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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#IWSG February

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

Today’s question – Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Writing is my absolute main creative outlet and thinking tool but I do use some other creative outlets to keep my well filled.

1. Doodling

I love to draw spirals, coffee cups, ribbons, and fancy writing on my notes and in my bullet journal. To hear me talk about my bullet journal you can listen here.


2. Create cards

I used to rubber stamp and now I buy blank cards with envelopes and decorate them with stickers and doodles. I use cards mostly at work to thank people but am reviving my letter writing hobby.

3. Blogging

Blogging is writing but I can play with the format. I write lists, post pictures and ask questions.


4. Conversation

I love life-giving conversations with people. I love to ask unusual questions and really hear about people’s lives not just about the weather. This is also fuel for writing. Overheard conversations, especially in airports, are my favorite for short story writing.


5. Life Experiments

I like to give myself challenges and assignments. Lately, this has manifested in the form of blog and writing challenges. Everything on this list ties back to writing! It is ingrained! I have experimented with eating vegan, going blindfolded for a day, eating vegetarian, a shopping ban, reading only books I own, etc. Running was the experiment that became a lifestyle! Intermittent fasting is a regular system for me now as well.

I am always looking for new ideas so feel free to share in the comments!

What creative outlets so 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.

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  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 STRIVE

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As a creative person I strive to be inspiring to others. I enjoy a group of creatives to collaborative with and grow as a person. I appreciate conversations that expand into something impactful to my life. Sometimes this manifests itself as a conversation that is life giving.

As an educator I strive to be motivating to students and teachers in my building. I believe words are important – spoken and written. I believe in the powers of notes and kind words and the giving of books.

I strive to have my writing mean something. To write is to be read.

Connecting with my in real life writing group allows me to share writing with others and for them to share their writing with me. This idea of interaction with other writers is more important than I thought even a year ago. A group dynamic is impactful but also one on one. I was working on a critique the other day for a writing partner and just the act of carefully reading and thinking about her piece raised my level of a writer. Recognizing components in her writing made me aware of different things in what I read for the next couple of days and my own writing! It is like magic!

As another writing friend stated – groups have to have the right fit. We have different groups for different purposes – they feed us differently.

As I explore the idea of gatherings for creatives over the next month I will be doing some reading in The Art of Gathering a wonderful book about events. I will be sharing some information from it as we move forward!

How do your groups feed you? What conversations are the most life giving to you? What do you need as a creative?

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Every Tuesday teachers gather at TWO WRITING TEACHERS to share slices of life. They link their blogs in the comments and then comment on at least 3 other sites. Come join us today!

Today’s Slice:

The text came through at 8:50 pm yesterday. Before that hour, there had been hours of speculation. We were not the first corporation in the area to call it. To my surprise there was no two-hour delay game, it was straight to cancellation. It was not just cancellation for today…IT IS FOR 3 days! I do not go back to work until Friday.

The weather reports keep saying the Midwest is colder than Antarctica with this winter storm. I woke up this morning thinking about updating my eLearning page and heard the wind. The new house doesn’t have a fireplace and we miss it. We have found how drafty the windows are.

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Earlier the actual temperature was 6 degrees with a – 13 windchill. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be -12 and a low of -22 (without the windchill). I cannot remember when it was that cold before now. I am sure it has been.

Last week I went to school two days. This week it will be only one.

We don’t celebrate winter here so most people will be hunkered down inside their house. To be fair, the weather is not consistent which makes it difficult to adjust. Yesterday afternoon it was 47 degrees before the temperature started to drop several degrees an hour again.

We kept warm in my house. We ate veggie soup with warm bread fresh from the oven.

I am thankful the snow makes everything bright.

I am thankful I do not have to commute many miles this week.

I am thankful for time to finish Slade House by David Mitchell.

I am thankful I will have time to go to the gym every day.

I am thankful I am able to work from home.

I am thankful my furnace works.

I am thankful I am with people I love.

What are your thoughts on winter? What are you thankful for today?

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).

Weekend Coffee Share

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Let’s sit with our coffee in large comfy chairs. It snowed here this week but didn’t stick. I hope that as we sit here that it starts to spit a few flakes.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the progress on my novel seems slow but my word counts are fine. I am on track. I have to figure out a few things about the story though.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read the short story Dimension by Alice Munro. It had some disturbing parts and then ending was different than I expected.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read the short story Carpe Diem by Judi Walsh. You can read it here.

What do you think of these two stories? Have you read anything good lately?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I finished reading VOX by Christina Dalcher today.  I kept thinking about what it would be like to only be allowed to say 100 words a day.  I cannot imagine how many words I actually speak in a day. I am not sure I want to know. Sometimes there are days I would prefer to speak 100 words or be silent all day. How do you feel about it?

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you I worked out today finally. I had to go to the gym because it was too cold and windy to run outside.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to a writing class at the library yesterday. It was interesting. The funniest part was that 2 other ladies from my writers’ group that I regularly talk to were there too! When we originally signed up we were all on the waiting list. We didn’t want to tell others about it and then them not be able to get in. It was a nice surprise to see them!

I hope your week went well! I am so glad we are able to catch up each week.

 

 

 

 

Writing Update/Inspiration

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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!

Weekend Coffee Share

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It is Sunday! Let’s meet at a bookstore today shall we? I just finished The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle and I would find the book and show it to you.

If we were having coffee mine would be really strong. I like dark roast and drink it black. What are you having? If we stay a long while I may have a caramel macchiato. I am a sucker for caramel but only treat myself once in while. Today is an occasion for that, don’t you think? The cafe in this bookstore is nice…maybe we can share a scone or a piece of pumpkin or apple pie. I will let you choose.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am really tired. We moved into a new house on September 24th. It was a stressful day and we moved everything in the afternoon and evening. We had our furniture and personal belongings in two separate place but only one truck. She was a beast but we got everything but 2 chairs and a box I cannot find. Those spices are somewhere! I am having trouble resting though. It feels like there is pressure and work everywhere and not a place to wind down.

If we were having coffee I would share with you that I am running again! I ran 10 miles last weekend and I ran 10 miles this weekend! I used to run 60-80 miles a week….I miss some things about those days but not the time that it took. I didn’t hate the last runs so that is positive. The bike trail where I run is picturesque. I know it is called a BIKE trail but the runners know it is really for them. 😉

If we were having coffee, we would have to talk about the challenges I particpate in and you might have to tell me that I am overdoing it. So far this year, I did the Two Writing Teachers blog challenge in March, I did Storyaday May, I did Storyaday September and I am planning to do NANOWRIMO in November. Then I would have to confess that I am doing a self imposed challenge combining two word lists – INKTOBER and 31 days of FMF or Five Minute Friday. I am revising some short stories that I am writing but cannot help to keep creating. I dare say it might be my new addiction. DO I need an intervention?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I started a critique group with some fellow writers from the Storyaday Superstars and I am super excited about it. I really need feedback on the piece I sent to them (I am first) and I am hoping we can help each other become better writers.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to my real life writers group last Thursday. I was really proud of the story I took and the group was fascinated with the story separator I used. I must confess it was super cute. ha ha Several people read poems which were really good and another woman read a first person point of view piece about a real person she is making stories up about.

I want to hear about your challenges you are going through – self imposed or not! I want to hear about your hobbies. I want to hear about how you take care of yourself and rest!

#weekendcoffeeshare