A Writer

This simple, unassuming black leather notebook belongs to a writer. A writer who creates lyrical language in picture books. A writer who shares writers’ thoughts through professional books. A writer who pens a tale that keeps the reader entranced, whether it be fiction, autobiographical, or memoir. This writer’s notebook is a place to react to the world. It is a tool for living and writing.

Are you wondering who this might be? Before I reveal this writer, I will share a few snippets of my learning from this person last week.

  • What is non-negotiable in writing for this person? It does not matter the age of the student. These are critical elements to developing a writer.
  1. Time: a writer is someone who writes a lot, students must have that time.
  2. Choice: choice leads to voice.
  3. Response: Lucy Calkins said, “Children need readers, not correcters.” Respond to what the student is trying to say. Appreciate the intelligence behind the error.
  4. Environment: a safe environment that allows students to take a risk with their writing.
  • Teachers need to help students find a process for writing, not the process. All elements of the writing process are evident, but it may look different for each person.
  • This author spent time discussing the difference between boy writers and girl writers. Yes, boys do want to write about blood, fights, guts, and gore. As teachers of writers we need to figure out a way to allow boys that freedom of topic. Boys tend to write for each other, girls are more likely to be writing for the teacher. Another statement was made that had me doing more thinking. Girls tend to draw nouns, boys draw verbs. That is something I want to investigate more as I look at student work.

Those are a few of my take-aways after spending two days with this author. Have you figured out who this person is? Here he is signing a book.

 

This is from the inside cover of his writer’s notebook. Wouldn’t you just love to linger in the pages of this notebook?

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E-Bike Tryout

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It was a sunshine filled Saturday afternoon, it seemed like a perfect chance to check out the e-bike demonstration from our favorite bike shop.

We drove out into the countryside to a mountain bike park. I didn’t have any intention of riding. I like flat paved surface to ride on. None of that was evident at this park. However, I couldn’t resist the urge to see what an electric bike would be like.

I got my bearings on the bike by riding around the gravel parking lot. Oh, this is fun when the electric motor kicks in! I’m ready to try the trail. I thought I was ready to try the trail.

Immediately, I am to climb a steep hill. No problem, I will let the motor take over and I will help by pedaling a little. Wait! The ground is rutted and rocky. Rather quickly I come to a dead stop midway to the top. There is no way I can pedal uphill. The motor did not keep me going. I began to walk up the hill with the bike. That’s when the heat and humidity hit me.

I blinked to send the black spots before my eyes away. My head felt like it was caught in a spinning whirlpool. I couldn’t press on. I laid the bike down and collapsed next to it, trying to catch my breath. Slowly I sat up to let my vision clear.

Once my breathing returned to normal, I began the climb to the top of the hill where I could wait in the shade for my husband. I had sent him on down the path, promising I wouldn’t move. When he returned, I s-l-o-w-l-y made my way down the hillside avoiding the ruts and rocks as best I could.

This experience only confirmed my belief: mountain biking is NOT for me! I loved the e-bike, but they are a bit pricey right now. Hopefully, they will come down in price as I get older and have more need for an electric assist.

This was taken moments before my issue. The scenery is beautiful. Can you see the rocks? This makes it look like the road was smooth, it wasn’t. There are gullies in the road.

 

Prior, Previously, Before

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PLOP! Something liquid and white lands on the page of the booklet I am holding. Ewww! But all were thankful that the paper caught the dropping and no body was splattered.

Prior to the plop, we had been admiring the art booths along the street. We had just stopped to chat about the wines sampled so far.

Previously, my friends and I had been sampling wines from ten different local wineries.

Earlier, we were traveling down the road to attend the art and wine festival. Of course there were several stops along the way. First stop was Sonic for strawberry water. Next stop was lunch at a Thai restaurant. Then on to the art and winefest!

Before noon, we gathered at my house, loaded up the car, and took off for a destination  to the east. The retiree did not know where we were going or what we were doing.

Weeks before, I verified that my retiring friend would be available on a particular  Saturday/Sunday in May.

Months prior to our date, my friend and I plotted to whisk a retiring friend away to celebrate her retirement at the 36th Art Fair and Winefest in Washington, Missouri.

 

 

Currently

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Currently, I have no single moment snatched from living to share this week, but yet I am compelled to string together a few words on this Tuesday. So what do I propose to share?

There have been more moments of encounters with spiders as I mind my own business reading on my patio. They were gently relocated away from my body and did not meet the fate of last week’s spider.

This has been a week of reading. I finished two professional books, enjoyed six picture books from the library, and have started an adult mystery book. My to-be-read stack of professional books continues to grow as I step away for this mystery book.

Right now I can’t stop to shape either thought into a slice of life because at this time I am:

Working on a presentation of the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA).

Pondering how to make this assessment useful for the teachers to implement next year.

Worrying that this information will be forgotten by the time school starts.

Wondering what else needs to be explained during my day with teachers.

Hoping to find some great books at a half price book sale on Wednesday.

Anticipating that I will have time this summer to read more professional books and the not-so-professional genre. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop in Surprise

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Sitting in the passenger seat, I am idly watching the landscape slide by as my husband and I are on our way to a nursery.

Suddenly, something drops right before my eyes. It is so close that my eyes can’t focus. I pull my head back trying to see more clearly. My hand raises up to swat what I think is a gnat-like creature, but wait! There are multiple legs gyrating. That’s no gnat-like creature! That’s a spider! I let out a small yelp as I realize what this is.

Quickly my hand reaches higher for the invisible line holding this creature. Thump! Thump! beats my heart. The spider is transferred to the floor of the car, but I lose sight of it on the black floor mats.

My purse is snatched up and settled onto my lap as my eyes scan the floor for any sign of movement. Small tinglings plague me. Is that the spider walking on my leg? Finally, I spot it. Unfortunately it is in the groove of the mat. With sharp eyes, I follow its every movement until it crawls up to the flat top of the mat. My foot moves in to eliminate the crawling threat. My purse remains in my lap (just in case).

Slowly my heart returns to its regular beat. I sit idly watching the passing landscape until we reach our destination.

Come With Me

Come with me,

Explore

joys of spring.

Observe the new green announcing, “Hey world, I’m back and growing strong!”

Discover powerful plants pushing through to greet the sun.

Notice a bridal bouquet, colors pop!

Spot one plant “walks” up the fence, through the slats searching for the sunny side.

Bzzz, humm, bzzz

Confirms fuzzy, buzzy bees explore the holly blossoms.

Come with me,

 Enjoy spring sights!

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