathering is a highlight of my week and something I had dreamed of creating for a long time.

Since I am teaching for the Sarah Selecky school this fall, I am reworking through some of the course materials as well to refresh. Having contact with the other teachers in the school will help in this endeavor as well. You can check out the course here. Sign ups are open until June 24th.

——-

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!

June #CoffeeShare

Welcome to Sunday! It is COFFEE TIME! But honestly, when is it not?

#thankyouforsharing

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

#lastdays

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my students’ last day was Friday. It was a strange feeling to have two last days since I had cohorts for the last 2 months of school. It didn’t feel real. It was a good last two days actually. Thursday was field day all morning and then Friday we pet baby chicks, made cube models out of marshmallows and toothpicks, had a scavenger hunt with Bomb pops at the end, and had hot dogs for lunch. I have a week of teacher days still but planning for kids is over for this school year. I am tired and burnt out and am looking forward to resting.

#graduation

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this weekend is busy. My two oldest are graduating. I am excited for them and what they are moving forward with in their lives in the fall. It is going to be 90 degree celebrations!

#BradburyRevisionChallenge.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I would love for you to join me for the Bradbury Challenge this month. I am posting daily what I am reading for revision. I am reading a poem, short story, and essay each day and applying those lens to a story already in my drive.

Would you like a refill? Some water? Something stronger? I feel like talking for a bit longer.

#fabulousflashfiction

If we were having coffee, I would tell you registration is open for a short time longer for my Fabulous Flash Fiction class I am teaching June 9-13th. Slots are already filling up! If you cannot make it but know someone who would be interested please share the link with them! You can find more info here. There is a kick off Zoom meeting that will be recorded if you are unable to attend. The class is asynchronous so you can do it at your own pace and schedule. There are no other live meetings.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it was a busy weekend. We went to two graduation ceremonies and a graduation party. It was an emotional two days. Honestly, it was a build up so it was more than just a few days.

——-

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!

May Holiday #CoffeeShare

Welcome to Sunday! It is COFFEE TIME! But honestly, when is it not?

#thankyouforsharing

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

#challengequeen

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my storyaday challenge is done tomorrow. I have written a story every day, sometimes more than one, and reflected on this blog daily about the process. I am not sure I learned anything new necessarily about my writing. Giving myself the challenge of posting it publicly insured I did think about HOW I did the writing. A portion of my post today is about reflecting on the month as a whole.

If you would like to check out some of the past day’s reflections you can do so here:

May 20 and 21

May 17

May 5

May 1 – Where I outline the goal and process

#memorialdaybreak

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was so ready for this three day weekend. My students are finished next week and then I have teacher days for the following week. We are officially done on June 10th. I am ready to return to my full time writer schedule in the summer. This school year has been full of pivots and stress and I need to recharge to come back fresh in the fall.

#BradburyRevisionChallenge.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I would love for you to join me for the Bradbury Challenge in June. I will read a poem, short story, and essay each day with the idea to use them as revision tools. I need to get into my Drive and revise a bunch of flash fiction and short story pieces. I will be posting at least once a week and sharing some of what I read and how I am utilizing the work for my writing. You can follow along with the blog. I also will be sharing some things in my Slack group for my Patreon.

Would you like a refill? Some water? Something stronger? I feel like talking for a bit longer.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you registration is open for a short time longer for my Fabulous Flash Fiction class I am teaching June 9-13th. Slots are already filling up! If you cannot make it but know someone who would be interested please share the link with them! You can find more info here. There is a kick off Zoom meeting that will be recorded if you are unable to attend. The class is asynchronous so you can do it at your own pace and schedule. There are no other live meetings.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to Devil’s Lake park yesterday and the weather was perfect. There are several trails and rock formations. It is a beautiful place on earth. There were not that many people there when we started which makes it easier to navigate the trails. I can breath easy there.

Devil’s Doorway

——-

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!

May 23rd Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to Sunday!

It has been a very long week for me.

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 storyaday challenge is still going strong. We are nearing the end of the challenge now since it is the 23rd. I am glad that I have taken a daily reflection of my process. It has been interesting for me to reflect and I have a pile of workable stories to move forward with. Today’s story is about lists. There is a choice in the prompt to write a list story or to use a list of words that the host provides. I used the list of words. My story ended up being about a little boy obsessed with lemons.

If you would like to check out some of the past day’s reflections you can do so here:

May 20 and 21

May 17

May 5

May 1 – Where I outline the goal and process

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I love a self-imposed challenge and am deciding what I want to do next. In June, I believe I am going to go back to my Bradbury challenge. I am going to reflect and keep track of what I am reading and writing in response to that reading. I have been thinking a lot about an MFA and what that means for me. I think it is really about the immersion in reading and writing that I crave. I have been able to curate the community I need. In an MFA (or any long term class for that matter) you do not get to choose the cohort you are with. I do feel I need a longer writing retreat!

I would love for you to join me for the Bradbury Challenge.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I walked on Saturday and it was quite warm and sunny. I got sunburn on my arms! I was thankful to be able to walk during the day after my flash fiction writing time. I have a class later today which I am excited about as well.

Would you like a refill? Some water? I have these delicious cranberry scones. I haven’t made them forever.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you registration opened for my Fabulous Flash Fiction class I am teaching June 9-13th. Slots are already filling up! If you cannot make it but know someone who would be interested please share the link with them! You can find more info here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had my centered call this past week with Sarah Selecky about Wonder. I enjoy these calls immensely. I also had a great call with my PUSH group.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am thinking about changing my word of the year for the second half. The spirit of the word is just not working for me anymore.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you in kindergarten this week we talked about a lot of animals. We were working with non-fiction books and learning about sharks. They were also interested in dolphins, spiders, and elephants. Elephants come up a lot in our class. We have a program called Mystery Science they are a bit obsessed with. The materials are good and I always learn something new as well. It fuels our writing in a good way.

I did realize on my walk yesterday that a regular practice in my classroom surrounding writing got modified because of virtual learning so I am going back to the old way tomorrow in class. I have trepidation about starting a new practice at the end of May but it is best for the kids so we will experiment and see what happens!

——-

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!

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to Sunday!

It has been quite a week for me. How was it for you? I would love to hear in the comments.

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 storyaday challenge has been going well. I have been blogging about my process surrounding my writing of flash stories every day on the blog. It has been the best way to keep a process journal for me! I

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I do love a self-imposed challenge. I pose a challenge to myself almost every month of the year. I find this tactic to be motivating to me. It keeps me on track. I do a similar theme type schedule for the blog usually as well. For the Two Writing Teachers blog March daily blogging challenge I chose a theme for each day so it was easier to have a constraint for me to choose what to write.

I have also been using more templates to get started with posts which saves time as well. I have used them for awhile with WordPress but have started to use some Gmail templates also.

Sometimes the challenges work theme wise and sometimes they are not as inspiring and then I change them! I love a good 100 day challenge. My son used to love the number 100 when he was younger. It is a good chunk of time and a great way to start a new habit for me. I started writing letters in January for the 100dayproject which I liked and did a good chunk of but lost interest after about 30 days. It is an idea I will likely come back to. I did the project while it lit me up and then moved on to something else when it didn’t serve me anymore.

In order to share with others, I have been hosting some challenges for other people so they can be inspired as well! I have hosted Bradbury Challenges, Education Energy Challenges, 10 Min Challenges, and an Unpublished to Published challenge/workshop. I have participated in a monthlong blogging challenge for education, a poetry writing month of April and this month is storyaday. Some of these challenges are independent of my Patreon and some are part of my weekly PUSH groups which are so fueling!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am obsessed with Elizabeth McCracken’s new book The Souvenir Museum still. Elizabeth is an prof at the University of Texas. I wish I could audit or take a class with her. I am still looking into that! She said that when she traveled she writes short stories. Her fiction is weird, similar to Kelly Link and Karen Russell for me. While I was at the indoor water park yesterday I kept thinking about her short story about Robinson Crusoe at a waterpark!

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 registration opened for my Fabulous Flash Fiction class I am teaching June 9-13th. Slots are already filling up! If you cannot make it but know someone who would be interested please share the link with them! You can find more info here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I met with my critique group and I might have figured out where the issue was with this little story I love but cannot seem to publish. I have sent it out several times and it was getting the form rejection. My group was wonderful and shared what they liked and their impressions. As a writer, there are often times I have an idea of what story I am projecting but the reader has a much different experience! This is what I love about an honest and trusted critique group. They can tell what is “wrong” with the story and I can hear them. If only ALL adult friendships were like this!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I would like to know what you find most inspiring about SPRING!

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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!

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the weekend! This week was loooooooong for me.

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you Storyaday is in full swing. I am posting reflections about the prompts, my stories and my process daily on the blog. So far I have written a full story each day. I am connecting with some new writers which has been fun. Some of the stories have surprised me which is always a good thing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a day of Voxer coaching on Monday which was enlightening. I was able to talk out some things that were puzzling me with my community and what I want to do next. If you are not familiar with Voxer, it is an app that allows you to record audio messages for another person. Essentially it is voice texting. I normally am not an audio processor but have found that this app helps me in certain situations.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my professional development this week at work was not fun. We were looking at the Wisconsin standards and determining their Depth of Knowledge number. After an hour and a half I was done.

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 was able to attend a Hermit Crab workshop during my lunch time this week. The class was out of the UK and worked out with my schedule. Hermit Crab styles are a way to write a story that takes the form of something else like a recipe or advertisement. I have been having trouble with the recipe aspect of the form and there was an example that was really helpful.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this weekend I am spending time with my son. I also have a writing circle on Sunday I am looking forward to. Plus there is writing time!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I hope to listen to some great podcasts while I am in the car this weekend. Any recommendations?

——-

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 June 9-13th. Registration opens 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

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to May!!

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 going to DisneyWorld next month! I am taking my son for a graduation present and it seems unbelievable to say out loud.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I wrote and read a lot of poems during the month of April. May is dedicated to short stories. I am reflecting on my writing process in a public way for this challenge. The posts will go up several times a week, if not everyday. You can check out DAY 1 here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am obsessed with Elizabeth McCracken’s new book The Souvenir Museum and I was able to pick up a hold from library yesterday. I was thrilled and started reading it immediately.

Would you like a refill? Some water? I have homemade s’mores and vanilla cupcakes with my grandmother’s frosting.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I took some time off in the evenings the last week of April and it wasn’t as refueling as I thought it would be. The new schedule is tiring, but I am getting used to it. I am hosting my PUSH group this Tuesday and I am so glad. I missed it terribly last week. I could tell I did not have my intellectual conversation on Wednesday morning! I woke up frustrated and not rested.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am back to my fasting schedule and it is going well. I will be at my goal weight by the end of June.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you there are lots of exciting things coming this month and next. I have two writing classes later in the month. There are a few short trips planned as well.

——-

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