Category Archives: Writer

Write Anything Wednesday – May 20, 2015

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Write Anything Wednesday – May 20, 2015

Writerish Ramblings

It’s Wednesday, you know what to do. Write something. An outline, a paragraph, a list. If you have time, write a short story or a few scenes. Revision counts. A blog post, or even better, write a few posts to save for times when you’re so busy you don’t have time to write. Do ten minute sprints. You might be surprised at how much you get accomplished.

Change up your routine if you normally write every day. Go outside, or to a coffee shop. If you normally use a computer, grab a journal or notepad and see if inspiration hits, and vise versa.

TURN OFF YOUR WI-FI!! Don’t worry about emails or Facebook or Twitter or anything else. All that matters is writing.

The important thing is to write. Make it a weekly don’t-mess-with-my-writing-time thing. If not today, then pick a day that works for you.

If you would like…

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Feed the Writer

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I am glad that I have a network of fellow teacher-writers who remind me of the importance of feeding the writer.  Writing teachers who feed their own need and passion for writing help build stronger, more impassioned writers in their students.  Thankfully, the Morehead Writing Project, a division of the National Writing Project, helps me remember this.  These teachers inspire me to write more for myself, which in turn leads me to write more with my students and encourages me to build them up as writers as well.

Read more about NWP at http://www.nwp.org

So since I’ve been thinking about my NWP peeps, I decided to share a piece that I wrote during the Morehead Writing Project Summer Institute in 2011.  It focuses on a memory from my childhood and originates from the writing prompt below.  I hope you enjoy.

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The trees were mighty above me, outstretched arms aiming for the sky, caressing the clouds with pointed fingertips. We waded through the tide of brittle leaves without picking up our feet, shuffling and kicking as they resisted against our shins like ice-crusted snow. Prickly brown leaves poked at my ankles, forcing their way into the space between the hem of my jeans and the tops of my shoes.

The woods around me murmured, whispering that I was home.

As the literal distance between our parents and us grew, so did our anticipation. We flew up and down the steep hills—sometimes running, other times slipping and sliding—my cousins and I, bobbing between thick tree trunks without stopping until we reached the ledge that was our playground. The change underfoot signaled our arrival, no longer the malleable earth but the definite substance of rock beneath us. We dared not approach from the bottom, fearing whatever creatures might be nesting in the dark recesses of the fang of stone protruding from the mountain’s flesh. Instead, we came bumbling down toward the precipice at top speed. Our palms skinned against tree trunks as we grasped for a stronghold to keep us back from the cliff’s edge, human pinballs bouncing bumper to bumper. At the last possible breathless second, we slowed our stumbling feet.

That rock outcropping was our swing set, our slide, our merry-go-round in an ancient woodland of virgin timber.

If only more children could know its wonders.

But we protected, cherished, coveted our hiding place, our home away from home. Our silent secret was as safe as the security it offered. Others had been there, worked there, even mined there before us, but the majesties belonged to just us three.

Now, years later, the mine of my youthful whimsy has been excavated and depleted. I creep toward the edge of the ledge, take a deep breath, and dare to peek down at the mossy mound of earth beneath me. What I once named as fear, I now call comfort.

Exquisite Corpse

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We played “Exquisite Corpse” today in Creative Writing.  If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, you should totally Google it…its origins are pretty fascinating.

We tried one method which required the original writer to contribute a line using the structure “adjective noun verb adjective noun,” adding in articles and prepositions and the like as needed to make sense.  Then, that line of paper got folded backward out of sight before the page was handed off to another contributor, who added a line using the same structure. We loosened the structure as we progressed so the end result wouldn’t be so mechanical. We passed them around 7-8 times, but mine only ended up with four lines, and the last contribution was mine again.

It actually worked out pretty well on its own.

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From the Exquisite Corpse, I wrote:

a long day becomes graceful
rest
you will see

the old man gasped
at the black sky

the tall man looked
like death walking
down the road

a heavy secret quietly
rises
you will see