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?

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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 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

#IWSG May

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!

The May 5th question


Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?\
The awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

Readers come to a piece with their own exeriences and interests. I often forget this as a writer because there is always an intention for writing the poem, story or essay. We cannot control what ultimately our reader gathers from our words.

Several years ago I shared a piece of writing with a friend who read it in a much different way than I intended while writing it. Her background was horror and she also was a middle school English teacher. [Somehow those seems weirdly connected!]

It was a sad story with a conflicted main character. The character was upset because she was not with her husband. You do not know til the end where he is when she gets a phone call.

Her take on the story was that the main character was being held in an apartment but someone who had kidnapped her. Her impression was that she had fallen in love with her kidnapper!

My initial reaction was shock and then laughter. I reread the story through her lens and saw how with that mindset it could read that way!

I am glad we had that conversation because I learned first hand about what people see when they read my words.

#happyreading #happywriting

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.

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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

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

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!

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?

#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

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.

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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.

Two Truths and A Lie Tuesday #sol21 #day30

Two Truths and A Lie

Can you tell which is which?

  1. I can juggle and used to entertain at children’s parties.
  2. I have run races from 5K to 50 miles and won an ultramarathon.
  3. I hate left turns and will avoid them when I can.

Do you have a guess?

How is it Day 30 of the month and this challenge already? The months are once again whizzing by for me. I sorta enjoyed the slow living of the lockdown/pandemic year. Every day for the month of March I post on my blog and then comment on three other blogs at twowritingteachers.org.