#FMF Once

Every Friday I write for 5 minutes with the word as the springboard.

Once when I was two years old I moved from the little house next to railroad tracks to a different house in a different town. I don’t remember moving, but I have heard the stories and seen the home movies. The movies were shown on the old projectors with the film that flapped when you reached the end. I haven’t seen them since elementary school. Filmstrips were used in middle school with a separate cassette tape. Time has moved on and so has technology.

The story underneath this one is that time changes perspective.

There are chunks of time I don’t remember at all. Why is that? Did shifts not happen? Am I blocking something I want to forget? Did I not have any transformations?

Once when I was eighteen I moved to college but there was no one to help me. I was the first person in my family to go to college and I do not remember any family friends that had gone either. I had to be resourceful and learn to pivot in the moment.

The story underneath this one is that I learned to depend on myself early in my life through experience, circumstance, and need.

Once when I was twenty one I moved to an apartment in a brand new town for a brand new job.  “A real job” whatever that is. I don’t remember how we found the apartment and I don’t remember touring it first. I had no friends. I didn’t seem to fit. I threw myself into my work and came close to burn out in March of the school year.

The story underneath this one is that I learned extreme behavior to make changes to my life early in my career. I found a pattern that worked in the short term and followed it.

Once when I was twenty five I moved to a house I purchased. A real adult moment that left me feeling trapped. We lived there for less than a year because my Oma died and we moved back to my hometown.

I never wanted to move back there. My grief clouded my judgment and I said yes when I should have said no. It is one of the few regrets I have in my life. There are months I have no recollection of anything connected to the year 2000.

The story underneath this one is that I felt betrayed by a decision made at a highly emotional moment in time.

Once when I was forty six I wondered how much time I have lost in my own timeline.

The story underneath this one is the reason I write.

10 Things I Have Learned About CONNECTion


Connect is my one word for 2019

The question I asked myself was: How do I plan to intentional connect in January? I could just log activities randomly if they happen to fit the criteria, but I wanted to make this years’ word more of a goal. I did not want it to be an afterthought.

I want to live the word, partially because I NEED to.

Initially, the list held:

  1. Go to one Write on Hoosiers meeting – This is my in real life group that meets twice a month at a local library.
  2. Participate in my online writing group at least once a week – This is usually once a day honestly. We have a slack channel which makes it really easy.
  3. Participate in my editing class (amazing experience – I will sign up again.)
  4. Email another writer I connected with on Twitter – we talk about writing and check-ins.
  5. Blog once a week and make 10 comments/week to other writers
  6. Submit at least two pieces of writing
  7. Order business cards.

10 Things I Learned

  1. Being open to connections means I hear differently. At the Write On Hoosiers meeting, one of the other writers talked about a retreat she attended at a local Buddhist temple. I signed up the next day for the one in Feb. I have committed to work on the novel revision.
  2. I connect with writers on the Two Writing Teachers blog and the Five Minute Friday site link up and WordPress reader. Making an effort for new blogs works for Twitter too, but there are some games on there that I try not to take personally.
  3. Once I was in submission mode I sent quite a few pieces in. I also contributed to several blog based writing contests which was fun and got my writing out there. It helped make a connection with another writer as well who reached out and sent an email. That was AWESOME.
  4. With the idea of reflection already a part of the process, I felt tied into the concept of connecting with people more. I sent specific tweets to authors I admire and wanted to make sure I told them.
  5. I am more visual than I thought. Using my graphic I created for my #oneword is fun to use in blog posts and social media.

6. I participated on a TEACHWRITE Zoom call and was able to talk and see Jennifer and Amanda.

7. I supported a writer friend through Ko-Fi.

8. I was the book fairy at school and gifted stacks so teachers can get them into kids’ hands.

9. I reached out to another teacher writer about IF – Intermittent Fasting.

10. Be persistent- I got into Kathy Fish’s Fast Fiction Class. I am so excited for it – in July.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Moving Forward to Feb:

+I need to connect to more books next month and then reach out to more authors of the books I love.

+Connect with my body more. Yoga, intermittent fasting, running outside, and walking with the incline is how I am doing this.

+Write real letters and participate in a letter writing challenge.

+ Interact with the new “10 things to tell you” podcast recommended by Emily Freeman

+ Continue to marinate on creating a magical gathering. My thoughts are hovering around my Workshop Wednesday concept. A reading literary society?

+ Every day Writing – of course!

How is your #oneword process going?

FMF: With

Today is the last FMF. See the link up here.

I sit at my desk with my coffee and think about this new season. Today is the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year. It is also a Full Cold Moon tonight. I also read there is supposed to be a meteor shower early tomorrow morning just before dawn.

I carry a word with me throughout the year. I had thought it was to be YES for 2019 but the idea of connection has come up so much over the last cycle that I believe the word for 2019 is really CONNECT.

To connect to myself.

To connect with friends.

To connect more with my husband and children.

To connect to creativity.

To connect to the universe and my intuition.

This season is full of transition again for: an end and a beginning. Today I greeted the day in heavy darkness and rain. I would have preferred snow on this first day of winter but will appreciate the stillness and peace that came with the morning.

How I Get Stuff Done


I have been listening to several productivity podcasts lately and have been contemplating what I do to get things done.

Here is my list for BE productive:

  1. I have a coffee ritual in the morning. I start my morning with my coffee and a slow movement out of the bed. If I do not do this routine I feel off for the rest of my day. The minimum time is 15 minutes
  2. I listen to my daily curated list podcasts on the way into work. I make notes of takeaways I want to remember and books or websites I want to look up later. Library holds are made if I can.
  3. I have to do a little bit of reading every day and a little bit of writing. Sometimes the writing looks like dictation into the phone app.
  4. When I arrive to my office, the projects I have to get done that day are scribed into my bullet journal and time blocks are set to work on them.
  5. For larger projects I have to get done that I’m having trouble focusing on, I will use the Pomodoro method which is extremely effective. I should use this technique more often!
  6. If I remember something that needs to be done I send myself an email from the car with a voice dictation.
  7. I feel better when I can run outside as opposed to running at the gym. The running keeps me mentally focused.
  8. My phone is almost always on silent so that I can not be distracted by it. I check it when I want to,  not when someone else deems it their priority.

What are your productivity hacks?

Intentionality & Challenges #oneword

My word of 2018 is BE.

Why BE? It is the beginning of a two-word sentence. Today I will focus on


I have been thinking about being intentional especially in the month of April in my professional and personal life.

I am excited by month-long challenges. I listen to and read Rachael Herron’s year long “replenish the well” quest she is undergoing at the present time with a hint of envy. You can read her monthly essays by following her on Patreon. You can also hear her talk about it occasionally on her podcast.

I also was inspired by Educators are Awakeners blogger Shawn. She has set a daily goal for herself centered around a theme for the next year. I may borrow some of her ideas for my own after May!

My Recent Challenges:

March was Slice of Life for the Two Writing Teachers blog. I continue to link in the comments to the Slice of Life Tuesday post on their site. This Tuesday routine is a year long challenge.

April is #Campnanowrimo . I have intentionally planned the month to write my professional education book. I finally was able to love a format inspired by Rachael Herrons Memoir book. The writing project is a mix of memoir and lesson plans.

April is also poetry month. I usually do something with students and teachers with poem in your pocket. I have found several blogs with poems a day including Ralph Fletcher and Jason Reynolds. I will also distribute well loved poems to students and teachers the rest of the month.

May this year will be Storyaday from Julie Duffy’s site. Her podcast and blog are at the top of my list of favorites for sure. She was just featured in Writer’s Digest magazine as well.

I am intentionally setting daily goals for writing and reading and it makes me happy and in a really great mood.

The blocked writing time will mainly be used for the book but I will blog some too when I have something intentional to say.

Other thoughts: I have been thinking about Coaching Cycles a lot over the past week as well. There is no set cycle in my district but after a conversation with another coach we are thinking about accountability. As I have written about before, a lot of coaching is conversation. I struggle with the amount of paperwork I should impose on myself to keep track of my work. So I am thinking about needs in my school and a way track and measure growth without a formal evaluation as part of my coaching role. Questioning is a favorite topic of mine and a research based strategy. I am thinking of launching a questioning project when I return to school after spring break. I am excited for the possibilities for growth for my teachers and myself.

Do you enjoy challenges? What are your favorites?