Six months have ticked by in 2019 and it is time to reflect on my #oneword choice. My word for this year is #connect. It is a word that is perfect for what I need at this time. This word has been the most action oriented of all the words I have chosen over the past 10 years.
I believe since I have made space for this word in my life the experiences and opportunities have come to me. As the beloved book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho says, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
This year I have connected to other writers like no other time in my life. I have been mainly part of an in real life group and my Storyaday Superstars. I heavily rely on support from the Superstars and check in with them every day. I also have the support of the Two Writing Teachers community and #Teachwrite. Teacher writers are my tribe!
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I would love to connect with you! Please comment so we can chat.
As much reading about writing as I have done, I only recently discovered Ray Bradbury’s NOUN writing exercise. If you love lists and writing it is the perfect writing prompt. Here is the link to the Brain Pickings article outlining his unusual writing practice.
Inspired by Bradbury, I wrote my own list and have been writing 100–200 word pieces using one noun as a trigger. This exercise is unlocking stories hiding in my mind.
My First List of Nouns:
The night. The Dark. The empty. The foot. The drawer. The book. The manuscript. The eve. The house. The fireplace. The castle. The moors. The pool. The date auction. The class. The ring. The roller skates. The pen. The candle. The heart. The mirror. The run.
I asked some friends over the weekend to text me a short list of nouns to use as springboards for writing. This variation is more in line with the random word prompt. The lists are not my own so the emotional story unlocking potential is not as prominent.
Here are opening lines of a story I wrote using this noun list: The Horse. The Banana. The Table. The Peanut Butter. The Glasses.
It was a rainy, too warm October day when the horse dropped dead in the middle of the pasture. He didn’t know what to do with death. Peanut butter freed a six year old’s horses around the corner. The little one hid in a closet and wasn’t found for 2 days. A peanut butter and banana sandwich can be deadly in more ways than one. One bite taken out of the square white softness was enough to change a whole family, and the town they lived in.
Jack took his glasses off and set them on the table and rubbed the space between his eyes with the two fingers of his right hand. They were stained with dark black ink as they always were. They were calloused and rough. He could hold balls of fire without pain. Maybe they could even resist death. He hadn’t had the opportunity to experiment. Jack joked and told people that he could handle the heat because of all the evil his hands had done.They never knew if he was kidding.
My plan is to try this prompt with students as well to see what unlocks in their minds!
Tammy Breitweiser is a writer and teacher who is a force of nature and woman of honor; seer of nuance; accidental inspirationalist; keeper of the little red doors, and conjurer of everyday magic who is busy writing short stories. A future Minnesotan temporarily hiding in Indiana, her poetry has been published in The Storyteller Magazine and her flash fiction in The Ninja Writers Monthly and Elephant Never. Her essay is published in the I Wrote it Anyway anthology. You can also connect with Tammy through Twitter @TLBREIT.
An alert popped up on my computer screen warning my Google Drive was running out of memory. To combat this problem I deleted and reorganized files into folders for easier access. With the ease of use of Google Drive, I have random documents floating in the abyss of the cloud.
During NANOWRIMO 2 years ago I wrote a complete short story as my project. In my haste, I did not place these stories into a folder but just save them in the general drive with the intention of organizing them later. This is a bad idea.
I am organized to a point, but if I’m frenzied or passionate about an idea I save but do not curate.
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Every Friday I write for 5 minutes about the word assigned by Kate. You can check out other pieces here.
Set the timer for 5 minutes and GO!
Goals are a thing I have always set for myself since I was young. Always striving for something is ingrained within me. Goals give me purpose.
The word hope has surfaced within different venues within a short period of time recently. In my experience concepts which show themselves in short duration are ones I need to pay attention to. It means there is a learning opportunity for me.
One workshop I attended this year was facilitated by Jim Knight about leadership and one of the main concepts was …you guessed it…HOPE.
I am officially on summer break and have been enjoying a much different schedule than during the regular school year. If you want to read more about that I wrote about it here.
Today I went outside on the back porch with my coffee and did a breathing exercise. I breathed in and thought about light and then breathed out slowly thinking about released dark. Very simple, but calming and effective.
As I sat in the sunshine of this beautiful June morning I thought about what it means to be a writer. It comes down to a simple truth:
Meditation and I have a complicated relationship. We have broken up and gotten back together so many times I have lost count. Part of our rocky relationship is because I feel there is a right way to meditate which I haven’t discovered yet. If you look for the basic definition of meditation it is broad and encompasses the ideas of thinking, pondering, praying, and concentrating. This description makes sense to me, but there seems to be specific component I am missing.
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A colleague and I were reflecting on career paths, life decisions, waiting, and life. We both remarked how different we were from our siblings who we grew up within the same house and with the same parents.
Then the conversation moved to my love of asking a great question
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I am a well read woman. Some people would say this is dangerous.
I am a person who cares about my well being and the well being of the loved ones around me.
I like a well cooked meal, but not a well done steak.
Filling the creative well is important to me and I am always seeking ways to do this action. Reading is partly how I do this. Also writing is a way I do this. Having life giving conversations is another way I believe to fill the well.
“Well, well, well” makes me think of someone who is judgmental.
The idea of Welsch rabbit comes to mind which is not rabbit at all but a fancy grilled cheese. I learned this a few weeks ago when I looked it up for a story I was writing.
Well, I guess that is the end of my five minutes today!