FMF: Start



When I sat down to write the word START at first conjured the idea of “I don’t need to start anything else!”

Then I started to write. All of the ideas were about writing and reading – nothing about education. That seems telling to me.

“I need to start” is the reoccurring sentence stem and there is a list of goals that may need to be fleshed out.

One challenge I may need to impose on myself is a running schedule. It used to be easy. I used to run every day as a given. NO more. I give myself writing challenges every month so I will think about one for fitness.

If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.



Every October 20, NCTE celebrates the importance, joy, and evolution of writing through a tweetup, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite and events hosted by thousands of educators across the country. [… In 2016] there were more than 60,000+ tweets with a reach of millions of people. The hashtag #WhyIWrite trended on Twitter all day long and was even featured in Entertainment Weekly.



Why do you write?

FMF Challenge: WHEN



The word for today is WHEN.


I am tempted to think of this word and write:

When is it my time? I already know that the time is NOW.

More questions come to mind then answers today.

When am I going to feel comfortable and at home in my house?

A decision seems to be on the fringes of my life. When is it going to be revealed to me?

When is my season of thriving rather than obstacle?

When indeed?


If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.

Weekend Coffee Share



It is Sunday! I am so glad we are meeting for coffee again! Two weekends in a row and I am looking forward to a lovely time.

It is October so I think my first coffee will be a pumpkin latte just to celebrate the season! I will have dark black coffee after that. I imagine our conversation will be at least a 3 cupper today.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I really miss the Chile Mocha from Starbucks. I have put the drink in a couple short stories too! I know it is discontinued but I wish the company would bring it back.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been able to sleep a little more this week. I am getting used to the new house. It is slowly becoming more like home. I was struggling with this a bit this week and my husband reminded me we did a lot of work with the other house months before we moved in. We removed carpet, tile, wallpaper, and junk. We tended to a garden before the renovations were complete. We did have lovely tomatoes and lettuce that year!

If we were having coffee I would ask if you heard Kelly Link was awarded a MacArthur Fellows grant. I am so excited she is honored in this way! I love her short stories as you know. I found out you cannot apply for this award.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had to replace tires AGAIN on my car. The tire place was quick about it and I didn’t have to sit there for hours so that was a nice surprise. I have to get them aligned now next week.

person holding cup with coffee
Photo by samer daboul on

If we were having coffee I would ask you what was the most surprising thing for you this week?

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you are looking forward to in the coming week? My fall break is coming up and I am excited to be able to stay at home. No work means no driving. That makes me happy.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I am writing every day. I am working on a loose outline for NANOWRIMO. I have been writing every day for the five-minute challenge. I have obviously not been posting my end piece on the blog but I assure you it is insightful and worthwhile.

I am glad we met today! I am looking forward to hearing your surprises and what you are looking forward to.


FMF: Five Minute Friday Landing Page

writing prompts

I have been writing with the prompts every day but do not always post to the blog. If you click on the highlighted day and word you can read the post related to that freewrite.

Day 1: Story

Day 2: Afraid

Day 3: Believe

Day 4: Why

Day 5: Share

Day 6: Belong

Day 7: Hope

Day 8: Comfort

Day 9: Inspire

Day 10: How

Day 11: Door

Day 12: Praise

Day 13: Talk

Day 14: Ask

Day 15: When

Day 16: Pray

Day 17: Pause

Day 18: Search

Day 19: Who

Day 20: Audience

Day 21: Start

Day 22: Help

Day 23: Common

Day 24: Brief

Day 25: Capture





FMF: Door



I am fascinated by doors. My writer friend Marian Allen posts doors almost every Thursday. I look for those posts to come into my email feed.

Doors are openings to possibilities.

Doors protect you.

Sometimes we aren’t sure when we are looking at doors whether it is the front or the back. Sometimes it doesn’t matter.

Sometimes following the white rabbit means you have to go through a door and you are not sure what is on the other side. We must be brave.

Doors can also be obstacles. I have been stressed lately and my left eye has been twitching for days. This is never a good sign for me personally. I am trying to figure out what to positively embrace, what I can control and where I need to ask for help.

If I knock on your door, I might need help. Please be kind.


If you would like to read more posts from this series click here.








31 Days of FMF Challenge

My FOREST timer was set today for 5 minutes and I wrote: INSPIRE





This is a word that comes up for me a lot. I know to pay attention.

I have been called an Accidental Inspire-er – I am not really sure that is a word really – or even a thing.

I am not inspired by sound today. It overwhelms my ears and my brain.

Today is Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Day – I hope to inspire at least one teacher with my post.

I was inspired by feedback from one of my critique group partners today.

I want to inspire students to be creative. I hope to do that through Genius Hour. I want to inspire kids to read and write. I do that through Writer Workshop.

To inspire

I have to start a fire

Let it burn

Hot and Bright

Teach tools so there is management and the fire doesn’t get out of control.

Don’t let the marshmallows burn!


Tag! You’re It for Writers



  • Post the Tag and Image on your blog (see above)
  • Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.
  • Mention the creators of the award and link back to their blogs.
  • Nominate 6+ deserving bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

This Writers Tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen. Click on the highlighted names to check out their blogs and don’t forget to comment on their blog and tell them that you’ve played the fun Writing Tag so they can connect with you too.

Image result for story separator

Name one novel that inspired you to write.

I have always written but a novel that inspired me has been The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The time jumps in that novel were impressive because I didn’t get lost in the story when I easily could have. I remember thinking I wanted to know how she managed to pull that off in the writing!

What’s your favorite genre to write and read?

Magical realism and literary fiction

Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?

Stand alone

Use 3 words to describe yourself.

Intense, tenacious, and loving

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

I did NANOWRIMO last November for the first time and it was then I realized I could really do this! I could write every day, I could make a project of 50,000 words, and I loved it. I learned a lot about my process from NANO and from Storyaday.

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your MC or setting.

Image result for seance

How long did your first MS take to draft?

30 days…I used NANOWRIMO!

Who is your author idol?

Neil Gaiman

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

I have met two Olympians and ran with one!

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.

Being able to label myself a writer. It was after Storyaday and NANOWRIMO back to back months that I started to call myself a writer and even changed my description on Twitter.

What’s your favorite social media and why? Share your link.

Twitter. I love the short and quick of it. @tlbreit

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

Follow the white rabbit; be brave!

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Thanks for reading in this fun Writing Tag. Remember fellow writers, treasure your unique abilities and talents and never give up on yourselves.

Here are my nominations:

These are great writers I know and follow. Please at least check out their blogs!

Bloggers: Do not feel obligated to do the challenge!



Thursday Thoughts

wood explosion fire hot
Photo by Tookapic on

As the weather toys with getting cooler I think about the activities I like to do in front of the fireplace. I am always looking for the interesting around me. I enjoy recording these sparks for stories later, whether it is for my fiction or non-fiction. The non-fiction tends to be the blog and fiction tend to be short stories in my life. Sometimes, they bleed over into my verbal world as limited as I try to make it.

Yesterday I remembered that I used to write letters. I had pen pals starting in elementary school. It started with a family friend’s granddaughter that lived several towns over. To a 9-year-old, a 30-minute drive was worlds away. There was excitement in writing about my daily activities and putting those treasures of words into an envelope and sending them off and then anxiously awaiting the response, which was never quick enough for me.

brown paper envelope on table
Photo by John-Mark Smith on

Soon, I found out about the concept of mail art and started making my own envelopes. I played with shapes and writing letters on different types of paper. It was not unusual during the month of October for me to cut out the shape of a large ghost and write a letter on him. I started shopping with my allowance at the Hallmark store for the fanciest paper I could afford. I am pretty sure I was the only 10 year old getting the Crane Stationary catalog in the mail.

One time, I sent my German grandmother a letter and put glitter in the folds of the paper. Not until it was safely in the mailperson’s hand did it occur to me that my very CLEAN and TIDY German grandmother may be upset with me when glitter fell all over her freshly cleaned floor if it was Wednesday…luckily she called me laughing after she had received my prose. The explosion of glitter had delighted her in the most unexpected and surprising way – THANK GOODNESS!

In late high school, I found Alexandra Stoddard’s book The Gift of a Letter and was amazed that someone else felt about letter writing the way I had for years. It was validating and a book I had reread numerous times.

I wrote to several friends in college and was always aiming for a full mailbox.

When I graduated college I read in a newspaper, maybe the New York Times, about The Letter Exchange: a magazine for letter writers that connected people with security in place.

As I took my letter journey I knew I had to pay attention to my life so I could write about it later. I really do wish I had copies of some of the letters I wrote. I thought of them as gifts to the person I was sending it to – just for that one person. A snippet of my life that I would share only with them.

The noticing I did for my letter writing has helped me now as a writer. I observe and record with abandon the experiences around me. The difference is I am writing and sharing the pieces in a much more formal way. Email just isn’t the same.

I am thinking I am might need to revisit letter writing…I may have to get back on that Crane stationary mailing list.


Do you write letters anymore?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month! Today is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! The question posed for today is:

October 3 question – How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Writing has always been a part of my life. When I have taken the time to look back through my journals, morning pages or other writings, the bulk of words get on the page when my days are dark.

Writing helps me cope. It is my escape. This last 3 months I have moved 3 times among other personal ups and downs. I wrote every day. I gave myself the challenge to write a short story every day in September and accomplished more than 30. The challenge gave me a focus every day.

I have the advantage of technology now and the ability to dictate into my phone. I have always carried a notebook with me but am diligent about writing in it now. One of my favorite activities is to write down conversations that I overhear.  A major change when I started working at my current job was a 2 hour total commute in the car. It is almost impossible to write in a notebook while driving but dictating and listening to writing podcasts help reframe that time into something productive.

I know what I think by writing it out. It helps me work out what is happening in my head and helps me to not overthink. My brain function and my thinking are fast-paced and writing helps me slow down, especially when I write longhand. I like to play with different style pens and notebooks. As a type of therapy, I play with various outcomes and actions to different circumstances.

Writing is my lifeline and I am grateful for it!