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?

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

E-Bike Tryout

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

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.