Full Moon #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. Fill your cup to the brim and let’s have a long chat!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to amazing workshops yesterday with Cheryl Pappas, Kathy Fish and Crow Collective. I have taken classes with Cheryl before but never in a live workshop situation. I have heard her read a story of hers that I adore and it was nice to hear her voice teaching. I was able to draft some pieces yesterday that I am happy with. All are partial so I will have to dig back into them at a later writing session.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I need to schedule some time to revisit some writing classes I have taken in the past. I am good at taking notes about how classes are conducted and I save all the prompts and reading suggestions. One of the main ones I need to revisit is the Sarah Selecky Story Course. That course has the advantage of audio and video lessons as well. My Google drive is very full of lessons and drafts. My writing life schedule will begin soon and I will be able to do just that!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to an online event where Jackie Kai Ellis spoke. She was amazing and I love her memoir. The call was magical and her tone and way of speaking was calming and inspiring at the same time. It would be worth it to join Centered just to listen to Guest Mentor replays. The daily prompts are highly recommended as well. The community is supportive and it is a great place to share your work especially if you are reluctant to do so.

Do you need a refill? The water is really cold so I will bring you a glass since it is so warm today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you today is a special day! I am driving into Madison to see NEIL GAIMAN SPEAK!!!! I am have been anticipating this evening for over 2 years and I am thrilled. I am going to take the opportunity to go on an extended Artist Date and go to bookstores, write at the art museum, have a lovely dinner and then soak up all the vibes from Neil. The full moon will be my companion on the drive back to the apartment. I will look at it and think of people I am under the full moon with tonight!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I cut my hair this week! It was nice to go a little shorter like I have had it in the past. It makes it easier for walking in the sun and just general maintenance. Plus, I like the look!

If we were having coffee I would tell you revisions to my Jack project continue. With work this week, I haven’t been able to get as much time on that project as I would have liked ,but I did some work yesterday and it was good. I have moved the deadline up and will accomplish the goal.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my routine is different this weekend and although I am excited for the creative day I have planned I miss my new normal. There are people I love that I cannot be with this weekend and I miss them. Changes are coming soon that will change that so I am thankful. I have abundance in my life and do not plan to waste it.

I hope your Sunday is filled with creativeness, sunshine, love, and great food!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat!

Four Somethings #SOL22

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts

My dear friend Lisa shared this format on her blog. You can read it here.

Something Loved

Most of my students can pronounce my last name just fine but occasionally I have a student who will call me “Mrs. B”. I have one student that calls me “Mrs. Weiser” – she wrote that in her book she is making this morning! LOL

I always love writing time because the students always chatter. When I taught kindergarten they would comment on each other’s writing and process the whole time. It was adorable and perfect.

“We have a lot of dandelions in our yard” my student says today as she adds grass and dandelions to her picture in her book. “My sister is a teenager. She doesn’t care.” I found out her sister also cut her own hair…her mother was not happy.

Something Read

I am reading Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and enjoying it immensely. I love a “stunt” memoir. The author is taking walks Thoreau did and writing about his experience. His writing style is inviting.

Something Treasured

My red thread bracelet I have not taken off since it touched my wrist.

I am also treasuring that my building has air conditioning. It is forecasted to be 90 degrees here and it was 60 on Sunday.

Something Ahead

There are lots of things to look forward to over the next several months and beyond. The end of the school year is approaching and major changes are happening for me. There is a plan for me to not be in public education in the fall in order to be a full time writer. There are several logistics that are being worked out but it is exciting and terrifying all at once. More on that another day.

Mother’s Day #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the people who are nurturers to someone in your life!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. I have dark roast coffee, spicy coffee and water today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my story challenge is moving along. I have not been as inspired this week for new material, but have been doing revision. I am writing, but not sticking as close to the prompts as I have in the past. The experience is different for me now since I have a well established writing practice. Words are written everyday. I joined a writing sprint Saturday morning which was nice to see some familiar faces and get a story done. I also had a call with a Canadian writer friend this week. It was incredibly fueling to me!

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather cleared up for 3 days and then it went back to raining. I have been able to sneak a few walks in. I do so much better when I can connect with nature even if it is only an hour.

Do you need a refill?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote with my poetry class on Thursday night. I had wrestled with a poem all day and it gave me time to revise it. I have been in my Sarah Freligh poetry boot camp class as well as Monna McDiarmid’s.

If we were having coffee I would tell you revisions to my novel continue. With work this week, I haven’t been able to get as much time in that document as I would like.

If we were having coffee I would tell you PUSH group was delightful on Monday night. The conversation went to reading at the end which was engaging and humorous!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am spending some time with my son today for Mother’s Day. We are going to lunch. It is always fun to spend time with him no matter what the day.

I hope your Sunday is filled with some fun and laughter. Mine started wonderfully and will be full of joyful moments.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat!

One Day MAYbe… #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

For more years than I can count I have a tradition on the first school day of May.

I invite students to finish the sentence stem: One day MAYbe…

Grade level or age does not matter for this prompt. It is universal and always applies.

My students wrote with this prompt today and we discussed if they would travel somewhere or what they wanted to be when they grew up.

One day MAYbe the weather will even out and it will actually look like spring.

One day MAYbe I will be a full time writer.

One day MAYbe I will be a princess.

I am always looking for the magic in teaching. Some days are easier to find it than others but it usually is in writing!

I invite you to finish the phrase –

One day MAYbe…

#happywriting

May Day #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. I have dark roast coffee today and some water.

If we were having coffee I would tell Storyaday May begins today and I am excited for this annual event. Julie, the host, is running two side by side challenges this year. One is the classic 31 stories in 31 days and the other is a “fun size”. The alternative challenge is a lot about mindset and working on only a few stories for the month. If you want to check her site and the prompts out go to Storyaday.org. I will continue to write using the Sarah Selecky daily prompts during the month and will combine them when that works for my story.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather has been a little better. I have been able to get some walks in this week but there was still a lot of rain and wind. Thankfully, no snow this past week.

Do you need a refill?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I went to a White Sox game yesterday with my three sons. It was crazy getting into the park and we had to stand in a massive line. We did get the free shirt , thank goodness. All the boys were worried they would run out before we got to the gate. The game started off with an Anderson homerun, so that was exciting. I had been looking forward to the food at the park as much as the game and it did not disappoint. We had great seats right behind first base and a foul ball landed right next to us…into someone else’s hand. We left when the sky opened up and it poured. They delayed the game, but that was ok. It was a good game. We even got ice cream on the way home. It was a great afternoon.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I worked on revisions to my novel and it is going well.

If we were having coffee I would tell you work seemed extra busy this week. I was glad for the weekend.

I hope your Sunday is filled with some fun and laughter.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat!

Illustrators #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Reading and writing have always been taught together in my classroom. There is also lots of bookmaking for students and for me.

I used to take all the words they needed to know and would make books of text for them to practice reading before there were sites like Teacher Pay Teacher and Pinterest.

When teaching about what the author does in writing a book we also talk about illustrators. Throughout the years as I have met countless children’s book authors. I was surprised to learn that the writer often does not get to choose the illustrator for their books. They are sometimes randomly assigned. Sometimes requests are made but they are not always honored by the publisher.

Several authors talked about how the placement of words on the page is also chosen by the illustrator and sometimes will change the way the story is read. The illustrator has more power than I once thought.

I have always modeled how to draw certain things simply since I cannot just ask students to do something when I haven’t given them an example. I have used stick people to show how to make people more “fleshy”.

Yesterday I read Mo Willems book: The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

I learned years ago when I saw him speak at an International Reading Association conference that he drew the pigeon the way he did on purpose so even young children could write their own pigeon books.

Today one of my individual students wrote about sheep using the book she just read as a model. I showed her how to use swirls to make it look fuzzy. Then she said to me, “I’m going to make the curlies up to the neck!”

I was reminded of the joy of drawing with my students today!

What brought you joy today?

I Invite You To Coffee #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat today. I link up with Natalie the Explorer with others who enjoy Weekend Coffee Share posts!

Thank you for meeting and chatting with me today. I have some spicy coffee this morning with mocha today. I can make you a regular cup if that doesn’t appeal to you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was a guest blogger on a website I respect as a writer and an educator. You can check out my post here about writing poetry.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather is still not cooperating. It rained every day this week except Thursday when I was able to get out in the sun for a walk. Yesterday it was 89 degrees at one point and the day before it was 40 degrees??? When it is not raining, it is windy. Windy like 20mph – not breezy.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it was a busy writing week which is always my favorite. The Centered Guest Mentor call was this week and was amazing. Yesterday I attended the Barrelhouse writing conference online and also had my Natalie Goldberg writing session. I had a critique session as well. Thanks to my friends Jamie and Chari, I realized that my 100-word story was due yesterday instead of today, so I am glad I didn’t miss the deadline. I also turned in my CV2 poem.

If we were having coffee I would tell you today my schedule is a little different so my regular writing routine has shifted. I do not mind at all. I plan to do some revisions and submissions today.

Do you need a refill?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I think I have a plan to get my novel revised by August 1st. I have an accountability partner (THANK YOU ROBYN) who also has done this process before so I believe that will be motivating for me. From the Ease Lessons podcast, I also was reminded about a sentence outline which I think will work for figuring out (again) where the holes are in the story so I can work those pieces out. I know I need to rearrange many scenes as well.

I am excited to have a plan and a deadline for myself. I am still reading Refuse to Be Done by Matt Bell and I am sure that will help with the plans as they become more solidified and written down!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have made some writing connections through my new role as Moderator for Centered. I am enjoying the increased interaction and learning more about these writers.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I hope you have some fun this Sunday! I am having the most enjoyable day today full of many things I love. I had the perfect start to the morning and had an amazing breakfast with someone important…more on that another time.

Looking ahead I am looking forward to next weekend already! I have some big plans and I am taking my sons to a White Sox game! I hope the weather holds out for us!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat! I am already looking forward to next weekend!

Big Writing Day #napowrimo #Day23

Today is Day 23 of Poetry Month and a BIG writing day for me

Earlier this week, my new issue of Poets and Writers magazine came in the mail. It is the only magazine I get in print now. Magazines used to be a staple of my reading life. When I was younger [and before the internet] I could often be heard saying, “I read in a magazine…”

I find this magazine inspiring. There is a section where first lines of poems and books are printed and it is always delightful. Beginning sentences are powerful.

One of the mentor poems I used this week was Louise Glück Figs which was a daily poem from The Paris Review on the 20th.

Today I am participating in the CV2 poetry contest. A list of 10 words are shared that must be used in the body of the poem and not altered in any way. You can check out the words and more details here.

I am also participating in the NYC Midnight 100-word microfiction contest this weekend. In my opinion 100 word stories are poem adjacent. The prompt assigned to me was ROMANCE (genre), HAILING A TAXI (action), STRESS(word). One of the benefits of this contest is the judges’ feedback that you receive later. (Much later in reality)

Drafts are written for the 100-word story and the poem. I am still rewriting both pieces plus writing other things in between. I typically do not enter contests but have seemed to have changed that pattern this year.

I am also attending a virtual writing conference today and am scheduled for a critique session.

How much writing can you pack in one day? I am trying to find out. I love this life!

What did you write today? How did you fuel your writing self today?

#readmorepoetry #alwayswrite

An Exciting Day for Poetry Month #napowrimo #Day20

This month I will read a poem and use it to inspire a poem of my own. I will write about process, but will not publish the poem drafts on the blog.

Here is my calendar which holds the links for the poems/prompts that inspire me. My resources this challenge are linked at the top of the document.

Day 20

I am the guest blogger today at Ethical ELA!

Naomi Shihab Nye has been a favorite poem of mine since I attended the Writers at Work conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Today I used her poem Burning the Old Year as inspiration.

Check out the post here.

#happyreading #readmorepoetry #happywriting

Poetry Month #napowrimo #Day19 #SOL22

This month I will read a poem and use it to inspire a poem of my own. I will write about process, but will not publish the poem drafts on the blog.

Here is my calendar which holds the links for the poems/prompts that inspire me. My resources this challenge are linked at the top of the document.

Day 19

I have been reading poetry every day without fail. Last Friday, I went to a pop up class with Poetry Forge which was inspiring and led me to a new poet. I have been reading a variety of books and articles which always fuels my writing. I wanted to increase my reading minutes which has come to fruition over the month of April. In addition to my notebook, I am always carrying a book.

I began a class yesterday with Monna McDiarmid who is amazing. She is hosting her class mostly through a Slack channel which is interesting and new to me.

I wrote a poem last evening with my PUSH group using the poem WINDOW by Forough Farrokhzad as a mentor text. It was published in The Paris Review. I read the poem to the group and then it was time to write!

This poem begins with an image so all the writers began with an image of their own and then I fed them sentence stems every couple of minutes to inspire their next line.

Poem structure:

Begin with the description of an image

Begin you next line with: I come from the land of…

I come from among…

When my trust…

One is enough for….

Dreams always….

Will I…

I sense….

Say something….

End with a circle back to the image at the beginning.

What did you write today? How did you fuel your writing self today?

#readmorepoetry #write

Happy Llama Tuesday! Celebrate accordingly – the llama says, “Read a poem today!”