Weekend Coffee Share

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Today I am having my regular large mug of black coffee. What would you like? It has been a busy week over here and I am looking forward to talking to you about it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the work week felt odd. I was in charge of facilitating training for two full days. Tuesday ending up being an e-learning day due to weather so the schedule had to get all rearranged. Friday our literacy consultant was there who had been rescheduled at least twice. It was a crazy mixed up week where I kept forgetting what day of the week it was! Then I ran out of coffee at work on Friday morning! BOOOOOO!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a marvelous dinner on Friday. We went to an old school steak place in a nearby town and it was an amazing meal. Creamy garlic dressing for the salad, cheesy potato soup, ribeye, baked potato and fresh bread with honey butter. The creme brulee was disappointing but I will focus on the main meal!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you Saturday was Adventure Day. We drove about 2 hours to Kokomo. When I started my teaching career it was in Howard County. I have loads of fond memories there. Saturday’s trip centered around the Seiberling Mansion. It was built in the 1880s for about $50,000. All the materials and labor were local. The mansion is three floors and the Sierberlings loved to entertain so the top floor is a ballroom. I really wish there were pictures from that time period. There is only one picture of a daughter in a bedroom at her desk. There have been several owners over the years and Thomas Edison is said to have attended a wedding there.

The Indiana University extension took over the building for a while. Then the historical society came in and renovated.

There were several idea sparks that came to me while I was enjoying the house. There are lots of architectural details to look at. Lots of people have enjoyed the house and many more still do.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the restaurant I was so looking forward to eating at was closed just last week. I was so sad. Mike’s Pizza had been a place I ate at often when I lived there. They had the best Italian beef sandwiches and breadsticks. We made do with another lunch place that was still delicious but not familiar.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the last stop for this trip was Treasure Mart. This is a most interesting place. If you ever have writers’ block and any type of BLOCK walk around this place and it will be gone. There are all types of artifacts and trinkets and memorabilia. There are old typewriters, Coleman picnic kits from the 60’s, furniture, old photographs, cast iron skillets, decorative and practical kitchenware, old books, knives, guns, and the Oscar Mayer Weiner Whistle…you name it it is probably in the building somewhere. Again, lots of story sparks for me here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had my critique group call on Saturday night. I was a bit late to the call because of the drive from Adventure Saturday. I should have taken bullet point notes to talk about the stories I critiqued. It was a new format for me. I did get to hear about my story too and I clarified some questions about it. Overall, it was a great experience. Thanks to Julie Duffy at storyaday.org for facilitating!

If we were having coffee I would tell you the #write28days word for today is CREATE. If you would like to read more post in this series click here for the landing page. I have created a lot of writing lately including some letters! I have written and revised several stories too. I even submitted 2 stories yesterday. I also submitted 2 super short pieces on Friday as well. We will see what happens! I am excited about the possibilities!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I met with a new writing friend at a local restaurant and we talked blogging, writing, and teaching. It was wonderful! We made plans to get together soon to write.

It was a full week of great things! What great things filled your last 7 days? I would love to hear about them!

This post is inspired by Eclectic Alli and her Coffee share page

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10 Things to Tell You

Every Tuesday (And every day in March!!!!) I blog and share it with teacher-writers on the Two Writing Teachers blog.

My Slice of Life today is inspired by the new podcast of the same title of the post. To listen you can find it here.

Image result for 10 things to tell you podcast
  1. Accept is my word today for today’s #Write28days. I need to accept some truths. I am contemplating and planning these GATHERINGS and I need to find the WHY. I think I have realized some truth after some journaling yesterday. One truth is I am an introvert so I need to carefully plan the execution of these events to not exhaust myself.
  2. I am super excited for my critique group video call this evening with Katherine and Marta. I am so honored to be writing friends with these ladies. I value their feedback and thoughts and they never steer me wrong.
  3. Storyaday.org’s Julie Duffy hosted a free writer Zoom call last night where 16 of us got together and wrote. It was wonderful to do 3 sprints together and I crafted a new short story! It took a surprising twist and direction. It is always fulfilling to talk story with other writers.
  4. The topic for the above podcast today is “Are you Lonely?” I love solitude but there are times I feel disconnected from people. On my commute this morning, I was thinking about being disconnected which is why I think I am pursuing the GATHERINGS idea. I want to have time to connect to other creatives for everyone’s creative well to be filled.
  5. Several years ago my life blew up and I was lonely because I was thrust into a situation where I knew NO ONE who had gone through the same thing. There was one person that had a small connection and I was rejected. Luckily, I found a group that supported me. I am forever grateful for this organization and they helped me from going into a spiral that would have not been recoverable.
  6. The #teachwrite Twitter chat was last night and super fun! The questions were amazing. I love that a teacher is part of this group that works in the corporation I used to. Seeing her name pop up in my feed makes me feel closer to teacher-writers locally! There is a chat every month – If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. (I will put the questions at the end of this post.)
  7. I have a literacy/coach meeting this afternoon with a consultant I adore listening to and working with. I am looking forward to the word for are going to do today!
  8. This is a wonderful site to follow. There are daily writing tips, great words, great quotes and a prompt. https://writerswrite.co.za/
  9. Another person to follow is Nancy Stohlman. She is an amazing flash fiction author, editor, and overall fantastic person. Find her here: https://nancystohlman.com/
  10. Connection for students is important and creating a feeling of belonging. I once named a remediation group “Writing Club” because I wanted them to come and I wanted them to enjoy the writing not get down on themselves for being selected for writing remediation. I wanted to instill an abundance mindset. Everyone wants to be part of a club especially one that you have a special invitation to!

What do you want to tell me today?

Happy Writing!

Fill the Well #DIYMFA #3


I am participating in the #DIYMFA book club. You can read the first post in this series here. Number 2 here. I participated last year as well, so if you would like to read my original post on this topic you can read that here.

Gabriela Pereira is the author and instigator of the DIYMFA empire.

Prompt: What tools do you use to feed your creativity?

  1. My IRL writing group
  2. My online Storyaday writers group
  3. Sprints with other people online
  4. Lists of words
  5. Other blogs
  6. Tarot cards pulled for writing
  7. Podcasts I listen to
  8. Exercise
  9. Freewrites that start with a phrase or word
  10. Pulled lines from poems or books
  11. My notes in my journal and KEEP notes

If you would like to know more about any of these tools let me know.

How do you fuel your creativity?

How Did I Become A Serious Writer?

Reading and writing are best friends. I am participating in the DIYMFA Book Club again and this post is inspired by the DIYMFA site and book club. The last time I wrote about my origin story was from the POV of my first run in with writing. It infected me them and you can read about it here.

The question I am reflecting on is: ” How did I become a serious writer?” In October of 2016 I found Gabriela’s podcast. Through that podcast I found Julie Duffy and her STORYADAY challenge and website. I had missed Julie’s September storyaday challenge so I challenged myself to a self imposed month of writing a story a day. That process led me to sign up for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) and the habit stuck. THis was also when I found short stories were my niche. It is hard to quit writing when you have written everyday for 2 months. That first NANO I wrote short stories everyday and didn’t look back.

I also seriously began posting on my blog and started calling myself a writer after the first of the year 2017.

May rolled around and I participated in the May storyaday and wrote a whole folder of stories inspired by Julie’s prompts. I also gained a writing group. I took the plunge and took advantage of the Superstars group Julie offered. For support, she offered more materials and a special forum for us to talk about writing and the challenge.

What else do I do? I make time to write everyday. I started reading more about craft. I learned more about blogging and how to get more traffic and how to write better content. I read A LOT – short stories and craft books. I interacted with other writers online and found a local in real life writing group.

I recently took a class from a well respected flash fiction writer and learned more from the feedback and a critique in three weeks than most of the reading I have done about editing over the last year and a half. I hope to be able to take another class with her soon.

The next step? I am submitting. I ordered business cards this morning that list writer FIRST. I am in the lottery (fingers crossed) to get into Kathy Fish’s flash writing class. If not now, I will keep trying.

I have committed to the writing. Everyday, THAT is what makes me a serious writer…getting the words on the page (or screen).

Writing Update/Inspiration

person using inspire typewriter
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Inspiration Number 1

I participated in a virtual write-in on Thursday evening for NaNoWriMo. My online writing group who is awesome were on a Zoom call all together. If you haven’t ever used Zoom it is a video conference call free program. It is nice to be able to see everyone. There is a chat feature and video and audio controls as well.

We logged in, chatted a few minutes, and then got to writing. We did two 15 minute sprints. It is nice to write with people that you know. It is a comfort somehow that we are not alone. It was also oddly comforting to hear the clicking of other people’s keyboards.

Encouragement from my tribe is a good thing. They help me along.

Inspiration Number 2

I read a story but Kimberly Lojewski today about a hot air balloon, a strange island, and treasure called About The Hiding Of Buried Treasure. It is so well written and fun! 

Inspiration Number 3

I had my 7th-grade writers group Thursday and they were wonderful! I started with them filling out a card with the sentence stem: I WISH PEOPLE KNEW… The responses were honest and raw.

Then we wrote to my prompt of requiring 4 words to be a major part of the story. The writing was the best I have seen from them. 

If you would like a link to the cards I created just click below:

Writing Prompt Card

Writing Prompt Card 2

Writing Prompt Card 3

Writing Prompt Card 4

Happy Writing!

Tag! You’re It for Writers

 

Rules:

  • Post the Tag and Image on your blog (see above)
  • Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.
  • Mention the creators of the award and link back to their blogs.
  • Nominate 6+ deserving bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

This Writers Tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen. Click on the highlighted names to check out their blogs and don’t forget to comment on their blog and tell them that you’ve played the fun Writing Tag so they can connect with you too.

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Name one novel that inspired you to write.

I have always written but a novel that inspired me has been The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The time jumps in that novel were impressive because I didn’t get lost in the story when I easily could have. I remember thinking I wanted to know how she managed to pull that off in the writing!

What’s your favorite genre to write and read?

Magical realism and literary fiction

Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?

Stand alone

Use 3 words to describe yourself.

Intense, tenacious, and loving

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

I did NANOWRIMO last November for the first time and it was then I realized I could really do this! I could write every day, I could make a project of 50,000 words, and I loved it. I learned a lot about my process from NANO and from Storyaday.

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your MC or setting.

Image result for seance

How long did your first MS take to draft?

30 days…I used NANOWRIMO!

Who is your author idol?

Neil Gaiman

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

I have met two Olympians and ran with one!

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.

Being able to label myself a writer. It was after Storyaday and NANOWRIMO back to back months that I started to call myself a writer and even changed my description on Twitter.

What’s your favorite social media and why? Share your link.

Twitter. I love the short and quick of it. @tlbreit

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

Follow the white rabbit; be brave!

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Thanks for reading in this fun Writing Tag. Remember fellow writers, treasure your unique abilities and talents and never give up on yourselves.

Here are my nominations:

These are great writers I know and follow. Please at least check out their blogs!

Bloggers: Do not feel obligated to do the challenge!

https://alisonjuste.wordpress.com/author/victoirehelene-2/

https://salgallaher.com/

https://martapelrinebacon.com/

http://marianallen.com/

 

 

Snow Cones, Swimming, and Turtles

green grass on sand overlooking body of water
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Labor Day Weekend

During the #Teachwrite twitter chat last evening I was reminded that it was really Monday and that Tuesday’s slice post would be needed today. The holiday weekends often throw my clock off as I know it does for many people. Coming to the page today I was really unsure what to write.

In addition to the #Teachwrite “meeting” with teachers,  I  also had my first Zoom meeting with the Superstars writers from Storyaday which is always enjoyable. The conversation is free form about writing and the September challenge. There is a specialness to talking with other crazy writers drafting short stories for the whole month. Short story writing is different than writing longer pieces and I don’t often get to converse about it.

The holiday weekend was good and full of loads of activities, especially outdoors. Luckily, there was less driving because there were no soccer games or practices to be shuttled to!

-The boys found a turtle in the backyard just before they got the golf cart stuck in mud on the hill.

-There was a lot of swimming. Friday night we went to a beach to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We buried our youngest in the sand and gathered rocks and small shells to make an art project. Sunday and Monday time was spent at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  We ran up and down the sand dunes, skipped rocks, enjoyed snow cones,  and swam in the water. Then there was more swimming in the backyard pool.

-Homemade fluffy buttermilk biscuits were made at 4 am Labor Day morning to accompany the gravy for breakfast.

-Lots of laughing and silliness as always when we are with the kids.

-There was time for naps – for everyone!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write today but glad I showed up. This week is already busy and it is only Tuesday!

Hello September!

abstract alone art black
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September Goals:

I am going to try to keep September simple:

Write one story per day motivated by STORYADAY
Attend at least 1 IRL writing group meeting.
Post at least once a week on the blog.

I am starting some new writing projects and groups with 7th graders at work this month and I am super excited about the program creation and execution.

I have not been reading as much as normal lately. My reading diet has consisted of short stories and blogs mostly. Winter is coming though so I will have more time soon…maybe! ha ha

Goals that were publicly stated for August:

3 blog posts a week – Yes! Done.
2 articles on Medium – Yes! Done.
Revise 4 stories (at least) – Yes! Done.

Submit 5 stories– goal is to have 5 out at all times – Only submitted 3
Mine my notes in my GOOGLE DOCS – Yes, I also updated some folders. I need to get my notebooks under control. They are everywhere. I use them for different purposes but I feel I am losing things in them being scattered.
Go to writer group at least once a month – I went to both meetings

What Is Saving Me Right Now

Inspired by the Simple podcast by Tsh

 

  1. 300 Goats poem by Naomi Shihab Nye I taught to 7th graders. The quick write responses were full of voice, connection, text evidence, and insight.  One really cute misspelling was “fast ending” instead of fascinating! See my notes here: 20180830094331095
  2. Black Coffee. Sleep is not going well this week and coffee is the elixir that is keeping my eyes open.

    person holding cup with coffee
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  3. Storyaday September anticipation. I am part of the Superstars group again like in May and am excited to connect with the other writers in the forums. I love the videos and prompts each day too. 0593923C-20B9-4A92-9554-4D3AC6B3A549.jpeg
  4. Writing every day. It is calming me even if the words are ones I have to heavily rework later.
  5. Alone in a Room with Invisible People podcast. It is like being part of a writers’ workshop and I have had some really cool stories come out of the exercises.

What is saving you right now?