Category Archives: teaching

Take a Breath

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Happy Summer! It has been hot here in Colorado, but nothing compared to some other states! I have been on summer break for a couple weeks and I wish I could slow down summer. Time off always seems to fly by! Every year I  find myself making big plans for productivity and projects as the school year is winding down, and inevitably, I neglect to schedule rest. My body had some plans of its own and I am proud of myself for listening and slowing down this year without judgement or criticism.

I don’t seem to be able to sleep in anymore, which is sad, but it has actually been nice getting up early in the day, even if I am moving at a slower pace. I have found myself being a bit lonely lately too, which makes the quiet difficult. That said, the quiet is what I have been craving. I used to ignore my self care in a reckless fashion, and now that I’m invested in my health (mental, physical, spiritual etc.) I know that when my body talks, I need to listen. 

I have made some goals for the summer, but have given myself some wiggle room for those days when the thing I need to accomplish the most is rest. I have been outlining and organizing my wip in Scrivener. I’ve been journaling. I’ve been napping. I started teaching this week and the structure of seeing kids again has been nice. It is only half days, a couple days a week, but I think I am enjoying it because I have gotten some rest and quiet. 

I also started a new tattoo about a week ago. It is healing nicely, but because of the location of the tattoo, I haven’t worked out in a week. I realized yesterday that the lack of exercise was negatively affecting my mood. Today I was planning on meeting a friend at a coffee shop. She had a conflict, so I sipped my iced Americano and worked on my book. I came home and danced and did some yoga. It felt really good to move again. To breathe in that particular way that clears my head and centers me back in my body. 

There will definitely be adventures this summer. I have already had the chance to do some really fun things with friends. I will go to the mountains and kayak and float in a hot spring. I will continue to work on this story. I will rest. I will breathe. 

Time to Grow Up

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I had a great post idea today, but I spent the day being a responsible grown up instead. I went grocery shopping and cleaned the kitchen. I cooked for the week and made homemade bread. I packed my lunch for tomorrow and a snack since I will be staying late to tutor.

I am even going to cut this short because it’s already after 10 and I have resolved to make myself go to bed by 10:30 on school nights in 2012.

I have a lot to say about writing, but it will have to wait. I might not wait until Thursday to post again, but I felt like I should at least post something today.

Now be nice to yourself  – and go to bed already 🙂

Talk soon

Revelation and Inspiration

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I’m still pretty tired. It’s amazing how being back at school is taking it out of me. I haven’t been sleeping very soundly the last couple of days either and that probably has a bunch to do with it too. It’s crazy how easily I can slip back into my old ways of staying up way to late. I had a major power struggle with a student today, which was a bit exhausting as well. It wasn’t a power struggle, per se, because I was very consistent and would not budge with it. I am very stubborn and it actually served me well today. I was calm and firm. It was hard to hold my ground, but he was looking for an inch of wiggle room and I never would have got that authority back. I love him. He is bright and I enjoy working with him every day but he challenges me almost everyday as well. I think the is on the Autism spectrum and he is being observed this month. I am grateful for him because he makes me a better teacher. We are learning from each other.

On a nicer note, two of my 5th grade students finished my book over the Winter Break. One of them saw me in the hallway today before our group and stopped to give me a hug and tell me she had completed it over break. She struggles with reading, but she works hard to improve. She was so happy to talk to me about the book and she asked me when she could read another one of my books because it was so interesting. I said, “Well, I’m still writing it…”

She said, “You better get busy! I want to read it soon!”

That is inspiration and a lot of pressure 🙂

I told her how proud I was of her for finishing it and doing such an amazing job. It was the biggest book she has ever read and she read it in less than two weeks. It was above her reading level and she really pushed herself. She had a huge grin on her face and I knew she felt my pride and excitement for her awesome accomplishment.

I haven’t been writing. I think about it all the time, but I haven’t even tried to write anything other than journaling or Morning Pages in months. Having the students enjoy my book so much and be excited to read what’s next has been a revelation and inspiration to get off my duff and just try to get some words down. I have had little spurts of inspiration with these WIP’s, but mainly a lot of one step forward two steps back.

I resolved to write more again anyway, so time is of the essence!

What inspires you to keep writing and persevering when writing gets tough?

I know I will see that student’s grin in my head from now on when I sit down to write.

Auld Lang Syne

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

2011 is on its way out and 2012 is knocking at the door, ready to come in and play.

I have been awfully neglectful to this blog these last couple of months. I have been busy with work and not writing. That is going to change in 2012.

I’ve learned this last December that my writing is important in ways I didn’t realize. That realization was a wonderful gift.

I got behind on getting The Christmas Child  printed this year. It was more work than I expected getting the book ready for reprint and even though I made contacts with some stores, I couldn’t afford to get the new copies printed fast enough for the book to be featured before Christmas. 2012 will be more about advancing the book. I will be working on marketing from January to July so that I will be prepared in August to really steam ahead.

I was disappointed with the lack of forward motion this year, but it was a reflection of the time I put into it last year. I teach a group of fifth graders literacy everyday. One of them found my book on the classroom bookshelf and asked if she could show it to the rest of the group. They were excited and wanted to read it. It is above their reading level, but we all agreed to work hard on vocabulary and I brought them copies the week before we went on Winter Break.  The excitement and rate at which they devoured the book amazed me. They were begging to read more and everyday they would come back having read 15-20 pages at home.

They are asking when they can read the next book and I don’t have anything to offer them yet. Their enthusiasm is good motivation to get back to work!

I still devour books like that. When a great story grabs at you and takes you out of your everyday life, it is a gift. I’m excited that my book is offering that to these six students.

I also received a text from a friend right before Christmas that her brother-in-law was reading my book to his kids for the third time this year. I couldn’t help but be honored by this. This book is special to me in ways that I can’t even express, but to realize that it is special to other people, to strangers is a revelation that I never really expected. You hope that it will matter to someone, but it is such a wonderful surprise when it does.

As 2011 comes to close, I want to thank it for all the wonderful opportunities it brought into my life. I’m excited to see what 2012 has in store for me and my writing.

I make resolutions each year, but I’m never too good at keeping them. I did the best job to date this last year. In terms of writing resolutions, I want to write daily. I am going to start small with a time frame not a word count because that seems to be easier for me to tackle. I think I will start with 10-15 minutes and try to increase it a bit every month.

What about you. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing or art in 2012?

I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron and her Artist Way books. I realized a week ago that I have never finished The Vein of Gold. I remember starting it in my early twenties, but not getting very far. I think a journey into my creative heart is exactly what I need in 2012. I am looking forward to co-creating a life of creativity this coming year.

Happy New Year’s Eve! See you next year.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

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Today we had a yucky snow day, but not enough to warrant a snow day – just enough to make it miserable to get to and from school.  I also found out that I could add falling snow to my blog, which was a nice surprise and less inconvenient than all the snow outside 🙂

I can’t believe that it’s December. The months have flown by. It seems impossible that 2011 is almost over. I have been struggling with a sinus infection and my energy level hasn’t been anything to brag about. I want to write, but have been doing everything but. I need to finish a book trailer, edit and upload an e-book and work on my website…but I don’t seem to be able to get my butt in gear.

What do you do to get yourself back on the wagon when procrastination is winning? Thoughts?

Friday Night Blues

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I made it through another week! TGIF and all that.

I wanted to go out tonight, but after I went for a walk and made some dinner…I decided that staying in might be a better idea. I’m pretty tired any way. Friday’s are weird because you want to go out and do something fun, but it was still a work day. I’m turning into a pumpkin rather early tonight.

I haven’t posted in forever! I have been busy being a new teacher and trying to get my new life together in a new home. It has been awesome, but I’m still not quite settled. And I haven’t really been writing either. I did write one flash fiction piece  last month for  a contest. I got some good feedback and I am excited to revise it and submit it somewhere else.

For now, I’m going to drink a glass of wine and go to bed. Tomorrow I am going to put some stuff away and try to get some writing done…after I sleep in, of course!

Goodnight.