Monday, June 24, 2013

The "why" - why am I writing this story

Just starting this summer's version of Teachers Write. Jo Knowles asked us for a one-sentence reason about why I'm writing this story.

Here goes:

I want to fictionally share with today's kids about the "Air Force Brat" lifestyle I grew up with and ways to cope with moving around so much.

I'm playing with a picture book idea and what looks like it may be a middle grade novel or chapter book, both reflecting same theme.

One scene written during this morning's scribble time, first of many I hope.

Now, back to Kate Messner's Monday writing prompt and other linked writers' stuff!


So much good advice about writing!

I love the serendipity of just the right piece of information coming across the wires at just the right time! Lots of that recently, so I need to note the relevant blog posts before I find myself at 'the other' computer and needing them:

Anna Staniszewski "In Defense of Themes" :

Tamara Felsinger "Protagonist's Personal Agenda":

Elana Johnson on PJ Hoover's blog "The Pantser Pluses" :

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday quick-write - In the school library

The prompt: A student walks into the library/media center at lunchtime.  What is she/he thinking?  Worried about?  Dreading?  Hoping or wishing for? What are the risks/stakes for him/her? Show us in a paragraph or two. ( from
"How could Coach do this to me?" Jamie moaned. "Delaying tryouts for two days? This will throw me off my game for sure."

"Two extra days of practice should help, J," observed Sam. "It's not like Coach Weitz moved tryouts earlier or something."

Jamie leaned wearily against the library wall. "But don't you see? Now seventh-grade basketball tryouts are the day after report cards, not the day before! And you know what my parents say about grades..."

"School is your fulltime job - As and Bs or else!" the two friends chorused.

The librarian looked over with a grin. "Surely you're not worried about your grades, Mr. Webster! You've always been a good student."

"But Mrs. White, our whole English grade is a poetry unit! What do I know about poetry? And we'll have to write our own poetry! Ms. Baker is just trying to torture us."
Yep, junior high boys and poetry... ought to be an interesting second six-weeks grading period!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday quick-write: a favorite place

Today's Teachers Write! prompt is a quick-write about describing a favorite place.

Since I've chosen to write with fountain pen and paper for now, it's not a simple thing to copy-and-paste whatever I've written for exercises like this. But that's also good, since I don't think that I want everything I'm writing for practice to be 'out there in the world' through this blog. And since it's on physical paper, it takes a little more effort to make the strikeouts and restarted sentences disappear than it would if I were writing on the computer. I know that when it comes time to copy down some worth-saving practice work into Word, I'll edit and rewrite as I go.

Some bits of my favorite place paragraph, after rewriting to include more sensory details as led by Kate in the writing prompt:

"As the high school day winds down and the last locker-slams echo in the hallways, I can still sense my students' pathways through the library today..."  (and I changed one word as I typed this from my handwritten page, because it sounds better. Told ya.) "...the concentrated essence of favorite black hoodie worn too many days in a row..."

Most of my WIP will be set in school, probably junior high, and even some time spent in the library there. Big surprise!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Making time to write

photo of round kitchen timer shaped like cat's head with ears
just like mine, photo from
Deep breath.
Yes, I'm going to truly begin writing my middle-grade novel with words, on paper, not just in my head while on my morning walks.

Morning is the best time for me to work, so I will do ultra-quick email check very early, finish writing book recommendation for BooksYALove and complete its blog post enhancements and links, then take my notebook and fountain pen out to the porch with a cup of tea and my cute kitty-cat timer to write.

I will have to do the actual 20 minutes of writing away from my computer at the outset.  So much temptation to dip back over into the online firehose of info to do research that I don't think I should do the actual novel writing on computer at the moment.
I need to get my characters started, the setting set, and such.

It will take at least 30 days to get this new writing habit started, although we'll be moving in July, then taking vacation before next job begins. Transitioning to writing on the word processor once we're into travel days routine with new project should be easy enough - thank goodness for Dropbox!