Feb 24 – Weekend Coffee Share

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Today I am having my regular large mug of black coffee. What would you like to have today? This week was a little off for me. I hope yours was better.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the work started with a scheduled E-learning day. There was some confusion with my role for a couple things the rest of the week – this is the problem with having multiple bosses. It all worked out.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was having trouble with my emotions this week. Intense feelings don’t bubble up all too often but for some reason the closer I got to work Thursday morning the angrier I got. I did a lot of cleaning that day.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY was wonderful. We talked about CHECKS FOR UNDERSTANDING and the conversation was professional and engaging. It was one of those days I really appreciate the people I work with and how hard they work.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was able to get 4 submissions out this week. Two were little contests and two were publication submissions. I am really proud of the two stories I sent out. At the very least I hope to get some feedback from the editors.

If we were having coffee I would confess I did not go to my IRL (In Real Life) writing group this week. The week before I had a lot of contact with writers and I was really tired. It is not the greatest reason but it is the honest one. As emotion-filled as I was that day I also figured it was better for me to stay home.

It was a full week! What great things filled your last 7 days? I would love to hear about them! I am looking forward to the week coming up. I am hoping for some great writing sessions and interactions with people!

This post is inspired by Eclectic Alli and her Coffee share page

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6 Word Memoirs

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Six- word memoirs are a go-to quick writing idea. Do not be disillusioned by their small stature though. They can be difficult to write. Practicing making your language concise is a trying practice for some authors no matter if you are 5 or 50 or somewhere in between.

Here are a couple of examples:

Lost in places where I belong.

I’ve waited in the wrong line.

Lost my mind. Gave up looking.

I’m forcing the puzzle pieces together.

More examples can be found here: https://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/

Teaching Idea:

  1. Use 6-word summaries for text students have read or you have read aloud.

Examples from Stellaluna

Image result for stellaluna
  • Fruit bat misses mom and birds.
  • Stellaluna has lost identity and mother.
  • Friends are different and the same.

2. Have students use the 6 words for their check for understanding for the day or a specific lesson.

3. Use as a recap of the most important thought of the day. Track them over time.

4. At the end of each grading period have students write a 6-word memoir of the most memorable thing. Reflect at the end of the year.

5. Another variation is to write an 18-word memoir from last year (2018) – what sticks out to you?

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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

Weekend Coffee Share – Feb 10

Come and sit and let’s chat! I have a large cup of dark roast black coffee this morning. It is chilly this morning and I am sleepy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am participating in the #write28days blogging challenge. Today’s word is SUPPOSE. This word causes me to formulate a list of questions.

Suppose I start the GATHERINGs – what would happen? Would I keep them going? Would it become a business? Would I foster friendships that would last forever?

Suppose I recognize my skills and be confident and just do it?

Suppose I don’t start the group? Would I regret it?

Suppose it would be more fun to plan the gatherings than actually deploy them?

I am still pondering and planning over here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it is back to winter temps again here – I cannot resist talking about the weather at least a little. It was around 12 degrees F the last couple of days. It was sunny yesterday with a little bit of flurries in the morning which always makes me happy.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to a Buddhist center yesterday which hosted my writer retreat. I sat in the library just off the meditation room all day. I learned a lot about my novel and my process. I have a plan now as to how to move forward. I made some strong connections with other writers as well. I was also reminded that I need to not make assumptions about anyone’s process. I was surprised several times yesterday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a busy week at work. I am trying to positively frame it…

If we were having coffee I would tell you I enjoyed my training on Friday. You can read about the library of stories here.

Please share something wonderful with me from your week and the drink you have!

Weekend Coffee Share

Come and sit and let’s chat! I have lots to share with you from last week!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am participating in the #write28days blogging challenge. Today’s word is GLOW. I want people to GLOW when they are inspired! I am working on some ideas on how to inspire people. I want to put some events together that have a purpose and for them to be fulfilling. I am taking the month to figure it out. What makes you GLOW with excitement – especially about learning?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I visited the American Writer Museum in Chicago. It is on the second floor of an old building on Michigan Ave. There was an amazing timeline with biographies of all types of writers, a Bob Dylan display, cool typewriters, and a whole section about the writer’s mind. The parking was really expensive being in the city but the actual admission was reasonable. The original plan was to take the train but they have been down for the past 3 days. I typed on the old typewriters and played with the displays. There was a wonderful display of first lines written by authors.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we then went to 57th Street bookstore which is at the bottom of another old building in Hyde Park. The little rooms keep adding on to each other snaking through the basement of this store. There are hot water pipes that made the air toasty on this February Sunday.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I broke down and purchased the Masterclass series because Neil Gaiman has a new class he is teaching about writing. I am giddy and super excited. I binge listened to several of the lessons on the way home from work on Friday. I will go back and listen several times to all the lessons. Margaret Atwood and Judy Blume are other authors who have masterclasses.

If we were having coffee I would tell you there are so many things Neil has said that I have written down. One big idea that resonated is you learn more by finishing a failing story than just writing many wonderful beginnings. You learn something from getting to the end.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I went to school for less than one day last week because of the weather and cold. We went to work Friday but it was a 2-hour delay. We have eLearning days and I worked from home. I also had several video calls with important people. It will be difficult I think to go back next week and actually drive to work!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I finished Slade House by David Mitchell and I really enjoyed it. It was weird and I love that. I started Letters from Skye which is immensely lovely and charming.

What exciting things happened to you this week?

I Wrote it Anyway

I am thrilled to be included in the anthology I Wrote it Anyway edited and created by Caroline Donahue from the Secret Library Podcast. If you want to hear more about the WHY behind the book and the process of publishing a passion project which also happens to be an anthology, tune into this fantastic DIYMFA podcast.

My essay is titled My Almost Secret Writing Life.

Here is a link if you would like to purchase the book. All proceeds of this collection benefit 826 LA in the US and Arts Emergency in the UK. 

This book is perfect for any writer on your holiday gift list. If you have a friend or loved one who is holding back from writing this may be the inspiration they need!

WINNING!!

I hit the 50,000 words mark this morning about 9 am! I am happy with the story overall. I am going to let the manuscript sit and start to revise in January. I will have to outline what I have and then move large pieces around but there is something magical now!

I will be able to take a chapter at a time to my IRL writing group as well.

BACK TO SHORT STORIES NOW!

Snow Day!

There is nothing like an unexpected snow day! It started raining last night about 6 pm and then in the wee hours of the morning, it turned to snow. The wind was upwards of 27 mph too which woke me up at 2:30 a.m. The north wind can be vicious!

I had last week off for the Thanksgiving holiday so this has added to my vacation. I have already written this morning and plan to do some more. I have about 7,000 words left to reach my 50,000 for my novel. Hopefully, I will have some time to read today too.

There is something magical about a day where you cannot leave the house. I do not mind being snowed in at all. On my run yesterday (in 47-degree weather by the way) I thought about a writing prompt challenge I am considering to embark on with the blog. It is still in the idea phase but I will do some thinking about that project today as well!

            What is inspiring you today?

Writing Update/Inspiration

person using inspire typewriter
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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!