• Great Reads,  Lists,  Writing

    Six To Consider: Writing Books Worth a Look

    I’ve always got a stack of things to read, don’t you? My stack’s typically related to my latest interest or project. I’m a nonfiction reader, my current stack a mish-mash of art techniques and inspiration, small business ownership, and the craft of writing. When writing evaded me over the past year, I figured I’d read about writing until my own writing mojo found its way back! And my dear husband, who reads mostly on his iPad or iPhone (BIG screen) feeds my wish to have books near me… Christmas 2014 found a stack of Writing books and Writing magazine subscriptions under the tree…. a welcome diversion in a year that was often silent. Here are a…

  • Art,  Life,  Poetry,  Process,  Writing

    Finding the Words….

    It’s funny what we can learn from seemingly difficult situations if we just take the time and trust the process, isn’t it? Lately, I’ve struggled with what to do when those voices inside our head take a break. Find the words and nurture the voices, of course! For as long as I can remember, words have been an important part of who I am. I’ve loved to write.  Lately though, the quietude has perplexed me. What can I do to find the words and nurture the voices? I wondered. After struggling with the quiet for while, I began exploring other creative outlets, each a bit different from the other, each igniting my sense of wonder and curiosity at what I could create, what…

  • Instruction,  Process,  Quotes

    Help Readers Read: Banish Boredom!

    Five years into my teaching career, I decided to move from English Language Arts to Reading, specifically. I began working on my Master’s in Reading Education, and while I learned a lot, my biggest A-ha! came not from the volumes of textbooks read or the 1,000s of words written. No, my biggest lesson came from my students. “Reading is boring!” they said. “What??”  There was no hiding my surprise … or confusion! “What do you mean, ‘Reading is boring?'”  I wanted to ask, “Have you lost your minds?” but I had been teaching long enough to know that was not an appropriate question –  at least not in that tone. Turns out, reading comes down to two…

  • Instruction,  Process,  Writing

    Week in the Rear View1

    Earlier this weekend, I read Tara’s weekly Week in Review over at The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh! and got to thinking about ways to share some of the events that make up my own ‘life process’ in a week’s time. There are always so many things happening in our lives that influence everything else, and sometimes – at least for me – slowing down to reflect on how they’re related, takes a backseat to the effects they cause.  When I asked if she minded if I borrow her format, I’m sure it seemed like a newbie question to Tara, but it was more to say, “Hey, I like the style…

  • Process,  Writing

    Process is Messy

    In my high school classroom, I have a poster:  Writing is messy.  My students’ interpretations fall somewhere between, “Well, yea, my handwriting IS messy!” to “No, that’s not true. I have nice handwriting, so my writing isn’t messy.”  What’s missing from their interpretations? The real meaning of ‘messy’ as it relates to learning. And so begins our year-long discussion about the ‘messiness’ of learning:  writing, process, thinking, figuring stuff out, process, product, process, discussing, process… You get the idea.  It’s m.e.s.s.y. And there’s an awful lotta ‘process’ goin’ on! By the end of the school year, they’ve got it.  (Well, some of them, anyway.) Since ‘process’ is my middle name (or should have been… mom,…

  • Writing

    Writers Write….

    I keep reading this. I keep not doing this. At least, not online. I do write. A lot. In my head. Since returning to the classroom fulltime in Sept 2011, my days are filled with teenagers, lesson plans, grades, more teenagers, questions, answers, epiphanies, and frazzled moments. Oh, and more teenagers. For an age group that thinks anyone over 20 is old and stupid, they sure are needy!  🙂  The hugs are the best. I laugh out loud every day at the crazy things my high school students say and do. I tell them, “Now THAT is going in my book!”  And it is. In the past three years, my writer’s notebook…