WWW Wednesday


What are you currently reading?


Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory


What did you finish recently reading?


What do you think you’ll read next?

Sometimes I Lie


House Hockey

My husband and I bought plastic hockey sticks at the resale shop last week in anticipation of this weekend. We moved all the furniture and had one on one and two on two hockey games. It was super fun and super competitive. Best $8 we’ve spent in a long time.

The goals are corning ware bowls so when the puck hits them there is a ding! Everyone had to wear shoes because it hurt your toes if the puck hit it!

It is added to the repertoire of games. House hockey is right up there with crazy hot potato!

Dreams #sol18

I used to remember vivid dreams with no problem. Now, it seems I dream but as soon as I wake the story is gone.

Past dreams I have written down have become stories. I used to dream of roller coasters and driving all the time. Weird trip sequences too.

The question of the day is…Do you remember your dreams?

The Emotional Bank Account

db4de-slice-of-life_individualI believe strongly in the emotional bank account.

Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) uses the metaphor of Emotional Bank Account to describe “the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship” (p. 188).

Covey describes 6 ways to make a deposit:

– Understanding the individual;
– Attending to little things;
– Keeping commitments;
– Clarifying expectations;
– Showing personal integrity; and
– Apologizing sincerely when you make a “withdrawal”

When I first started teaching I had the honor of working with Dr. Rita Brodnax who exposed me to researchers and learning that became part of who I am at the core of being a teacher. One of the workshops she brought to the corporation was Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

The concept stuck with me and connects to all the relationships – students and adults. The emotional bank account works like a checking account. You make deposits and you make withdrawals.

Deposits are the things that are listed above. Withdrawals are when you hurt someone’s feelings, forget an appointment, don’t answer, break a confidence, don’t keep your word, lie, etc

If you have a relationship built with someone over a year and most of the interactions are deposits then you are in the black even if the other person hurts you in a minor way. Your relationship is ok.

If you haven’t known the person long and there hasn’t been many depsostis, then a few withdrawals can deplete the account quickly. A large betrayal could deplete the account all together.

Then you have to decide if you are going to close the account and therefore the relationship. Overdrafting your emotional bank account suffers penalities.

This works in marriage. My husband has a simple explanation of a happy marriage: You take care of my needs , I take care of your needs. Simple to say,  not always simple to deploy.

It works in a classroom. The classroom culture is a relationship. You have to give and take for it to work.  There is the relationship between you and your students and there are the relationships between the students themselves. As the teacher, we often have to manage both to a certain extent.

Deposits are important and can as simple as knowing everyone’s names. My goal is always to make more deposits than withdrawals!

Forced Tech Drought in the Forecast #SOL18


Standardized testing time is a desert for technology. There can be no devices in the room. Proctors are not allowed on their computers or their phones. No phones are even allowed in the room. Some people go into a panic attack with this news. With our culture always checking phones and apps to the point of new diseases being created for addiction it can be a problem.

I welcome the break. It is a lovely feeling. My mind is calm and it feels like stolen time. Time I am getting back from some other crazy time in my life.

The fact that I CANNOT be interrupted is a huge break in my work routine. As a teacher coach, people are constantly stopping me in the hallway or showing up at my door for “I just have a quick question” conversations. I love this part of my job, it is just how it works normally. The break is refreshing for the week.

Why? I am comfortable with pen and paper. I am comfortable with my thoughts and the silence. I can focus more – on one thing at a time. Whatever it happens to be that I am pondering. It is a gift.

With my mind so calm I give the directions calmly and deliberately so the student is able to take the test the same way – calmly and deliberately.

Knowing this I should schedule a self imposed technology break periodically. Should.

What Feeds Your Creativity? #DIYMFA

Writing ideas seem to flow unless I am sitting in front of the blank page, then sometimes I am stuck. Over the years, I have used a variety of tools to fuel my creativity so the words show up on the page and not just in my brain. After I started gathering the tools in a list I realized it is quite lengthy!

Where do I find my inspiration?

  • Talking and listening to students
  • Word lists
    • My own lists from freewrites or morning pages
    • Lists from writing books/websites
    • Wednesday WORD SALAD at storyaday.org
  • My collection of thoughts and ideas that I dictate to a Google Keep Doc on my phone, in my notebooks or index cards I carry in my purse
  • Twitter – either a writing prompt or a phrase from someone’s tweet
  • http://www.Toasted-cheese.com prompts or contests
  • The Ray Bradbury word exercise (see my blog post https://tammysreadinglife.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/ray-bradburys-writing-triggers-sol17/)
  • Random phrases from books I collect in a list that I use as a sentence stem
  • Quickwrites in response to a poem
  • Tarot cards randomly chosen and write about their meaning
  • Ideas from a writing podcast I heard that morning!


Many of these ideas work for me to start a piece or to continue in a story when I am stuck. During NANOWRIMO I was in a classroom visit and decided to quick write in an 8th-grade classroom with the students. I ended up using that quick write to continue with a story in my collection that worked perfectly. Before that quick write, I was at a standstill to what direction I wanted to move forward.






What I am Currently Reading…and Why You Should Read it Too!



I am reading Sourdough by Robin Sloan and am so excited and enamored with this book I could not wait to post about it. The author name may seem familiar because he is the author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. (Another great read!)

Sourdough was my choice for September Book of the Month (BOTM) club. I had first heard about it from the All the Books Book Riot podcast and was intrigued about a book about bread – my favorite food!

The way this book is written can only be described as “happy”. It warms and comforts me like a hygge day! While reading it I can smell what my own house smells like when my husband is baking bread. The main character is interesting and not conventional. She is a tech person who has started to bake bread from a starter given to her by men who ran a restaurant out of their apartment. There is a quirkiness to the story that makes it fun to read and unusual, but also genuine.

It is a book that I keep coming back to and I do not want to read it too fast because then it will be over. While reading it, you may get hungry for a great piece of bread and you  may also want to visit your local farmer’s market before it closes for the winter!

Reading this book reminds me why I love reading so much – I am captivated by a story about great people. I can feel the magic as the words enter my brain!

Image result for sourdough robin sloan