- The smell of my fabric softener on my sweatshirt
- Running on the bike trail and how the sun is shining bright
- The pushing and pulling of my relationship with running- Knowing my body remembers how to run and feeling it
- Green trees finally with the swell of a rain filled dip that looks like a creek now
- Groups of men playing Frisbee golf with their special duffel bags
- a lone fisherman trying to escape his work week with the NOTICE: No Swimming sign to his left
- A tan colored German Shepard walking his people
- Wooden benches that invite sitting but no one does
- Wooden fences that provide the illusion of protection
- 2 friends strolling with a baby
Connect is my one word for 2019
The question I asked myself was: How do I plan to intentional connect in January? I could just log activities randomly if they happen to fit the criteria, but I wanted to make this years’ word more of a goal. I did not want it to be an afterthought.
I want to live the word, partially because I NEED to.
Initially, the list held:
- Go to one Write on Hoosiers meeting – This is my in real life group that meets twice a month at a local library.
- Participate in my online writing group at least once a week – This is usually once a day honestly. We have a slack channel which makes it really easy.
- Participate in my editing class (amazing experience – I will sign up again.)
- Email another writer I connected with on Twitter – we talk about writing and check-ins.
- Blog once a week and make 10 comments/week to other writers
- Submit at least two pieces of writing
- Order business cards.
10 Things I Learned
- Being open to connections means I hear differently. At the Write On Hoosiers meeting, one of the other writers talked about a retreat she attended at a local Buddhist temple. I signed up the next day for the one in Feb. I have committed to work on the novel revision.
- I connect with writers on the Two Writing Teachers blog and the Five Minute Friday site link up and WordPress reader. Making an effort for new blogs works for Twitter too, but there are some games on there that I try not to take personally.
- Once I was in submission mode I sent quite a few pieces in. I also contributed to several blog based writing contests which was fun and got my writing out there. It helped make a connection with another writer as well who reached out and sent an email. That was AWESOME.
- With the idea of reflection already a part of the process, I felt tied into the concept of connecting with people more. I sent specific tweets to authors I admire and wanted to make sure I told them.
- I am more visual than I thought. Using my graphic I created for my #oneword is fun to use in blog posts and social media.
6. I participated on a TEACHWRITE Zoom call and was able to talk and see Jennifer and Amanda.
7. I supported a writer friend through Ko-Fi.
8. I was the book fairy at school and gifted stacks so teachers can get them into kids’ hands.
9. I reached out to another teacher writer about IF – Intermittent Fasting.
10. Be persistent- I got into Kathy Fish’s Fast Fiction Class. I am so excited for it – in July.
Moving Forward to Feb:
+I need to connect to more books next month and then reach out to more authors of the books I love.
+Connect with my body more. Yoga, intermittent fasting, running outside, and walking with the incline is how I am doing this.
+Write real letters and participate in a letter writing challenge.
+ Interact with the new “10 things to tell you” podcast recommended by Emily Freeman
+ Continue to marinate on creating a magical gathering. My thoughts are hovering around my Workshop Wednesday concept. A reading literary society?
+ Every day Writing – of course!
How is your #oneword process going?
Today is Tuesday. The day that The Two Writing Teachers host the weekly Slice of Life Challenge that teachers around the world participate in to write alongside their students.
Every Tuesday there is a post on the Two Writing Teachers main page where you can link your Slice of Life story post and read other people’s Slice of Life stories. All you have to do is leave the link to your SOL story blog post as a comment inside of that Tuesday’s post.
I thought a lot about what I wanted to write this Tuesday.
Do I write about my new health routine commitment and intermittent fasting? I have more energy and have gone back to feeling how I did when I was in major training for marathons and ultras.
Do I talk about how much I loved reading Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen and how I want everyone who believes in everyday magic to read it?
Do I talk about how I printed my manuscript for my NANOWRIMO novel and am petrified to read it so that I can move forward?
Do I talk about the podcasts that I look forward to every Tuesday morning? Do I talk about the Next Right Thing I need to do? Or the literary society I want to start now?
I think the best choice is to sit with these questions and read other people’s blogs today!
Happy #SOL19 everyone! It is the year of #CONNECT for me so comments will flow from my fingers today.
I have stopped logging my miles.
I used to run between 60-80 miles a week – for fun. Part of the fun was to see the number increase daily. I used to say I was a happy girl if I could run 10 miles a day.
My life does not allow me to run that many miles now, nor do I want to. It is a different season. I am not training for Boston, or a marathon, or an ultra. I now run to move my body, fit into my jeans and live a lot more years so I can spend them with my husband.
Miles are easy to track, even just on my calendar but I am not. It is not a part of my life that needs measurement and numbers now. There can be no comparison or guilt then either. I can focus on the goal of keeping myself healthy and enjoying nature. I can focus on how I feel.
I run outside when I can. If I workout inside in the treadmill I walk and use the incline function. I hate the treadmill and will not punish myself with it. Running is still in my life but there are new rules and I am sticking to them.
I wish I could remember more details of my foot races. They are hours of pain, images, and exhaustion. I scan the few photos and remember snippets but not a whole story. Lines and phrases only.
Boston should have been joyous but my Opa (German grandfather) had just died, I was written up at work for going to the Boston Marathon because it wasn’t an appropiate use of my grieve time according to the school. Ironically, a couple of months later the teacher across the hall went to Disney when her dad died, but that was appropriate.
I remember the feeling in the first Marathon in Indy. I looked at my watch and knew I would finish with a time I didn’t think was possible.
So many hours I have run. Many to escape where I was. The time gap causes more memories to be forgotten than remembered. I read back to my notebooks and blog posts and the memory is restored for a few moments and I smile…again.
Lately, I have been having trouble running joyously. I go out and move my feet. I am tired all the time. It is painful but in a different way. My heart isn’t in it.
My soul and my body argue on a run now and it isn’t pleasant. They are at odds.
I read the other day if you don’t have inner peace then you will never have happiness. Outside sources cannot fuel it. I believe that to be true. Outside stressors especially are wreaking havoc on my inner peace. The running used to help and now I am evaluating if it has become a stress rather than relief.
Is there something in your life that used to help you that you feel is holding you back now? I would love to hear about it.
What I learned in April
1. Camp NANOWRIMO
Camp NANOWRIMO is a month long challenge to tackle a writing project in a month. For Camp you set your own word count goals. Regular NANOWRIMO is hosted in November where the goal is to write 50,000 words.
I did not win CAMP this year. It was my first go around with CAMP. Regular NANOWRIMO in November was successful but I discovered through writing and gathering my research to write my professional teaching book I need more time. The format still doesn’t seem quite right. The next step is to use the content as blog posts. It will serve the purpose better at the present time. I am still moving forward with the project but it will look different. I am wondering if I should start a separate blog just for the teaching/coaching pieces of my life and keep the writing and reading blog.
I am not gearing up for STORYADAY May and am super excited to have joined the SUPERSTARS group. I am hoping to make some real connections to some other short story writers. I have been collecting story sparks – as always and thinking about the excitement of having a stack of short story drafts by the end of the month.
2. Mindset Matters
Winter is still here in Northwest Indiana. I had to shift my mindset when it came to running this month. I kept getting myself excited about running outside and then the weather would not cooperate. Finally, I had to decide that my running routine will be sprints and HIIT workouts on the treadmill. If the weather is pleasant then I would run outside, but I would look at it as a surprise or a treat rather than the expectation. This has led to much more pleasant gym visits and the workouts are consistent rather than all over the place and me being angry about it.
3. Reading RunDown with Links!
4. New Podcasts with Links!
5. Favorite Podcasts with Links!
Emily P Freeman’s The Next Right Thing
Julie Duffy’s Story A Day
Rachael Herron’s How Do You Write?
There has been a lot of planning for PD and formats for next school year. All the planning makes me excited to get started…but I have to wait. I finally had to break down and start a 2018-2019 notebook to make notes for next school year. It is going to be a great year!
Finally Friday…I usually don’t try to wish the week away but this week has had its challenges. Big ones…whew!
After listening to the Being Boss Podcast (#173 Seasonal Work and Life if you want to check it out) I started pondering about what I traditionally do each season. For me, there are beginnings and later parts of the seasons that matter and contain different actions. The Beginning part of “SPRING” (calendar spring) in Northwest Indiana is really winter – especially this year. For you readers who follow me regularly you saw my fire and reading picture the first day of Spring Break!
Today’s 5 on Friday is a list of 5 things I will be participating in LATER Spring 2018:
- I am running outside again! Not as much treadmill and more sunshine! I cannot handle wind during my runs which is why I abhor Spring marathons. Windy days I choose to suffer through sprint work on the treadmill but more sun means more longer runs outside. I ran in the Indiana Dunes National Park yesterday and it was beautiful. It did feel a bit like I was rereading a favorite book I haven’t read in years while running. I didn’t remember the details of the story but memories started coming back. There were parts of the trails I felt a deja vu feeling – like when you read a page in a book and you keep thinking it is too familiar and you already read it!
- Grill Regularly – this one is a little bit of a cheat for me. I do not do the majority of the cooking in my house – my fantastic husband does. But I whole heartily participate in the eating! I make a killer potato salad that compliments his grilling!
- STORYADAY MAY – I am estatic to participate in the official community and challenge this year! If you don’t know her site you need to check out Julie Duffy. I am kicking around joining the paid community to connect with some other short story writers. If you aren’t familiar with this writing challenge, Julie asks the writer to finish a story a day in May. You can play with the rules somewhat of course. The point is to finish the stories. I had been stuck in starting tons of pieces. I challenged myself last October which rolled into NANOWRIMO.
4. It is time to look forward to Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2018 Summer Reading Guide! I do not know when it is going to be released but I am already ready to see it! Check out her website here.
5. It is the time of year to OPEN THE WINDOWS! Of the house, of the car, of my mind!
What are your rhythms for the spring? What do you look forward to?
The 122nd Boston Marathon is today. True to form for Spring marathons the weather is unpredictable. Today Boston’s weather is full of heavy rain and extreme wind.
Boston is the oldest marathon. As a runner, you are transported by bus to Hopkinton and run the 26.2 mile route to the Boylston Street finish line.
I will watch it online this year. I will not be there.
A yellow banner hangs in my sitting room in my house 965 miles away from the city. My 2012 medal hangs on the same nail. I looked at it this morning as I left for work.
This song reminds me of the race. I have made it my ringtone more times than I can remember. I will listen to it several times today.
In 2012 while on the bus, I was trying to make conversation to calm my own nerves. My year it was unseasonably hot.
During the race, I heard: “Did you run St Charles marathon?” This question was posed right before Heartbreak Hill. Another runner recognized my tattooed wings.
My thoughts throughout the marathon centered around how this could be the last marathon I ever ran and how I ok with that.
Boston was the best and worst race of my life.
My memories are bittersweet.
Sweet: It was an accomplishment to qualify repeatedly. I know many runners who never get close.
Bitter: Part of my support was standing at the mailbox that blew up the year after.
Bitter: After the finish, the chute seemed a mile long. My thoughts were, “Just give me my medal.” The water was not cold and I needed it to be cold.
Sweet: I proudly ran up Heartbreak Hill and enjoyed it!
Bitter: It felt so hot. I had come from 30-degree temps in Indiana. I had not adjusted for the change in temp when it came to moisturizer and the sweat made it run into my eyes and burned.
Sweet: I still have the shoes I ran the race in Brooks
Bitter: There was too much wait time before the race.
Sweet: I ate at the Whiskey Priest pub on the water that Sunday.
Sweet!: I enjoyed Sam Adams brew when I was there.
Sweet: Wicked is a word you hear often!
Sweet: Wellesley College screamers! You could hear them at least 1/2 mile away. Funny signage too!
Bitter: Reprimanded for being in Boston during a bereavement leave when my Opa [German grandfather] died.
Bitter: Watching a friend collapse
Sweet and Bitter: Dinner with my team and runner friends and still felt wrong and like I didn’t belong at Maggianos there with them.
Bitter: Driving to Boston and unable to avoid the Ohio Turnpike!
Sweet: Walking at the expo where everything was orange – the perfect year for me to be there – the jacket I love to wear!
Bitter: I ruined my official blue race shirt with white paint.
I continue to run but with different goals now. I may race again but only when I am ready. I have always run for me, and me alone even though many eyes watch!
I will watch today with my heart full of memories and remember why I love to run. Will you watch?
I am honored to announce I have been nominated by the lovely and talented Cooking with Kids for the Sunshine Blogger Award!
It is humbling to be nominated. Thank you so much Cooking with Kids! She has an amazing blog and you should check it out by clicking on her blog title.
- Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
If you would also like to read about my Versatile Blogger award click here.
So here we go!
- Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in in January of 2016 because I wanted to connect with other teacher coaches and writers. Several friends had encouraged me to start a blog because they enjoyed my writing. I started and then took a hiatus but have come back with an intent to grow as a writer and a blogger. I regularly participate in the Two Writing Teachers blog Slice of Life weekly challenge and the March challenge.
2. What is your favourite food? And your least favourite?
My favorite food is pizza. I really could eat it everyday! My husband makes really great spaghetti too!
My least favorite food is kale. I hate me some kale. It always tastes like dirt.
3. What do you do in your spare time (apart from blogging?)
I read a lot. I always have a book on me and on my phone on my Kindle app. I also run. I like to spend time with my family too. We have a lot of fun.
4. If you had a superpower what would it be?
It is a toss up between being able to fly and to read faster!
5. What is the best place you’ve ever been to and why?
Park Rapids, Minnesota
My husband and I love this place so much we want to retire there as soon as possible! It is beautiful and there is so much to do. Our family loves to be in the water too.
6. How do you relax?
Reading and running.
7. Should pineapple go on pizza?
Nope. However, spinach and lots of cheese totally belongs there!
8.What is your favourite TV programme?
I actually have several. I love Survivor and Big Brother.
9. What is your proudest achievement?
I was in a situation where everyone kept telling me to go against what my heart was telling me. I went with my heart and have not looked back since! That decision has caused a lot of people to not be in my life anymore, but that is ok.
10. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
Too cold. You can always add more layers, but there are only so many clothes you can take off!
11. You’ve won the lottery! What’s the first thing you do?
Travel to Germany for a month!
- Which opening line suits you best: Once upon a time… or It was a dark and stormy night...?
- What is the earliest reading memory you have?
- If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them? Don’t overthink – what do you think would be FUN!?
- What is the most treasured item you possess?
- Where do you write normally and where would you ideally like to write?
- What is a blogging tip you can share?
- Mountains or beach? Why?
- Coffee or tea?
- How do you recharge?
- What is your favorite book and why?
- If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would you dine with?
I wasn’t going to run today. Some internal nudge made me check the weather application at 4:45 a.m. I had already been up for over an hour and had my necessary coffee elixer. There was very little wind and the temperature was pleasant so I really had no excuse.
My footfalls were lit by the full moon and the stars. I wore a new workout shirt gifted to me by a friend at work. It smelled of morning and fabric softener. The run felt good. The air felt fresh and I was able to listen to a writing podcast I love that comes out every Friday.
Today’s planned miles is 6 so I still may run after school to get the last 2 in for the daily count. I have mileage targets for this weekend. Time only allowed for 4 miles this morning before the commute.
I recently read Cheryl Strayed’s new book Brave Enough. One quote that resonated with me was on my mind as I ran:
Alone has always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.
I often think of running this way. As a place. Alone is much different than lonely. Something I know about myself is that I need to be alone to recharge. To replenish the well especially after the peopling and the draining day I had yesterday. The run is the action I turn to stop the thinking that swirls in my head.
There are physical places that replenish me too. Libraries and bookstores for one! Sometimes the car. Alone is part of who I am as a person.
I think that’s why I felt the need to run this morning. It’s part of a replenishing ritual that I do almost automatically. I’ve learned to listen to those internal nudges.
Where or what do you do to replenish? I always love to hear!