February Reflection

It is the last day of February which means it is time to reflect. Last year it was FIB – uary so luckily that was not the case in 2019.

In February, I participated in INCOWRIMO which is a letter writing challenge. The challenge is set up to send a letter every day but I didn’t. I wrote several and received responses back. It was nice to get real mail again. I missed my stationary collection I used to have but used my fountain pens a lot.

In February, I reconnected with my old home. It was great to drive around Kokomo and think about the great memories I experienced there. If you would like to read that post you can here.

In February, I connected with a writing/teaching friend from Twitter in real life. We met at a local Panera and talked writing and poetry and teaching. We are planning a writing meeting soon.

In February, I connected with more readers on the blog! I am now at over 1000 followers and am super excited. I also posted a survey to better serve my readers. I commented on posts that spoke to me and had some lovely conversation in comments and on Twitter.

In February, I connected with other writing communities through #write28days and IWSG. I was active with my Storyaday Superstars group every day. I did not attend my in real life writing group.

At the beginning of February, I attended a coaching training and enjoyed talking with other coaches and educators from the region. I was able to hand out my business cards for the first time which was exciting.

In February, I emailed several authors I admire. I also didn’t hesitate to send messages to people who wrote pieces I enjoyed.

Yesterday I met some of my husband’s family which was lovely. I was able to go to a cute coffee shop which was a bonus.

In February, I became a part of Emily P Freeman’s Book Launch Team. The book is released on April 2! I just received the full book yesterday and cannot wait to dig in.

In February, what happened? One thing is I feel more connected to people. I facilitated a Workshop Wednesday this month which was fantastic. There was lots of sharing and great discussion about checks for understanding BUT the next day was difficult because I was tired and felt depleted. I have to figure out some strategies to have that not occur.

Moving forward I have new exciting changes that are coming. I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Blog Challenge. I will continue to write daily and to submit short stories.

Writing Prompt: How would you finish the sentence starter: In February…

Feb 24 – Weekend Coffee Share

Photo by Gagan Cambow on Pexels.com

Today I am having my regular large mug of black coffee. What would you like to have today? This week was a little off for me. I hope yours was better.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the work started with a scheduled E-learning day. There was some confusion with my role for a couple things the rest of the week – this is the problem with having multiple bosses. It all worked out.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was having trouble with my emotions this week. Intense feelings don’t bubble up all too often but for some reason the closer I got to work Thursday morning the angrier I got. I did a lot of cleaning that day.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY was wonderful. We talked about CHECKS FOR UNDERSTANDING and the conversation was professional and engaging. It was one of those days I really appreciate the people I work with and how hard they work.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was able to get 4 submissions out this week. Two were little contests and two were publication submissions. I am really proud of the two stories I sent out. At the very least I hope to get some feedback from the editors.

If we were having coffee I would confess I did not go to my IRL (In Real Life) writing group this week. The week before I had a lot of contact with writers and I was really tired. It is not the greatest reason but it is the honest one. As emotion-filled as I was that day I also figured it was better for me to stay home.

It was a full week! What great things filled your last 7 days? I would love to hear about them! I am looking forward to the week coming up. I am hoping for some great writing sessions and interactions with people!

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

FMF: JUST

It is Friday! Today is the day I post in response to Kate’s word from Fiveminutefriday.com. It is also part of the challenge #write28days. You can find the landing page for these posts here.

JUST is a word about hidden agendas.

You often hear it to justify a verbal blow.

“It was JUST a question.”

“It was JUST a joke.”

Just is a word used to soften when feelings are hurt – intended or not – but usually, that is a lie. It is used to placate someone or to make them feel better which doesn’t often work.

It is a word to “Keep the peace.”

Just is part of the word JUSTICE. A word of fairness and truth. It is also part of the phrase “Just desserts” when punishment is rightfully given. Justice is served in that aspect I suppose.

I am not sure honestly where I stand about this word – but thoughts are swirling around in my head about it.

What are your thoughts about the word JUST?

Weekend Coffee Share

Photo by Gagan Cambow on Pexels.com

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

FMF: Confident

Welcome to Friday! I participate in the Five Minute Friday challenge every week. Kate selects a word and I write for 5 minutes. This also fulfills my #write28days challenge for today!

Timer set…and GO!

As an introvert, I have had to learn extroverted tendencies for my profession. I am required to be “on stage” for students and teachers every day. I am also a presenter. I have NO PROBLEM speaking in front of 250+ people. I do prefer the audience to be people I do not know.

In the professional setting, I am confident. I know my content and my expertise level. I am always learning something new from the people around me. I am a life long learner in the truest sense.

For some reason, I am not able to transfer this confidence into the social aspects of my life. I have to force myself to join in social situations. I do not do small talk well. I force myself into uncomfortable situations. It is a tricky predicament.

As a runner, I was able to place an action I excelled at in the forefront which buffered the social aspects. I can do this with writing in certain circles as well. The writing and running were my shields. This is part of my coping mechanisms.

When or where are you most confident?

What are your shields?

#write28days Reject

Reject is the word of the day! I am participating in the #write28days Blogging challenge. If you would like to see the other posts in this series click here for the landing page.

Rejection is a part of the writing life. Being rejected doesn’t mean that you are a bad writer, however. To be a writer there are a couple of rules. You have to write. You have to finish. You have to send those finished pieces out. Sometimes I get responses that read “This isn’t for us.” That is ok. Writing and reading is a personal matter of taste. If I keep revising and sending it out it will find its place in the world!

Weekend Coffee Share – Feb 10

Come and sit and let’s chat! I have a large cup of dark roast black coffee this morning. It is chilly this morning and I am sleepy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am participating in the #write28days blogging challenge. Today’s word is SUPPOSE. This word causes me to formulate a list of questions.

Suppose I start the GATHERINGs – what would happen? Would I keep them going? Would it become a business? Would I foster friendships that would last forever?

Suppose I recognize my skills and be confident and just do it?

Suppose I don’t start the group? Would I regret it?

Suppose it would be more fun to plan the gatherings than actually deploy them?

I am still pondering and planning over here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it is back to winter temps again here – I cannot resist talking about the weather at least a little. It was around 12 degrees F the last couple of days. It was sunny yesterday with a little bit of flurries in the morning which always makes me happy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to a Buddhist center yesterday which hosted my writer retreat. I sat in the library just off the meditation room all day. I learned a lot about my novel and my process. I have a plan now as to how to move forward. I made some strong connections with other writers as well. I was also reminded that I need to not make assumptions about anyone’s process. I was surprised several times yesterday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a busy week at work. I am trying to positively frame it…

If we were having coffee I would tell you I enjoyed my training on Friday. You can read about the library of stories here.

Please share something wonderful with me from your week and the drink you have!

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!

#write28days Simmer

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

I am participating in the #write28days Blogging challenge. If you would like to see the other posts in this series click here for the landing page.

Jenny Blake wrote a book called PIVOT. It is a fabulous book and she talks about pilots and making the next moves to be successful. She has an inspiring podcast as well. Here is her definition of PILOTS:

Pilots, in the career context, are small, low-risk experiments to dip your toe in the water of your new direction. Pilots help gather feedback, and build the bridge between where you are now and where you want to end up. 

Simply stated, it is an experiment that you can see if your idea works. I hope to have a pilot to try at the end of the month. The ideas and the details have to simmer a little bit. I want to make sure when I launch the pilot that I have enough in place to make a decision about what the next right thing is.

Some ideas from The Art of Gathering book I am marinating in and letting simmer are:

We are tempted to focus on the “stuff” of gatherings because we believe those are the only details we can control. pg. xi

My job [author Priya Parker] is to put the right people in a room and help them collectively think, dream, argue, heal, envision, trust, and connect for a specific larger purpose. pg. xi

I am endlessly intrigued by the small and important interventions we can all make to help groups gel.

The last quote is sticking with me and why I purchased my own copy of this book so I can write in it and fill it up with marginalia. I want to know the little things that make that gathering you go to so dynamic you don’t forget how you felt that night. I want to know the things that are in place so that that the next time that host wants to invite you to something – no matter what it is – you go because you know there is something different and fulfilling about their events.

I am also pondering and letting what I am grateful for simmer in my stew pot mind today! The list keeps growing and my heart keeps swelling!

What are you simmering in your mind today??