Monday, March 26, 2012

the creative process

I discovered NPR's three-minute fiction writing challenge last week. The task for Round 8 of the challenge was to start a short story with this sentence - "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door." I wrote for about an hour that evening, tapped into one of my main worries about my parents, and stopped writing after 400 words. Even though I still haven't finished it and may never finish it (and considering my parents would immediately recognize our family in that story, I can't imagine publishing it), I really enjoyed using the story starter sentence. After writing those 400 words, I thought of another story to write, completely different subject, with the same starter sentence. I'd like to continue these little writing assignments for me, for fun!

Here are a few things I did finish last weekend - a newborn beanie for my friend Liz's baby Michael (just 11 days old!) and a little girl beanie (for coworker friend's daughter).

Guess what I just received as a freebie yesterday? A sewing machine! I'm the beneficiary of a friend's spring cleaning. I haven't used it yet and have never used a sewing machine before, but I have watched a few tutorials on YouTube. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Divergent Obsession

I am absolutely, wonderfully, and thoroughly in love with Divergent by Veronica Roth, probably for all the same reasons why I loved The Hunger Games, PLUS...

  • less violence than THG,
  • set in Chicago where I just visited for the first time ever last Thanksgiving,
  • affirms my wish for a tattoo,
  • validates my love of black clothing,
  • second book Insurgent drops on May 1,
  • good reason to declare "this book is BETTER than THG" to my students, incite outrage, and induce more reading, and
  • results of the faction quiz at the back of this paperback edition indicate I'm Divergent.
On the flip side, I just finished another Sarah Dessen book, Lock and Key. That's the sixth Dessen book I've read (out of ten published). 'Nuff said.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

more than words

There's no one thing I can say to express adequately what I think and feel about the teaching profession in our country today. Generally I try to focus on teaching and books in this blog, with some personal notes on travel, nature, and family thrown in for fun. Yet not saying anything about the politics of education seems more and more ridiculous with every post.

Diane Ravitch's recent article hits home: How to Demoralize Teachers. (Exactly a year ago I posted here a video of Ms. Ravitch on The Daily Show talking about teachers and proclaimed her as "my new hero". She's still my hero.)

Here's the mind-boggling, close to home, real life example of a train wreck: "Teachers affirm stance on student attendance".

This is what I attended last Friday evening: "Teachers rally against state aid cuts".

Though I run short of words on this topic, I have much to do, to learn, to teach, to vote, to live and love and laugh and hope.