Sunday Wordshare

What word would you share with me today?

A practice I have learned from Julie Paul is to use your writing community to create a word bank. In her world, she exchanges 10 minute writings with her group. You can use each word on its own or gather a group and write from them.

I have been using words from others to write for the last several days. I also used it with my PUSH group last week.

Please share a word in the comments.

Use the words – use mine – use all that is shared!

I would love to hear how it goes for you!

First February Weekend Coffee Share

It is Freezer Saturday today. As I write this, it is 4 degrees F. The wind chill is much colder.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better. I also tell you the most current happenings I am offering. This past Friday I wrote about an insightful conversation I had with my friend Jenna.

Thank you to Natalie for hosting the link party for all things Weekend Coffee Share!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my PUSH group on Monday night was a fun life giving conversation about writing. We started with a writing exercise which was interesting. Everyone shared different sparkly sentences from their freewrite and they were amazing. We are meeting next Tuesday to discuss week 1 of my Unpublished to Published course. I am so looking forward to it!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I listened to Brene Brown interview Simon Sinek. I love his work. He just came out with a new book about finite and infinite thinking. There are many things that cannot be “won” that we are culturally told we can. This leads to frustration. I always feel I am expanded when I listen to Simon speak.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had my parent teacher conferences this week. They were all smooth and positive. The weather turned nasty this week so we were allowed to work from home on Thursday and Friday. I was thrilled.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my writing class is going well and I am making strides in my novel rewrite. My goal is to have this draft as polished as I can get it by the end of March. My spring break is that last week and I should have time to get it where I want it to be by then to be able to get it to the next step. I have had to rethink what my definition of “work on the novel” is. This rewrite is requiring more thinking and research that does not involve word counts and words on the page necessarily. Having my #the100dayproject centering around Jack [my main character] focuses my attention on the novel at least once a day. This is my own trick.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am sharing a word a day and encourage you to send me a word too! I gleaned this idea from Julie Paul. She is a Canadian writer who has a group of writers who exchange words and the 10 minute freewrite that comes from these words. Here is my word from today:

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is supposed to frigid this weekend and I am pleased to report I am not going anywhere. I have begun the weekend with listening to nourishing things and writing. There are books I will pick up from the library on Monday during my lunchtime.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have continued to walk every day. It has been cold so I have to dress correctly out there! It is a joy to walk in the snow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am taking a hermit crab writing class on Sunday. I am excited to see what I generate and the feedback that I will be able to give and get! It is on a new platform called BAND I have never used before so that is an exciting component as well.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I cannot wait to see what words you share with me!

#FMF Sunrise

sunrise

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday.

Beginnings repeat in the colors of pink and orange smeared across the sky. It is the colored creme filling in between the clouds. A morning dessert. This personal painting in the gallery of my home framed by the sliding glass. The exhibit changes by the quarter of the hour. I sip my coffee and settle in between the moments.

My preference is to be here. To not see the display through the frame of the windshield. The art gallery moves with me.  It is a process of adjustment and a constant pivot of perspective. The mornings are hazy through blurry dream filled eyes. Color helps me focus and crisp the edges.

This space is invisible to everyone else. My watercolor sky with blackened trees. Sticks and lines that become so much more. They are the jewelry of the horizon just for me. 

Time is different in the morning. The minutes change for the sunrise and transform me in the process.

#IWSG February

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

February 3 question – Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere? The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG are Louise – Fundy Blue ,Jennifer Lane,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

I have made friends through blogging at an arm’s length. I recognize their names in comments and feeds which is a comfort. There are many friends online that I would consider closer than in real life friends but I am not certain I would classify them as “blogging” friends. Some of them I have met through other communities and they have become readers of the blog or the newsletter.

I am so lucky to have found the writing circle I have. I have people I talk writing in general with, friends I exchange work with, and others that I have a kindred spirit relationship with. I am so grateful for the variety of writers in my circle.

I also have many friends who are readers and not writers which is a whole other relationship. They are all special and valuable to me.

#happyreading #happywriting

Last Day – You know what that means…

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

The last day of the month means reflection time!

I am participating in a journaling circle later and will reflect on whatever questions Nicole poses, but I always do my own process.

What went well?

  • The month started well with winter break still in session. New Year’s Day felt like renewal to me which was a surprise to me.
  • I started the #the100dayproject earlier than the “official” program with love letters to different things in my life. It is inspired by the New York Times “Recommendations” column and Ross Gay’s Book of Delights essay collection.
  • Slow Novel Lab with Nina LaCour
  • The PUSH groups – oh my goodness how fun this turned out to be
  • Manifesting challenge with Gabby Bernstein
  • Writing every day
  • Submissions
  • The writing summit from Traci Skuce – Thanks to my friend Linda I learned so much from these talks.
  • I figured out the top three things that really matter to me and was able to let go of some things that I was self imposing that I HAD to do.
  • It snowed several times this month!
  • Daily walks
  • Vivid dreams
  • Life giving conversations with friends
  • Inspired writing

What didn’t go so well….

  • I asked the universe for opportunities and got a flood of them. I had to pivot and figure out my priorities
  • Early in the month I was having some anger and defense that was bubbling up in unusual ways. I had to go way back to some memories to uncover where some of these limiting beliefs were coming from.
  • There were days I felt quite lonely.
  • I got my first round of COVID vaccine – this is truly a toss up and more in a neutral category. I am thankful but also apprehensive about the unknowns.

What I Learned

  • I love coaching. I miss coaching in the school setting too.
  • Hosting live classes/workshops/conversation is where the magic is! I am so glad I switched to this format. My clients respond so much better to live than recorded sessions. I think they still have their place.
  • Just because I do not take every opportunity put in front of me does not mean I am ungrateful.
  • Mindset matters [To be fair, I did know this before but the understanding deepened in a new way for me.]
  • I learned about Jane Brunette

#oneword update: PUSH

My word for 2021 is PUSH: power, unleash, significance, hope

All of these words were prominent in January. I PUSHed out the groups and new programs. I am feeling the power of my knowledge and influence and how I can use that to help the greater good. I have felt more seen and have been putting myself out there more. I sent a manuscript out this month. My newsletters have been intentional and more emotional. Hope is an underlying theme through my writing and my life.

Do you do a monthly reflection? I would love to hear about your process!

Last January Weekend Coffee Share

Saturday rolls onto the calendar once again. My kindergarten students are having trouble learning the days of the week this year because there is a mundane quality to daily life in a pandemic. Most of them do not leave the house. There is not much distinction between weekdays and weekends. Zoom classes seem to be not as disruptive to their timelines as I would have thought at the beginning of all this.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Go here to do that now. It is delivered to your inbox on Fridays and always contains a heartfelt story which allows you to know me better.

Thank you to Natalie for hosting the link party for all things Weekend Coffee Share!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my PUSH group on Tuesday night was a fun life giving conversation about submissions and #100dayprojects. The groups were so fun I am continuing them. The next one is on Monday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you next week I have parent teacher conferences and I have to be at work until 7pm both Tuesday and Thursday. I am not looking forward to this schedule. Most of my parents are asking for earlier times in the day for our chat so I will be working on my own projects as the day stretches into night.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I love my library. I was able to pick up several holds. I also checked out Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon. I am loving her poetry lately.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we had a surprise snow day last Tuesday. I slept and read and wrote. It was a glorious gift of rest.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I got my first round of the COVID vaccine this week. I am still apprehensive about the whole vaccine business if I am honest. I felt light headed and tired afterwards. My arm hurt as well. I go for the second round in a couple of weeks. Being a teacher, there are lots of reasons to get the shot, but my lack of faith in information that is given as fact unnerves me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did something that scared me a little this week. The worst that can happen is that I get a rejection but it still made me want to throw up a little before I hit send.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is supposed to snow this weekend and that makes me giddy!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I cannot wait to read what you were up to this week!

Snow Day? #SOL21

EVERY LLAMA TUESDAY I WRITE A SLICE OF LIFE.

SHARE YOUR LINK IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THE TWO TEACHERS WRITING BLOG.

GIVE COMMENTS TO AT LEAST THREE OTHER SLICE OF LIFE STORIES

Before the end of the school day yesterday we received a communication warning about a winter storm. Now, I live in Wisconsin where winter is celebrated and we are still virtual learning so at first I thought this meant that I would just be working from home. We simply don’t have snow days here. What I was told last year is only 3 days had been called over the course of more than 30 years due to ice and power outages.

Then another email came explaining that if the day was called to inclement weather the buildings would be closed and there would be no distance learning. In this new normal, my assumption was that since we have the capacity to distance learn than that would alleviate the need for a snow day all together. Apparently, I am wrong.

The ad building called it. I am at home, in the middle of the week with a day off.

You know what? I needed it. I walk every day and yesterday my 6 miles were awful. I felt uncomfortable the whole time and normally the activity that rights me in the correct path made me cranky. I ate and had a writers call which was good but not as energizing as I would have thought. My sleep has been sporadic over the last week at least, with vivid dreams dripping like honey off my brain in the morning.

To top that off the coffee pot is sputtering and misbehaving.

I am taking the sign from the universe to rest. I slept in, I am reading, and writing. I am going to write messages to friends. I have my last PUSH group later but am so energized by these women I am looking forward to it. I am going to savor this gift of time on a Tuesday in January and not feel guilt about it.

After all, it is a snow day.

Weekend Coffee Share

The sun is shining this Saturday and the temperature is in the single digits. It is the perfect setting for several cups of Joe!

Thank you to Natalie for hosting the link party for all things Weekend Coffee Share!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my PUSH group on Tuesday night was a fun life giving conversation about moving from unpublished to published. I am doing one more open workshop next Tuesday about Submission/Creative projects. I expect the conversation to be just as rich. There is magic in gathering together and talking about creative pursuits no matter what stage you are in. It is one of my favorite things.

We are meeting on Tuesday. If you want to join you can sign up for the Zoom link here. I am recording them and placing them in the Patreon group if you cannot make it live.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you with the holiday last Monday I have to drive more than usual and it was welcome. I do not miss my commute to school at all but once in a while it feels nice to have a large span of time dedicated to the highway. It is a creative time for me – like being in the shower when ideas come to you! We were able to go out to dinner as a family as well so that was lovely. The food was great as well as the service and I was thankful to have that space.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a creative meeting with a writing friend this week that was so fulfilling. We talked about all things writing and process plus some spiritual pieces. She is a wealth of experience and I am thankful to have met her.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you one of my favorite authors wrote an article for Electric Lit. You can find it here. My new system of at least 15 minutes of reading a day is working and getting me back into the grove and habit. I feel much better this week mentally because of it as well. I am reading Craft in the Real World, The Invisible Life of Adie Larue, and Freshwater. [Affiliate links]

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am starting a writing experience on Monday. Our first group call for introductions is then. I am excited for this opportunity! I am hoping to learn and make some serious writing connections.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I examining more closely what I am spending my time and energy on. Energy is a concept that has come up multiple times over the last week so I am paying attention. One surprising thing that zapped my energy was a change of schedule. My students and I were off Monday but then the kids were off Friday because of a teacher work and PD day. Wednesdays are meetings anyway. I was able to get a lot of work done on Wednesday but it still threw me off.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I cannot wait to read what you were up to this week!

When You Feel Off

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Yesterday I changed my routine and I felt pressed for time the whole day.

When I look at the facts, I did get a lot done but it didn’t FEEL right.

I usually begin my day with writing [and lots of it] which helps me feel grounded. I worked from home yesterday but the day flew by. I was not able to write in the bed. The time between my teaching was eaten up fast while I multi tasked.

I am the woman who walks every day and I pride myself on this part of my identity BUT I didn’t enjoy it yesterday. It was sunny and I had dressed too warm. I was forcing it and it was not comfortable. I kept trying to recall the feelings of walking in the snow earlier this week but it wasn’t working. I listened to nourishing podcasts and returned Voxer messages. Everything was irritating.

I felt like I have been writing in between obligations all week. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I do this all the time but did not feel like I had a longer creative time without other interuptions.

I find at this time of the year there are at least 7 books I want to read RIGHT NOW. There are 3 of these titles coming out Tuesday. I could easily spend $150 on preorders today but that wouldn’t be smart.

There are trainings and classes galore right now. Being an input monster I want to absorb them all. I asked the universe for new opportunities and she is delivering but I am trying to discern what I NEED. A friend and I talked this week that this should be an easy question to answer but it is not.

I know this is impossible to absorb them all right now.

This morning, I woke up remembering the Storyaday Framework. Julie Duffy comes back to this resource over and over again. I normally don’t like outlines or plot devices but when I feel like I am going off the rails and around and around a spiral I fill it out. I still surprise myself with the structure if I let the pen flow.

If you would like to check it out go here: https://storyaday.org/framework/

Happy Writing!

What do you do when you are stuck? I would love to hear in the comments.

I also read. This story came on my radar this week from the Why is This Good? podcast – Symbols and Signs

I would love to know what you think.

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome back to the weekend! It is snowing outside and I am thrilled. What can I get for you today? The coffee is hot. Let’s settle in for a chat and several cups of coffee. I feel like we have so much to catch up on today!

Thank you to Natalie for hosting the link party for all things Weekend Coffee Share!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my PUSH group on Monday night was super fun around reading. Everyone shared three favorite books The most animated discussion came from a book that we hate. The PUSH group next week I am super excited about. I am launching my program about going from Unpublished to Published. Even if you aren’t ready to publish yet this class is for you. There are lots of things that you have to have set before you start submitting (from my experience.) If you love to talk writing or just want to get started you should join us! We are meeting on Tuesday. If you want to join you can sign up for the Zoom link here. I am recording them and placing them in the Patreon group if you cannot make it live. The full course will be happening in the Patreon at the $7 level and there will be weekly content and then live Zoom calls. It is going to be amazing!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my friend Jenna Britton is coaching in a dynamic way around Human Design charts called Clarity + Connection Conversations. You should check out her website. I have had several sessions with her and it always leads me to new insights. You can find her on Instagram as well. She just did an IGTV video that explains everything.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I walked every day this week and several days it snowed which is always my favorite! I have come across some new podcasts so that has been fun. Bulletproof Radio has been informative this week as well as Bookable, Stop Writing Alone, Find Your Voice, and Hello Seven.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I posted about Rereading for Two Writing Teachers and one of my #100dayproject essays. You can read that here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was a guest judge for a creative writing app called Story Squad. There are fun prompts and people handwrite their one page stories and send them in for voting.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am thankful for the three day weekend. I am submitting some poems today and hope to get lots of writing done. I have written every day as normal but have not been posting and sharing the writing in any of my closed writer forums. I am also examining why I cannot seem to write any fictional stories around teaching. I never make my characters teachers in any short stories.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my school district decided that we are staying virtual until March 26th which is the last school day before our spring break. The plan is to return in person April 6th then. I am relieved to know what the plan is now. The liminal space was getting more and more difficult to deal with.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what is the question you would most like me to answer?

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I cannot wait to read what you were up to this week!