Teachers Write! 6/15 Friday Writing Happy Hour

It’s time to celebrate all that we’ve worked on this week! And we’re going to do that with another book giveaway.

SEE YOU AT HARRY’S by Jo Knowles (of Monday Morning Warm-up fame!) is recommended for ages 10 and up, and it’s a beautiful tearjerker of a book that will  have you laughing on one page and sobbing on the next.

Enter to win a signed copy of SEE YOU AT HARRY’S by Jo Knowles by leaving any comment that adds to the conversation today. Deadline is 11pm EST Saturday. I’ll do a drawing over the weekend, and a winner will be announced on Monday.

So how’s it going this week? Friday Writing Happy Hour is a chance to relax and share comments about our progress, goals, accomplishments, and whatever else is on your mind.  And if you’d like feedback on a snippet of writing, head on over to Gae Polisner’s blog for Friday Feedback, where you can share a few paragraphs of your work and offer feedback to others, too.  And we also have a special guest post on the topic of world building today, from author Mike Jung. Check that out here.

And finally…I just have to share this. This week, I had a dream that everyone in Teachers Write (like a thousand of us!) took a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the assignment to write a poem in response to any piece of art we loved. (I was in line for-EVER buying special exhibit tickets for everyone, but after that it was great fun!) If you’re itching for a writing prompt today, why not try it? The Met’s collection is online here – choose something you love and let it inspire a poem if you’d like.

Happy writing! And happy weekend!  Remember to check in at Jen’s Teach Mentor Texts blog on Sunday, and  I’ll see you back here Monday morning!

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97 Comments

  1. Posted June 15, 2012 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    It seems so fast –
    that quick pitch to the corner of the plate
    that is really the Little League season
    being called OUT on a swing that began when buds were still blooming
    and now ends with the heat of the summer sun in the sky.
    I watch him drop the bat slowly down on the plate
    and walk away with something next to experience,
    already thinking of next season’s home runs and double plays.

    Kevin

    (Last night was my youngest son’s last Farm League game of the year. It seemed to fly by on us.)

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Kevin, I LOVE THIS, and I am so glad to meet another parent who loves Little League as much as I do! It so captures their childhoods and seasons and gives a glimpse to the heartache and inspiration that can all be swirled into a baseball diamond full of boys. My 9 year old son plays Little League, and his playoffs last week inspired me to write too… http://www.boundlessangie.blogspot.com/2012/06/everything-you-need-to-know-you-can.html

      My evenings feel empty without the bleachers, parent laughs, rushed dinners, and game recaps.

    • Sherry
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Kevin, I love this! Thanks so much for sharing! Baseball holds a special place in my heart. I see I’m not alone in that feeling!

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      I enjoyed how you captured the emotions in this.

    • Brian
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing, Kevin. Baseball, kids, beginnings, endings, and the possibilities in between — all those ideas inspired by your poem reminded me of Summerland by Michael Chabon. It’s a fantasy that touches on all these too, and I recommend it to you (or your son or both of you) if you haven’t yet come across it.

      • Posted June 16, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        I’ve read Summerland out loud three times to three boys, plus one year to my class of sixth graders. It’s a great, sprawling book.
        Kevin

    • Maria Selke (@mselke
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Love it, Kevin! I enjoyed your take on the baseball season. I have to admit, I don’t really get into it myself. Both my sons play – and I swear I watch them when they are up or on the field – but it just doesn’t do it for me. I used to watch a ton of baseball as a kid (my parents still go to Phillies games on a regular basis), but I’ve lost the ability to slow down and enjoy it.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Love this! My son is 12 and I love watching and and listening to all the boys on his team. My current WIP is about a boy and his “awkward” friend and baseball team. It’s been fun to write the game scenes.

      • Posted June 16, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        Sounds intriguing .. good luck with the story.
        Kevin

  2. Posted June 15, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Week 2 brought another week of learning from so many generous authors. I have so many new ideas to use in the coming school year. I have written more this summer than in the past 25 years! I also was so impressed with the grace in which Kate Messner handles everything that comes up. You are a mentor in life as well as in writing. : )

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Met Art Museum Quick Write:
      Report from Rockport (Stuart Davis)

      Squiggles and snippets
      bursts of color
      bright color springs forward as
      paler ones recede
      geometric shapes capture
      a jazzed up town
      pale yellow Main Street leads to
      the local garage
      where even the gas pump and nozzle
      become funky art forms
      the vitality of urban life
      becomes music to my eyes

      • Brian
        Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Nifty how the energy — vitality, your word — from this vibrant painting jumps right into your lines. Thanks for sharing, Kristina.

      • Posted June 15, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Such great imagery! I like how the lines of this poem kind of reflect the way we take in a piece of art–in bits and pieces, and then all at once.

      • Posted June 16, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        “funky art forms” is a great band name.
        🙂

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      I agree! The whole Teachers Write experience has been amazing. Kate has given us such an amazing support system while challenging us and making it all look so easy!!! She deserves the Super Woman award.

  3. Jan Hamilton
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I started Teachers Write! because I thought it would give me inspiration in teaching Writer’s Workshop in the fall – and I was right. I want to thank the guest authors and commentators who were part of the discussion on getting picture books published. I was looking at this topic as a teacher, and you gave me so much to share with my students when they begin this project as we work through Common Core. Your advice and guidelines will be part of their background research before they create their own picture books. Your words are now in my Writer’s Notebook! Thank you.

    • Maria Selke (@mselke
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Agreed! I wish I had more chances to teach writing to my students (I’m a resource teacher who has to focus mostly on math and reading comprehension). I may just have to find a way to build more into my year next year so I can use these marvelous resources!

      • Patsy Williams
        Posted June 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Maria, we have similiar teaching positions. After covering a reading story, about a week, I take some time on Friday to do a writing about that story. I’ve done summaries, different endings, etc. Sometimes we only get to write a paragraph or two, but at least we’ve written. I know that you know writing increases reading ability, so go for it. One activity I’m going to add next year is writing to a character in the story. I leared that at writing camp this summer and I’m hoping to get more ideas as the weeks fly by.

        • Maria Selke (@mselke
          Posted June 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Patsy,

          Yes, and I also get the chance to teach enrichment units. I think I have enough student interest now to run one focused on writing. In past years I’ve tried, but not had enough interest to run it.

  4. Posted June 15, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for a wonderful week. I so enjoy the prompts and the Q and A day. Wish it would go on beyond summer!

  5. Posted June 15, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I’ve been getting so much inspiration from everyone! This has been a wonderful start to a fantastic goal. Teachers are the best!

    Jo

  6. Posted June 15, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    What I’ve loved most about this week (besides the growing sense of community) is figuring out how to take what speaks to me from each writing prompt, assignment, piece of advice, or comment and mashing it together to make it work for me and my writing process and style. I also discovered this week that having some kind of outline (or some form of a words on paper guide) has been extremely helpful and has quite possibly made more room in my head for other words and ideas to form since I’m not holding everything in my head anymore. I thought an outline would confine or restrict me somehow…you know…bind me to it, but I’m finding that it’s done the opposite. I feel like I have more freedom to explore and that is empowering. THANK YOU!!!!

    • Maria Selke (@mselke
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I still need to sit down with all my “snippets” and figure out how they are starting to fit together. That’s on my plate still.

      What I loved was that each of the prompts has been percolating in my head since the beginning. I’m actually sitting down today with the library prompt. My characters just told me how that fits into their tale… mostly. I’ll have to write to discover the rest.

      • Posted June 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        I still have a couple of prompts that I haven’t quite finished pounding out yet, but I feel them building and I know they’ll emerge when the time is right. Funny how that happens. It’s so nice to have conversations with people who totally get the conversations I have with my characters who are milling around inside my head. Writers rock!! 🙂

  7. jbaxter
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    In response to
    Eyes
    Louise Bourgeois (American, Paris 1911–2010 New York City)

    Louise
    I know this wasn’t your intention,
    but the eyes,
    artsy marble with recessed lenses
    (that could even hold mini cams)
    atop a block,
    as substantial as Rosetta,
    the eyes
    turning away from the corner
    askance,
    those eyes
    look like
    the surrealistic eyes
    of
    Cookie Monster

    Thanks for the habit of writing during the summer. I’m thinking of how to approach the class in a completely different way next year.

    • Brian
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Great build-up and pay off… I then went to look at the piece of art, and all I could see was the furry blue monster 🙂 Thanks for the early-morning chuckle.

      • Maria Selke (@mselke
        Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Agreed! I absolutely loved that ending!

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Definitely made me smile!

  8. Sonja Schulz
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    This summer has been exactly what I needed to get my writing jump-started again. I love being a part of this virtual writing community–not only does it give us assignments that prime the pump for our writing, but it is lovely to hear feedback and have authors mentor us as we muddle through.

    • Andrea Payan
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      I did not get to the writing so much this week with the final wrap-up of the school year and packing up my classroom. I really enjoyed writing and communicating with fellow campers last week and I am looking forward to catching up over the weekend. I also have been inspired to look for and read books by the amazing authors who are participating. I just read The Pull of Gravity this morning and I am super impressed by the amazing talent of Gae Polisner. That book was a great read! I am sure that I will enjoy the other books that I have on my to-read list and I will also be purchasing many of these books for my classroom library.

  9. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I’m sharing a Father’s Day poem I wrote last night for my sons. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.
    http://lindakulp.blogspot.com/

  10. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Going all the back to how we find time… Last night my husband took his book out to the front porch and I joined him with my ipad. For an hour and a half he read and I wrote. A free, quiet, sweet, stay at home date night… A lovley way to end a summer day.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I hope you’ll be able to repeat that routine. It sounds lovely.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      It really does sound lovely, Theresa!

  11. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    When I joined Twitter and connected with people like authors and editors and publishers and publicists and others on the “other” side of books, it changed my whole perspective. I had always been a reader and I knew authors wrote the books and they got published, but I didn’t even begin to know all the work and all the people who do such fabulous jobs to make books awesome for readers. It’s really mind-boggling when I think about it. Teachers Write has opened my eyes even more to the whole process and once again my brain is working to learn all of this new information. It’s amazing. I would have never realized all of this without Teachers Write. I love it as someone who has a goal to publish a book but equally as much as an educator who should understand this whole process in order to share it with students. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Nicely said, Jen! I’ve only been on Twitter since mid-January, and I quickly found an amazing learning and professional community of educators and writers that far exceeded my expectations. I wish I’d joined sooner! I tell all of my teacherly/writerly friends that they really need to dive into the Twittersphere. The connections are so worth it!!

  12. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Here’s my poem inspired by The Terrace at Vernonnet
    Pierre Bonnard (French, Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867–1947 Le Cannet) Thanks for this bit of joy this a.m.!

    Pierre Bonnard,
    Your colors surround me like a bath
    with no water,
    so light of touch.
    Every single movement
    of eye or brush
    creates a gentle warmth
    like a slow sunrise
    in my blood.

    • Brian
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The simile in lines 2-3 is sticking with me. Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  13. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    This week I’ve been muddling through on two different projects, both of which are rewrites. One of them I’ve approached sideways through the prompts at Teachers Write. I wrote a letter from my character Chance earlier in the week that was his POV on something from one book. I also wrote a short scene yesterday of a change in his life. I’m hoping I’ll soon have the courage to go to the book I’m rewriting with him and get that new first chapter in place (well, a draft of it. It will need polishing and hacking, etc!).

    I’ve also been working on a chapter where I got stuck in a steampunk/fantasy story awhile back. It’s a scene where on of my main characters is helping treat someone who is gravely, perhaps mortally injured. I can tell I need to go back and do medical research but at least this rough draft is finally moving, no matter how slowly, again. There’s a part of me that says SKIP AHEAD and come back, but I am beating that back.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Hi Sarah, I like the idea that it’s ok to skip ahead. That was a lesson learned this week for me in the feedback here. Is there a reason why you want to beat it back?

      • Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Skipping ahead has worked for me before on a different project. With this one I feel that it won’t because of how my POV alternates. The current chapter is with the main character I know best (the story starting as a novella solely from his point of view). The next POV is his brother’s and that is a storyline I am still wrestling with. I need to know what my main character is thinking/doing about these events so I can better figure out how his brother will react/move on. (I’m not sure if that makes any sense outside of my head).

        The other thing I am working out is if it will have more impact on the story if a character in this chapter dies or if I have him linger.

  14. Georgia Parker
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    This has been a wonderful beginning to the summer. I look forward to checking in with Teachers Write each day and gleaning inspiration as a teacher and writer. Kudos to Kate for starting this project!

  15. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Kate, I think the link to Gae’s Friday Feedback should go here: http://ghpolisner.blogspot.com/ as the link included above goes to a different blog of hers.

  16. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Kate, thank you so much for organizing all of these wonderful learning opportunities. I worried that I would not be able to contribute until the end of the school year (one more week left!), but I have been keeping up and this has been an excellent distraction from the craziness of the end of the school year. I have been writing more now than I was a few weeks ago when school was moving along at a steady pace.

    Also, a thank you to Gae, Jen V., and Jo (I love the Monday Morning Warm-up).

    I was in line for-EVER buying special exhibit tickets for everyone, but after that it was great fun! – this line made me smile:) – A trip to the Met with hundreds of writers would be very interesting!

  17. Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I’ve combined the writing prompts with another summer activity–a one-hour daily walk. I find that walking really stimulates my writing muscle, and often I’ve got a piece nearly “written” by the time I walk back into my house.

    The idea is to both write and walk every day. Well, I didn’t walk yesterday, and I may not walk tomorrow. But TODAY, I walk.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Jan, I agree! I find that I can figure out a lot while I walk. The trick is to be able to get it down in writing when I get home…

  18. Brian
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Just had a moment of empathy with my students… Given the choice between looking for my own writing path and writing to a prompt, well, let’s just say I went to visit the Met. Good reminder that some writers would rather stake out on their own, others prefer to be pointed in a direction, and whichever label applies one day may be different the next.

    Here are two Clerihew couplets from the handful I wrote this morning after checking out Joan Miro’s “Constellation: Toward the Rainbow.”

    Jams the space with hourglasses, circles, arcing lines, does Miro,
    Atop a backdrop of ashy, silvery snow.

    “Has chaos ever danced so beautifully?” wonders Miro,
    His brush flashing to and fro.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      It’s so important to remember that everyone must approach their explorations in different ways, with different sorts of impetus,so thanks, Brian, for that thought. I must think differently about how I ask different students to think, too. I have to go to work soon, but am looking forward to visiting the art museum over lunch. Yes, I WILL write on my lunch break today!! Making time, taking inspiration. Thanks again for gifts – of surprising author encounters, startling revelations, new inspiration and ideas.

    • Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Brian, I like these couplets.

      And I think all of us have some ambivalence about blank pages, so prompts are great, or even putting down a single question or statement on the page.

  19. Carol Owen
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The last week of school can be the most hectic, just getting everything home with the students, making sure all the files are updated, reports are finished, awards are given, class parties held, phone calls from parents responded to because they desperately feel they have to know who next year’s teacher is going to be before tomorrow when they will know from the report card that goes home, retirement parties are held, collections for those who are leaving are attended to and all the goodbyes are said. Phew! And you know you’re forgetting to do something, and that something will nudge you awake at 2:30a.m. and demand to be taken care of, oh, and don’t forget about cleaning up your classroom, emptying bookcases, cleaning desks, and pushing everything into the center so that the custodians can do their job this summer.
    That’s what my week has been like, so when I say that Teachers Write has been my cabin -in-the-woods (a term I stole from my quick write with Pam Bachorz yesterday), I truly mean it. Even though my mind would be screaming, “Are you crazy, lady? Look around you at all you have to do – you have NO TIME to sit and write or to read these questions and answers or to reflect on the responses to your pieces!” I knew I needed to take the time. Thank you!

  20. Kathy Heath
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Laying out the time line has helped so much! Ideas started flowing! I’m doing mine by seasons. A little story about how creatures and plants try to get kids to visit there place. Characters change because seasons change! Excited to building characters!,

  21. Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    More than anything I see myself as a writer. I love how the prompts get me to write in way that I haven’t tried before. I can’t wait to unleash some of these techniques this fall, but more importantly I can’t wait to share my experiences with my new students. I have a greater understanding for those kids who immediately get up and go to the pencil sharpener and the restroom and their backpacks when the writing starts. I’ve noticed myself doing the same thing. Writing gets tough and next thing I know I’m in the kitchen or the laundry room. It’s good to take breaks and re-set…as long as I return and do. the. work. 🙂

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      I can totally relate to those procrastination practices! I have seemingly done just about anything to not write, yet lines of dialogue haunt me as I sleep and I know I must return to my writing. Thanks for reminding me that I need to afford my students those moments of “getting ready” to write and help them beyond the hurdle. I know that for me it’s my perfectionist evil twin screaming..and I need to silence her!

  22. Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Kate, I woke up dreaming of a paper doll, my character. Here is my poem:

    My character is a cardboard paper doll,
    no color, no face.
    I am the creator.
    I give her voice.
    I draw her features, color her in.
    Who will she be?
    Will she be like me?
    Where will she go?
    What are her dreams, her fears?
    Little faceless paper doll,
    tell me your story.

    • Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      And my ekphrastic poem about Virgin and Child in Majesty from the Met. Thanks for this inspiration.

      I want to touch her
      wipe away the sadness
      from her soft wooden face
      cradle her drooping shoulders
      climb onto her lap-throne
      alongside Jesus her son.

      She held wisdom like a burden
      leading the holy procession
      keeping their revered relics
      enshrined in a walnut box.

      I want to touch her
      sculpted fingers, open them,
      intertwine my own
      to hold her hand in mine,

      Mother to mother,
      woman to woman,
      speaking her sacred story.

  23. Maria Selke (@mselke
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I’m not one of the “writing instructors” in my building, but I can see right away so much of what we do wrong when we ask kids to write in elementary school.

    All the prompts? They are wonderful, amazing, and I have had to let them simmer in the back of my head as I go about my day. I’ve written a lot over the last two weeks – but I’ve simmered more. The things I’ve written have mostly been nonfiction (blog posts, book reviews, etc.) Yet what I’ve noticed is that as I let the ideas about kitchens, libraries, and “going back home again” sit in the back of my head, they are now starting to flower with ideas. I try to jot them down as they come, and then back off a bit to let them develop. I think my subconscious does most of my first “rough draft”, and I can’t sit down to write until that part of the process is done. So what does that say about how we toss a prompt at a child and say, “get started!”?

    • Patsy Williams
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Ditto!
      Another problem students face is the lack of background knowledge. Much of my writing stems from something in my memory. Sometime I tell my student what we are going to write about the day before. I ask them to think about what thy will write about. Some do and some don’t.

  24. Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I have found that my thinking and pondering this week has translated to more actual progress on #buckybook than I’ve seen in the past. I LOVE the Met quick-write idea and will be doing it after this afternoon’s multicultural night at school. Huzzah, thank you!

  25. Beth Whitsett
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this fabulous opportunity. I just finished my first year of teaching and now I know how my 6th grade writing students feel when I push them out of their comfort zone.

  26. Carol Ann Osler
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    It just amazes me how my head works. I had such a hard time with Tuesday’s Q-write. It was every where. It was in the car with me, shopping with me, it even followed me into to the shower. But could I get it to the paper? Nope! I could literally talk it through my head, but could not get anything down except time travel conversations, talking with someone from the past about their life choices. Then comes Thursday Q-write, and I can see it, I go right to it, I am literally transported right to the room and I am speaking to someone right there beside me. The words, the feelings are all there, the words spill out on to the paper, I just write.
    I think I over think things way to much.

  27. Patsy Williams
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    This was fun! I guess I chose “Petticoat” because I am stitching some Blackwork this summer. Blackwork is a needlepoint that was stitched on the cuffs and collars of ladies’ gowns in the 16th century.

    “Good morning, Madam!”
    “And the same to you, sir.”

    “You’re looking lovely today,
    Madam, as always.”

    If she only knew,
    I would swim the icy moat;
    For just one glance of her petticoat.

    It’s stitched with visitng and dining couples.
    Traveling along in royal carriages.

    I caught a glimpse one day,
    Then quickly moved my eyes away.

    I feared my lady’s stern rebuke!
    Then on her face a subtle smile.
    Was it just a juke?

    • Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      I love how you put details from research into this — helped me both see what you were doing and roused my curiosity for more.

  28. Posted June 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    As this was the first official week of summer for me with my writing plan in place, I began with a fervor. Then, play-dates, mountains of neglected laundry, a poison-ivy induced doctor visit, an orthodontist appointment, and a visit with the grandparents (all necessary and important) took over. I think I need to re-evaluate my scheduled writing time and become a little more persistent both with my family and myself. Still trying to find that balance. I thought that after school was out, it would be easier, but I’m finding the opposite to be true.

  29. Posted June 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I continue to be amazed by all the help, suggestions, and comments given by all the authors participating in this project. It’s so kind of you to give up your time to help aspiring writers. I’ve also enjoyed discovering your books and have added many to my “to read” list on Goodreads.

    Thank you again for this opportunity. It’s helpful and lots of fun!

  30. Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Love the simple idea of taking a piece of art that moves you in some way to create a poem. An easy quick write to try with students too . . . on my way to try it out! And thanks for the opportunity to win Jo’s new book that everyone is talking about!

  31. Hava
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I really appreciate all the inspiration this week, I have been able to read the lessons and wonderful posts, but have not produced anything this week outside of the required writing for my summer classes. However, those ideas are “simmering” as someone posted earlier. These lessons have also prompted me to think about my WIP a different way. Thanks.

  32. Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Learned lots about the “Not Said” this week. I read “See You at Harry’s” but since I’m greedy, I still want the freebie, especially since it’s signed.

    I’m not much of an autograph hound, but I did get Tim O’Brien to sign “The Things They Carried” at NCTE last year. When I taught the opening, a former principal accused me of teaching a “profane article” so Tim signed the book: “This is not a profane ‘The Things They Carried’ Tim O’Brien.”

  33. Melanie
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I embarked on a trip today, to Space Camp for teachers actually. I bought a new journal, just for this trip. It was fun today to write in it my observations and thoughts. I use a writer’s notebook a lot, but decided to add some doodles as a new way of recording my thoughts. I know my students do this a lot so I thought I’d give it a try. I can’t wait for the rest of this week to fill my journal.

  34. Posted June 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I am in awe of all of the amaaaaaazing authors who have been available for quick write prompts, guest post information, Wednesday Q&A, not to mention just stopping by to check in or comment.I still have no clear “goal” or WIP; I’m just continuing to write and work with the quick-writes so that I am in the practice of writing. I’m hoping that an idea will strike down, but even if that never happens, the experience has been worth it so far!

  35. Posted June 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I chose Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children by Auguste Renoir and tried to imagine what each being in the painting was thinking. Here’s the link to the painting:
    Madame Georges Charpentier (Marguérite-Louise Lemonnier, 1848–1904) and Her Children

    Endless Teatime
    Oh dear. So much to do.
    Dinner to put together.
    The account with le marchand de vins to settle.
    The upstairs maid to instruct.
    Notes and invitations to answer.
    He scribbles and sketches
    We fight off cramped posteriors and wait
    Any moment now the children
    Will revolt
    I know it will be lovely
    But must he take so long?

    Pbbbtttt.
    I get to sit next to Maman.
    She loves me best.
    The painter man has sad eyes.
    Like Beaumont looks today.
    His moustache is like Beaumont, too.
    Look how Bertie has to sit on Beaumont.
    Pbbbtttt.

    Maman, I’m tired
    Maman, I’m itchy
    Maman, I’m hungry
    Maman, I have to use the chamber pot
    Maman, Can I have un gateau sec?
    Maman, I’m thirsty, when do we get to drink the tea?
    Maman, Pauley is making faces at me.
    Maman, Why does she get to sit on the couch
    and I have to sit on stinky old Beaumont?

    Stop squirming or I will eat you.
    Drop a cookie
    Drop a cookie
    Drop a cookie
    Drop a cookie
    There had better be meat at the end of this.

    • Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      I love how you made this painting come alive, and crossed the centuries.

  36. Posted June 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    This week has had to be a DOING week, rather than a WRITING (and connecting) week, but I have still popped in here every day before I get started on the projects mom has on her to-do list for my brother and me while we’re home visiting for her 85th birthday, and I have some snippets in my writer’s notebook that seem rich for fleshing out into poems — tidbits about quilts and ancestors, about making my mother’s bed and her coffee in the morning and cooking dinners for her, and even a bit about my Great Aunt Edna’s braid, which we found tucked in the back of a drawer of the dresser she got for her 16th birthday in 1906. (Plus, now I have the Met’s online collection at my fingertips as writing prompts if I decide to write some ekphrastic poems!!)

    • Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      What fabulous material you’re finding, Mary Lee. You can imagine my fingers itching to touch that braid and breath into that drawer.

      And, yes, how great of Kate to furnish that link!

  37. Jaana
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Last day of school was today! This has been a crazy week–not as much time for writing. But I have enjoyed popping in and reading a few posts when time allowed. More writing from now on…
    Here are a few sound bites from today:

    Almost 100 %!
    65 %?? I passed!
    Ms. just came to say goodbye….
    I might not be back next year….
    Did you start the blog for us?
    Do you need any help with these boxes?
    Can I get a hug?
    Is everything ready? Can power be turned off now?
    I will miss you!
    Ms. I’m gonna read. I promise!

    • Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Those sound bites say a lot. The power of true dialog!

  38. Amy
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    It is on the field, in the dugout, in the stands where we can learn so many of life’s lessons!

  39. Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Where has the time gone this week? I haven’t dropped in online too much and haven’t given as much time to writing as I would have liked, but I am still plugging along. I outlined half of what I’ve written in my WIP so far and have ideas percolating as to what might come next. I used Jo Knowles prompt on Monday to write my birthday poem for my daughter who is turning 14. I still need to write an ending before I give it to her on Monday.

  40. Shyrl
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Wistful,
    I page through the MET’s online fare.
    Somehow,
    It just isn’t quite the same as being there.

    Content,
    I suppose I will have to be.
    Somehow,
    I will get through Yogi Bear on the DVD….

    Okay, folks, it’s Friday night, and that’s the best I can do! Seriously, I find that I am really not good at writing on demand. I looked at works of art from some of my favorites, and yet I could conjure up nothing inspiring. Wow, what we put our kids through! This will be an amazing experience for me, this summer, to really understand what I ask my third-graders to do in our pretty scripted Writer’s Workshop program. It will definitely make me a better teacher and writer!

  41. Dyann Pulkkinen
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    A Quick Write from the Met Museum (thanks for the invite)
    Standing Woman by Gaston Lachaise (named “Elevation,” by Bourgeois Gallery, New York – 1918)

    Not Elevation
    A woman to embrace,
    Rounded firmness
    A woman to stand tall,
    Balanced poise
    A woman to believe,
    Realistic form
    It’s Revelation

    • Julie Balen
      Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      And so it begins it with a poem…fittingly a poem celebrating women. I really like the way your words conjure up her strength and power. What great inspiration to carry with you in this summer adventure.

  42. Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi, everybody! I’m at my mom & dad’s house tonight, visiting and eating pie so won’t be replying to all the great Friday reflections. Just wanted to check in and let you know I’m cheering you on after another week of fantastic writing.

  43. Posted June 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Okay – so I’m jumping in just a little late but I’m excited to have found y’all tonight! One of my summer goals was to improve my blog sense in order to write daily in my teaching world. Teachers Write! will help support this goal as well. So excited to share and grow!

  44. NÚRIA
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    from The Met’s collection The Big White Cloud, Lake George inspire me the following poem

    from the deep darkness to the golden brightness
    I remain playing, imagining, dreaming…
    the leafs talk without breath
    the lake mirroring no fake
    the cloud embracing me as soft and warm it can be
    from the deep darkness to the golden brightness
    I remain playing, imagining, dreaming…

    Have a nice weekend and I hope to have the chance to win a signed copy of SEE YOU AT HARRY’S

  45. Posted June 16, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    While I have been thinking about writing, I’ve had a hard time this week actually doing so. Yet, last night, I collapsed into bed thinking about Kate’s imaginary trip to the museum to write a poem. Somehow, just a little prompt or idea lifted me out of my writing funk and made me think about the small wonderful moments of my life.

    Damp curls against my shoulder
    The pace slows
    Another tale of Queen Bee
    The plot flows
    Now it’s my turn, she implores
    I remember the time, she begins
    I remember everything, she boasts
    The stories flow
    The snggle continues

    http://drferreri.blogspot.com/2012/06/falling-off-writing-wagon.html

  46. Posted June 16, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I am just overwhelmed by the generous sharing of ideas and the support that is being offered through this camp! I feel so lucky to have heard about it and joined in. Yesterday was my last official day of work-just have some fun workshops coming up now…and so I hope to be able to jump in a little deeper than I have been the past 2 weeks.
    Thanks,
    Amy

  47. Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you to everyone involved for all of the inspiration and ideas. I have come across some stumbling blocks with my writing this week. During the first week, I worte easily to the prompts. However, this week I procrastinated and found other things to write about and do. I agree with what another writer wrote that the ideas have stayed in my mind. I have been gathering more ideas and feel that when I am ready I will be flowing with ideas to write to the prompts. This will definitely change my teaching in the future. I now understand that some students need time to work with prompts, some need time for free write and all need a combination of the two. I think it is a great idea to sometimes give the prompts ahead of time for students who need more time to process the ideas.

  48. Posted June 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Just a reflection today.

    My daughter lost so much in kindergarten.
    Her first tooth,
    A friend,
    Precious mispronunciations.
    She lost the necklace I gave her.
    My daughter lost her patience in kindergarten,
    And she lost some innocent beliefs.
    So much lost in kindergarten, with so much discovered.
    The journey continues.

    • Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      I remember that feeling… My “little” girl is now a senior in college and we have had many more losses and gains. Life isn’t easy is it?

  49. Posted June 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Kate, thanks for the mini writing assignment and virtual field trip. I enjoyed visiting the Met. I have hands on my mind lately, so I stopped at this picture of a cast of Abraham Lincoln’s hand.

    What’s in the hand of A. Lincoln?
    a bucket handle carrying family food,
    an ax splitting rails to make fences,
    a ring–should he or shouldn’t he? Love is eternal
    a disarray of papers in a stovepipe hat,
    the cold hands of Willie and Eddie, too soon gone,
    a farewell speech before leaving Springfield on inaugural journey,
    a pen shouting freedom for the slaves in the south,
    a needle and thread to stitch together a nation torn in two

    • Patsy Williams
      Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I like!

  50. Mary Meihaus
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    This is the best part of my summer so far! It was such great timing for me. I needed motivation to get pen to paper every day and this has done it for me. Thank you Kate an thank you to everyone who is participating. I am inspire!d!

  51. Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    OK – so you have all inspired me SO much that I started a blog! I am going to document my new job as a 7th grade LA teacher. It’s scary but really exciting, too. Please check it out and tell me what you think…
    http://awritingteacher.edublogs.org/

  52. Susan
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the
    inspiration
    perspiration
    concentration
    salutation
    validation
    this week! 🙂

  53. Debbie G.
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Just dropped in late to class. Love the MET collection as inspiration for poetry. Crafted a bit of a found poem in response to Dress, Evening by Lousieboulanger 1928.

    Ostrich Lament

    Evening, 1928
    fluid, exotic silk
    knotted ostrich plumes
    in ombre cascade
    nature distilled
    to a
    synthetic silhouette
    My natural feathers weren’t good enough for you, Louise?

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