3-2-1 Creative Sparks

You can read a similar post on my Medium page here.

3 – New Things I Love

1

This podcast is amazing and I am blowing through the episodes. I met Nicole through the Ninja Writers group. Her voice is wonderful and her content is spot on. Everything ties back to her “WHY” of having a support group that works for you as a writer. Check her out.

2

Sarah Selecky Writing School

Sarah Selecky’s Blog Post about Abstraction

I love this article and it resonated with me.

3

Fallon Brown

Writing about love, in all its varieties, for love’s sake

Fallon is one of the Storyaday Superstars and a fantastic writer! I have been enjoying her stories for StoryaDay May this year.

Two Pins

1 Quote

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FMF: Moment

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Today’s word for FMF (Five Minute Friday) is Moment. I have actually written with this word twice today because I was having such problems with it.

My moment is now. It is always now.

The moment the clocks hit 12:34 I automatically look. I am drawn to this time.

Moments that matter is how our lives should be measured. We have the power to create them.

I have been motivated my entire life by “shoulds”. I have led a  life on a timeline of goals. This plan did not lead me to Utopia or anything close. From a near-sighted view, the outcome looked utopic – and then reality hit.

Taking moments as they come, creating experiences and going with the flow seems to be a better fit for me now. I cannot fear or worry about things that do not exist.

Being open in as many moments as possible seems the way to live as I see it…in this moment.

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

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Weekend Coffee Share

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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.

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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.

 

5 On Friday

5 on Friday

What is Saving my Life Right Now

Taking the format from Tsh-

  1. The thing that is saving my life is my fountain pen. It was recommended to me by Ninja Writer Shaunta Grimes. It is amazing and I love writing with it. It is deeply satisfying to run it out of ink.
  2. The habit that I have adopted that is saving my life is showering when I get home from work. I am able to “wash the day away” and it helps me mentally transition.
  3. The work of art that is saving my life right now is Kelly Link’s story FLYING LESSONS.
  4. A philosophy that is saving my life is: Follow the White Rabbit: Be Brave. To read my thoughts about this click here.
  5. A bonus thing that is saving my life is this episode of The Secret Library Podcast.

FMF – Five Minute Friday

Thank you to Kate for her work at five minute Friday!

Today’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: POTENTIAL

 

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Each week the challenge is to gather to write for five minutes flat on a single writing prompt.

My writing today: Potential

The first thing that comes to mind with the word POTENTIAL is the phrase “Live up to your potential”. My feelings about this phrase have changed over the years, to be honest. The phrase is supposed to be motivating but there is an underlying concept in my mind that is tied to self-worth, intrinsic work ethic, and participating in what is essential to your life.

I have the POTENTIAL to accomplish a lot in my life and in my days but the decision come down to what is appropriate for my life at that moment.

I have the potential to be the best _____________ (fill in the blank) Writer, reader, parent, wife, teacher, coach, etc. But something new means time to focus on the research and the process.

I am extreme and can get hyperfocused on a task. This isn’t a bad idea necessarily but will then pull time from other things that need to be done.

I fulfill my potential every day by creating and looking to the future.

 

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The October challenge starts Monday! Join us for this year’s edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes — the Five Minute Friday “challenge within the challenge” of the larger annual Write 31 Days opportunity.

 

 

10ish Things I Learned Over the Weekend

20180915_085949.jpgI was honored to be able to attend the Indiana State Literacy Association (ISRA) Fall conference. I used to be heavily involved with this organization when it was still called ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association).

The main reason I wanted to attend was because Pernille Ripp was the keynote speaker. I was not disappointed in either her keynote or her breakout session. She is a unique educator and reading warrior and a seventh grade English teacher.

Here are some highlights!

Her keynote was full of great educational wisdom and in the fashion of a true writer, she used her unique voice and uttered several funny statements.

  • Pernille was able to live in the United States with her mother on 3 occasions in her childhood. When she was 18 she moved to Wisconsin where she said,

I met a boy.

That boy introduced me to a much better boy.

Thank God!”

 

  • She started teaching in 4th grade (Like me!) and she said, “I graduated college with my fictitious lesson plans.” This made me laugh because it is true! I know in college we learn the whole process but my lesson plans never look like the ones from college in the “real teaching world”
  • “I know the student through the stories that we share.”
  • “If I know the books you like I know you more deeply as a person.”
  • Reading needs to be fun.

We cannot say that reading is the most important and then not give them time to read!

 

To Create Readers We Need:

  • Inclusive libraries – kids read more when they are surrounded by books. Even if the school library is right outside your door, that sometimes is too far. You need books in your room.
  • Sacred time to read
  • Exploration of self and reading identity
  • Choice to discover what they like or dislike
  • Relevant and meaningful work
  • Building a community of readers

 

The question that stayed with me:

How do we protect the hope of readers?

 

Her breakout session was about picture books and how to use them in the classroom. She reads a picture book to her 7th graders on the first day of school to kick the year off correctly.

 

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My Amazon cart and library holds are going to be busy bees!!

If you have the chance to hear her speak, do it! She is inspiring and heartwarming.

 

Who is a professional you would love to hear speak?

 

26 Questions

Thank you to This, That, and the Other for posting these questions on his blog!

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1. Share your profile pic:

2. Who are you named after?

Debbie Reynold’s movie character Tammy

3. Do you like your handwriting?

Sometimes. I write differently with different pens. I get compliments on my handwriting which makes me snicker.

4. What’s Your Favorite Lunchmeat?

Butterball Deli turkey –  thickly sliced

5. Longest relationship?

It will be with my husband.

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

No, they were removed when I was 4 because I couldn’t eat because they had grown so large.

7. Would you bungee jump?

Nope.

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Nope.

9. Favorite ice cream?

Coconut without nuts

10. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their shoes! ha ha Usually their smile – or lack there of.

11. Football or Baseball?

White Sox!!!

12. What color pants are you wearing?

You all lucked out! Usually, I am in a dress – today my pants are army green.

13. Last thing you ate?

Pork tacos from a little family owned Mexican place

14. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Periwinkle

15. Favorite smell?

Bleach – it’s very clean!

16. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?

Husband

17. Hair color?

Dark blonde -all natural

18. Eye color?

Blue or green depending on my mood

19. Favorite food to eat?

Pizza or bread

20. Scary movies or happy endings?

Scary

21. Last movie you watched?

Hereditary

22. Favorite holiday?

Hands down – Thanksgiving

23. Beer or wine?

Both, but usually Jack.

24. Favorite day of the week?

Sunday – usually a slower pace

25 Three favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

HubCity Girl

The Introverted Christian

Chuck Wendig

26. Added info you didn’t know you wanted

I like the random little lines of text that are added in books or articles. The footnotes if you will! It is the reason I liked Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

 

How would you answer these questions?

Pick them all! Pick one! Pick three!

Happy writing!

It’s A Book Tour!

 

I was honored to be a part of the I’d Rather Be Reading Launch team for Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I received an advanced copy of the book for being part of the team.

You can find the link to the book here: https://www.idratherbereading.com/

 

I love books, especially about books. If you are familiar with Anne’s writing and work or this is your introduction you will love this book.

The format is pleasing and is a collection of essays which can be read from cover to cover or in random order. Some of the essays are expansions from hints of stories Anne mentions on her podcast or her blog. One of my favorite chapters is The Books Next Door. I am completely envious of one of her houses situated next door to the library! The visualizations that are conjured in my head are exciting.

In Confess Your Literary Sins Anne talks about how people tell her their bookish secrets – books they have claimed to read or other book misdirections. My confession time: I was encouraged to read The Catcher in the Rye by a friend who recommended it to me. I had not read it and have made more of an effort to read classics that have been overlooked. I do not understand why people like this book at all.

There are loads of book recommendations sprinkled throughout this book and many of them I have read. Of course, many others are on my TBR list and some I even own copies of. Some are new and of course, are searched on Amazon and the library and are currently on my wishlist.

In the essay,  I’m Begging You to Break My Heart the writing is about books that make you cry. Where the Red Fern Grows is a classic that I love that is discussed as well as Me Before You and  The Fault in Our Stars. A more recent book that made me cry is Ms. Bixby’s Last Day which is a Young Hoosier Nominee for this year.

As I read this book I wrote in it and filled it with my annotations. Many of the notes are a simple YES! and others are snippets of words to remind me of a personal connection. It was FUN to read.

As a devoted reader all my life, Anne’s words and sentiments have encapsulated exactly how I feel,  which is not an easy feat.   The stories are heartwarming and funny and worth reading. There are no essays that I wanted to skip which is a rare occurrence for me to say that about an essay collection. Anne’s voice is a delight to read.

The book is not only a great read but also makes a great gift for any reader. It is the perfect book for any busy reader in your life. The format works for snippets of time and the size is great to pop into a bag and read on the go. It is also the perfect book for that warm fuzzy feeling curled up in your favorite reading chair with a blanket nearby and a nice beverage.

Pop over to any bookseller and get your copy!

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#idratherbereading

 

 

Marc D Hans is Amazing!

There have been several times in the trajectory of my teaching career over 22 years that I have questioned whether I am in the right place and doing the right things. I’ve been struggling with this concept for quite a while.

Tuesday my mindset shifted while listening to Marc D. Hans.  He is a man who does a lot and deals in Design Thinking. He is so much more than a teacher. After listening to him, I feel like I am in the right place again. I cannot put my finger on exactly what he said that resonated but overall he was INSPIRING. I needed to be inspired by someone dynamic. During the experiences he led us through I was ALL IN. It felt amazing and everything that he said made sense to me. I will be coming back again and again to my notes for the weeks to come. 

5 Takeaways (there were so many more for me!)

  1. Storytelling – every concept he talked about was connected to a story from his life. We were able to get to know him and he made his point. Even though I know that narrative is how our brains like to learn I often forget. Marc reminded me.
  2. Be Comfortable with the Uncomfortable – Being an introvert causes me to push out of my comfort zone with people all the time. The first activity he did that dealt with our phones pushed me – but I did it and I didn’t die. I have to remember that sometimes the payoff is better than the uncomfortable feeling. This idea ties into me sharing my own writing too.
  3. Make the SUBJECTIVE OBJECTIVE – naming things and examining exactly what it is can give perspective. Our perception of how people might react causes us to not start things because of our own limitations. We talk ourselves out of a lot and get in our own way. It reminds me to ask myself, “What is the worst that can happen?” Usually, it isn’t as bad as I first think.
  4. Humans crave GENUINE EXPERIENCES with others. I vow to stop answering “Fine” or “Good” when people ask me how I am.
  5. “Relationships are the difference between being a teacher and an employee.” How we care about the adults and students around us matters.

The literacy coach and consultant Lisa Vahey has been a jewel in my life over the past two years. There are many reasons for this fact,  but the most prominent in connection to today’s post is that she has introduced me to people that I never would have met any other way.  I never would have met Marc if it wasn’t for Lisa.

I am so glad that I was able to go to the workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday. I really left feeling inspired and I had some great conversations with teachers I work with.

I encourage you to look up these two people – you will not be sorry. You might even get inspired too!