Teachers Write! 6/8 Friday Writing Happy Hour

Congratulations! You’ve survived your first week of virtual summer writing camp. That wasn’t so scary, was it?

Friday Writing Happy Hour is a chance to relax and share conversation about our progress, goals, accomplishments, and whatever else is on your mind. Let me know how you think it’s going so far.Β  And if you’d like feedback on a snippet of writing you did this week, 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.

Thanks to my editor Mary Kate Castellani at Walker/Bloomsbury, we’re also going to give out some presents today.Β  When I told Mary Kate about writing camp and about all of you, she offered to donate five hardcover copies of my science thriller EYE OF THE STORM as a giveaway for our first Friday celebration.

So…if you wrote this week, just leave any sort of comment at all on this post, and you’ll be entered to win EYE OF THE STORM.Β  It’s recommended for kids in grades 4-8, and you can read more about it here.

You have until 11pm EST on Saturday to enter. I’ll do a random drawing & announce FIVE winners Monday morning.

Enjoy your weekend, remember to check in at Jen’s Teach Mentor Texts blog on Sunday, and we’ll see you back here first thing Monday morning!

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315 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    This has been a great first week of camp! I passed the camp announcement along to some friends and co-workers who have also joined in and they have also passed it along…(and she told 2 friends, and she told two friends, and on it goes…like the V05 or Breck hair commercial.). I have been so inspired by the thinking of comments posted and encouraged as I look into the world of writing with different lenses…not just a writer, but also student, a learner, a teacher and an author-all with sharper focus! Thanks for leading us through this process, creating interesting content, with the hope of something to publish. I am beginning to see flickers of possibility where before there were only tools to start the fire…thanks to all, for all! What an inspirational first week!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad it’s going well for you! Thanks for spreading the word, too – that would explain our continued influx of writers this week!

  2. Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    I have learned so much this week already! Thanks for this great opportunity.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Oh, good! I’m glad, Kristina – thanks!

      • Gae Polisner
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Kate, may I say I am just so FREAKING impressed?!?! With you, and the people you have inspired to join in! Campers and authors alike.

  3. Mary Kirk
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I wrote a lot this week but kept it private. (I’m shy.) Thanks for a great week!

    • Jan Hamilton
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Mary, absolutely the hardest part for me was to push the post comment button; I was afraid to send my words out for others to read. But people read them and responded and it was awesome! That, of course, made me want to be a responder to others. I encourage you to try to post just once so that you feel the exhilaration that comes from receiving a response to your writing. I’m not an author, but this process makes me feel like a writer. πŸ™‚

      • Christine Wolf
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        I think you’re officially a writer just based on the exhilaration you felt by posting! Way to go!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Mary, it may surprise you that most writers feel that way. Sensitive writers are sensitive people, after all. It’s hard to risk sending bits of ourselves out into the world. I have four published books and a pretty collection of shiny awards, and it’s still hard for me. Because in that moment, none of those things matter–it’s just me and those words and that audience.

      But it’s good to be reminded how it feels to send writing out into the world, isn’t it? Because we ask kids to do that all the time.

      And as a writer, I collect those harder emotions the way other writers might collect names or story ideas. When I’m feeling a strong emotion, I stop and write about it for myself. I take note of what thoughts come into my mind. What my hands are doing. How my shoulders feel. In those moments, you are feeling something *honestly* and it’s often more complicated than how you imagine those emotions.

      I have folders of emotional writing, and when I have a character feeling a difficult emotion, I pull out that writing. Sometimes I use an exact detail, and other times, reading it just puts me in the right emotion for the story moment. It’s a way to “write what you know” in the midst of fiction.

      The one thing I can promise is that even if it never feels easy to share, when you’re ready, that leap is empowering.

      • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Cindy, this is so great and so true. I’m worried that maybe not enough people will see it here in the comments, though, and it’s wonderful. Would you consider letting me post this as its own post for the Teachers Write community? Or maybe you would want to share it on your blog, and I’ll link to it? Either way, thank you.

        • Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          Thanks, Kate. You’re welcome to post it if you’d like or just point people here if you think they’d be interested.

          Thanks so much for doing this! It’s been an awesome week!!!

      • June Blickenstaff
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Cynthia, your remark about “collecting” harder emotions is fantastic. Sometimes I feel like I’m a bottomless well that gathers so many feelings which are so complex that it’s difficult to articulate them. Can you tell me more about your folders of emotional writing. I’d like to try doing that. Thanks!

        • Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          Hi June, when I’m feeling something powerful, I take some time and just free-write about what I’m experiencing. For example, if I really wanted something to happen and it didn’t. Or I’m scared to do something and have to do it anyway. Or I’ve lost someone or something important to me. Or I know my life has just changed in some way and I don’t know what is coming.

          I don’t censor myself or try to write well–I just write anything that comes into my mind. I also pay attention to and record what my body is doing and feeling with that emotion.

          Often when we are writing an emotion in a story, we aren’t actually feeling that emotion ourselves. When that happens, our imagery can be something anyone would think of: hands shaking, eye widening, heart pounding, etc. Those have some meaning, but we read them so often they have lost most of their power. We want the reader to feel those emotions fresh, and this is the way I do that.

          For me, it’s generally just a page or two. But I often feel better for having gotten it out and onto the paper, and also, I have a page or two of raw, real emotions to use at some point in my writing. I put it away, and when I’m writing a scene where the character feels disappointed (or angry or hurt, etc), I pull out those pages and read through them.

          Sometimes I can use an exact thought or detail in the story I’m writing, and other times, reading through simply puts me in the right frame of mind.

          One of the challenges I have as a writer is that I don’t like conflict in my real life and I’ll avoid it at all costs! As a mom or a teacher, we’re often trying to keep everything *nice.* And that’s a good goal in real life, but in fiction, we need conflict and those more challenging emotions. It’s what keeps the reader reading and connects us with the characters. So when those hard scenes come up, I don’t always want to “go there” enough. Having those raw emotional writings to read through of those harder feelings helps me get there.

          Fiction is pretend, but it has to feel real. Adding in some real thoughts, feelings, moments, and things makes it feel that way.

          • Beth Ho
            Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            i so love this idea! thank you for sharing

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I’m shy, too, Mary, but that’s okay for now. Just take your time until you feel comfortable venturing out with your writing.

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Mary, glad you wrote a lot! And hope at some point you’ll feel brave enough to share. It’s amazing how supportive most writers are. My other job is being a lawyer. Lawyers, not so much. But writers, AH, supportive! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      That’s okay, Mary – share when you’re ready. We’ll be here!

  4. Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this opportunity. I have learned so much and I have stuck to my commitment to write every morning for at least fifteen minutes. I even found time to write more one afternoon. I have also received so much inspiration from the writing that has been shared. Thanks again!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Yeah…the thing about writing a little every day is that it makes you want to write a little MORE every day…and then a little more….

  5. Kristen
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for inspiring me to write.

  6. Catherine
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Even though this has been an incredibly hectic week at school because of end-of-the-year activities and responsibilities, I managed to get two posts up on my blog! If you take a close look at http://readingtothecore.wordpress.com you’ll see what an accomplishment this was! Thank you, Kate, for providing the push to make the time for that to happen. Although I didn’t post yesterday, I love the idea of a student walking into a library and have imagined a scene for a retelling of the story of Paolo and Francesca that I’ve been working on. More about that over the weekend. Thank you again, Kate, for the inspiration. Happy writing!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad you’re writing with us – and I loved your “Life’s Soundtrack” piece!

  7. Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I’m drinking in words this week –
    just filling up my glass with stories
    and poems and songs
    and pieces of narratives that swirl in my shot glass
    like icecubes.
    Happy hour is that precious time when the stories come alive again
    in this place where sharing is comfort,
    and connections are like friends who can carry you
    home.

    πŸ™‚
    Kevin

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      I am trying to decide if people who make me cry with their comments first thing in the morning should get cheered or thrown out. πŸ™‚ No…really, that’s a good thing – and this poem also made me smile. I’m glad this feels like such a good place for you. I’m enjoying the company, too!

    • Fran Haley
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Kevin’s poem: How beautiful.

    • Julie
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Beautiful poem!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Love this poem!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      joining the peanut gallery in Kevin’s Poem Love.

    • Carrie Johnson
      Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Amazing words. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Laura Matheny
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    What fun I’ve had writing this week! The students finished yesterday, and inservice is finished next Wednesday, and I look forward to writing MORE when it’s officially summer!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Happy almost-summer! I’m glad it’s been a good first week for you!

  9. Marcie Atkins
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    It’s been a hectic week, but I’ve managed to finish three dangling writing projects that I’ve been putting off for weeks. Now I can dust off the novels that need revising. Yeah!!!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Woo-hoo!!! (I’ll be revising with you next week – editorial notes on my summer 2013 mystery are supposed to be here today!)

  10. Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Well, first of all, don’t enter me in the raffle. I’m lucky enough to have my own beautifully autographed copy of Eye of the Storm already, and I want to share the wealth. I will say, however, if you haven’t read this book, that it is FUN. I’m currently reading it aloud to my 6th graders, and they are begging me not to stop each day. What is even more fun is that while we are reading and writing about it, they are studying tornadoes in science and plotting out storm data on line graphs in math, and the connections they are making are really exciting and crazy. It has brought the book to a whole new level for them!

    On a writing note…this camp unexpectedly inspired me in the middle of the night. I have taught at writing camps in the past, but it’s hard to get kids–even those who love writing–to sacrifice a week of their summer to sit and write. But what if I held a virtual writing camp like this? I know I have students who would be all over that. The wheels are turning…so excited for this.

    Thanks, Kate, for your continued inspiration and for giving us all a kick in the pants to bring writing back to the forefront–where we know it should be. I truly appreciate the recentering this is doing for me!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Angie, I would LOVE to see some of what your students are doing with EYE OF THE STORM – will you share or blog some photos of their work one of these days? And I think a virtual writing camp for kids would be brilliant, too. If I know you like I think I do, we’ll see that happening before long. Happy Friday!

      • Wendi Morton
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Angie, I’ve bookmarked you blog just in case you find time to post some of your Eye of the Storm activities. I’m particularly interested in seeing the math graphs and examples of the connection writing your students have done. (Wow, Kate, a read aloud that sixth graders don’t want to stop. That’s an accomplishment!) Thanks to both of you for the inspiration.

  11. Danielle Dailey
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you for encouraging us to flex our “writing muscles!” i have enjoyed challenging myself this week.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the challenge – it’s been an absolute joy to hear and see what everyone’s writing!

  12. Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I have loved this first week of writing camp. Considering its the last week of school, I’m proud I wrote once. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into more. Connecting with other teacher writers out there has been quite an inspiration. This can only get better. Thank you for the opportunity!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Thanks for being part of the community!

  13. Andrea Payan
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    This week was the first step in establishing a more structured time for writing in my life. I am still in school but managed to set aside writing time. I enjoyed the quick writes this week and am excited to see how my writing voice develops over the summer.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      We’re excited to hear your voice, too!

  14. Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    This week has been humbling and inspiring all tangled up together! I am having a great time making new connections and I am really thinking about reading and writing in different ways. Thank you to everyone!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Your comment made me think – most of my experiences with other writers are both humbling and inspiring. I think that’s a good thing, and I’m glad you’re with us!

      • Gae Polisner
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        humbling and inspiring, yep!

  15. Maria Selke (@mselke
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Seeing as how I’ve started my “virtual cart” and Eye of the Storm is in it – I’d love to win a copy!

    I was still at work this week (and I have a teacher day on Monday) but I still was pleased with the writing I got done. Only a bit of my WIP (a short story) but I also wrote a letter for my students, lots of feedback on a student’s story, several posts for my blog… I’m building the writing habit and my muscles are starting to strengthen.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Hurray! That’s a great writing week!

  16. Sherry
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    How fun this week has been! I can’t believe I’m actually writing little creative snippets! Thank you Kate for leading us in this wonderful adventure!

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

      I’m so glad you’re writing with us (and having fun!)

  17. Gail Stevens
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Kate, for the inspiration to write more this summer. Hope to expand my writing territories this summer!

  18. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I just want to extend a HUGE thank-you to you, Kate, as well as all the wonderful authors who took the time to guide writers this week. Such generous efforts!

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

      You are very welcome – I’m glad you’re all here!

  19. Fran Haley
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The “favorite place” exercise was a magnificent means of showing how writing is experiencing life more fully, more deeply, expanding every parameter, then using a magnifying glass to examine every fiber in the fabric and how it all connects. I love the surprises that come from this. Thank you for such a powerful and encouraging venue.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      I’m glad that prompt worked so well for you – I love the surprises, too!

  20. Krista Dendinger
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I would definately say I am a shy writer. I am using this to try to come out of my shell. I did mostly private writing this week but did post yesterday. I was very encouraged by the feedback. I am very grateful for all the people who are giving feedback. It really made me realize how important positive feedback is with my students. Thanks so much for this opportunity! I know I will be growing as a writer and as a result, my students will also.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      I thought that might happen, just as it happens in the classroom – once our students see an environment is safe, they feel a little braver, too. Thanks for sharing this, Krista!

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

        Having a safe environment in which to write is huge! Sometimes kids are so worried about making mistakes that the never get started…and so if they know it is safe, they are more likely to take risks.

  21. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    This week I have done more reading than writing. I am enjoying everyone’s entries and gleaning ideas and inspiration. Maybe I need to write first then read the other entries. I did that on Tuesday, but on Thursday, I didn’t really like what I wrote, so I just read and didn’t post my own. I guess that’s allowed. In my classroom, I like to build a safe place for students to share, but I always leave it as an option.
    The Q and A was very helpful advice to me as well. I feel like I am in this huge writing group. We are all so different yet we are the same, teachers who write. Thanks for this opportunity.

    • Aimee Bartis
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      I know how you feel. I read first Tuesday and almost didn’t post. I didn’t feel my writing was good enough. But I went for it and received some nice feedback. It was lovely!
      Feel safe but push yourself to your limits. I think you’ll be happy you did!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      “In my classroom, I like to build a safe place for students to share, but I always leave it as an option.”

      I did this when I was teaching, too – I think it reduces anxiety and I hope that policy here (yes, it’s always fine to share…or not) will have the same effect. I’m glad you’re writing with us!

  22. Mike Landroche
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks for giving so much of your time this week to encourage those of us who need encouragement, or who thought we did. I’ve loved reading others’ stories and poetry.

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

      Me too. You are all really a gift.

  23. Aimee Bartis
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I had/am having some technical difficulties late in the week but I did do some writing this week. I enjoyed writing and reading other’s writing. I’m working on not comparing myself to others. I want to be thrilled by y’all’s writing and proud of my own.
    I’m excited to be back in the saddle!!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      That “not comparing myself to others” thing is a lifelong skill when it comes to writing, Aimee – it’s something I struggle with, too. It’s important to remember that our voices are unique, so that comparing isn’t really productive. I’m glad you’re back in the saddle, too!

  24. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Wow! This has been a great week of writing for me. Even though I didn’t always leave my comments on the day they were due, I did make sure I went back and met my goal for that day. The hardest piece so far was yesterday’s writing prompt about the lunchtime library situation. I don’t write fiction because I don’t think I’d be good at it, and because my goal as a writer is to publish what I write, in some shape or fashion. Since I don’t aspire to publish fiction, I don’t tend to write it. Maybe that’s a mistake. I don’t know. I have to admit that even though I don’t think I wrote a great piece for yesterday I really enjoyed thinking about it and writing it. That was worth the effort. Thanks for the challenges!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I’m glad you tried it even though fiction isn’t your thing – we ask our students to try new things all the time, even when they think they don’t want to, so maybe just that experience will be helpful!

      • Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Agreed; the experience of trying fiction has opened my eyes to new possibilities that I thought were just beyond my reach as a writer. Yes, we ask our students to try different kinds of writing. As Katie Wood Ray is wont to say: we should try everything that we ask our students to do, at least once. I have been thinking a lot about the library piece I wrote this morning. In fact, I’ve been thinking about where to go with it next. This isn’t like me. I think I’ve found a new interest as a writer. If I hadn’t taken the invitation to write this, and I was tempted not to, I would not have made this discovery about myself. Wow!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      I don’t write fiction either, Elisa. And while I agree with what Kate said about trying new things, I also think its okay to acknowledge where your strengths and your passions are. For me, that’s in the world of nonfiction. That can feel a wee bit lonely sometimes–like this week!–but the truth is that the tools we use as storytellers, whether our stories are made up or true, are the same.

      • Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Hi Loree,
        Thanks for the validation. I’m glad I tried out this writing prompt even though I was tempted not to. It may not be my forte and it doesn’t mean that now I’m going to go full force with fiction. However, I like that I can try it and enjoy it, at the same time. I’m an avid reader of novels, as I’m sure are many if not all of the participants in this summer camp, and I read with a writer’s eye, marvelling at how particular authors expertly weave the reader into the story. I often think: I wish I could do that. Now, maybe I can play at fiction writing and enjoy it for myself and maybe share it here and there. Make sense?

  25. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    It’s been a terrific start, Kate. Thank you! I’m still playing catch up, but today is my final day of school. Sad but happy all at the same time!

  26. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Love seeing everyone wanting to learn. Teachers are the best! Wrote on Tues. Grandchildren filled the day on Thursday. Will try to catch up this weekend.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Catch up…or not – grandchildren are more important than writing, after all. But I’m glad you’re here with us!

  27. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I wrote every day this week, despite pressing family concerns. Writing is therapy, and it’s cheaper than a shrink.

  28. Sonja Schulz
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I am so enjoying this writing camp! My goal was to write EVERY day to create that habit—and am feeling so proud of myself! I can’t thank you enough for hosting this—-you rock!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Hurray! Congratulations on meeting your goal. You rock, too!

  29. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I’ve taught AP Language & Comp for the past four years, and I’ve assigned my student to write a lot. In the process of all that assigning, I knew I needed to model if I had any chance at all of becoming a good writing teacher. That’s when I created a blog. Then I got my students to create their own blogs– to use as online portfolios of their work, with a hope of getting them to build a readership other than me. My love of language grew, but the time I had to write was minimal with all that reading of student work, among other teacher and life duties. I’d make the time every once in a while to write a snippet I could use as a mentor text, or to write a quick pedagogy piece, but I’d forgotten the WORK it takes to write. The taunting of the blank page, the words that pour out different than the thinking, the reading and re-reading just to get the sound right. And the revisions. Tortuous revisions. This week, in virtual writing camp, has been a beautiful hardship. I am humbled and renewed as a writer and as a teacher of writing.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Your comment means a lot to me – and I love the phrase “beautiful hardship.” Writing is so often that way for me, too.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      The “beautiful hardship” term is comforting. I always feel like I should be having fun when I’m creating, but it is hard, too!!

  30. Julie
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I have so enjoyed this week! It’s been really busy, but checking in here has definitely been a bright spot. Thanks for creating it!

  31. Cindy Hundley
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I think by participating in this camp and the different writing activities, it is making me understand better how my students must feel during writing time. Some are so excited and can’t wait while others are terrified of what to write! I think I’ll be a better writing teacher because of this experience and opportunity. Thanks!! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      You’re welcome, Cindy! I’m glad it’s helping you empathize with your students, too.

  32. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Loving the challenge to write every day, although my word count is low, I’ve liked what I’ve done so far.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I’m glad you’re having fun!

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

    I have written three days this week. Yesterday I actually went to a coffee shop and sat quietly for a little while, just to hear the writer’s voice in my head. Not sure what I will do with the character that came to visit me but…

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Carol, I liked the image that came to mind of you sitting quietly. It seems like there is so much that can be beneficial to a writing life.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Coffee shops have a kind of magic, don’t they? Somehow, amid all that hustle and bustle, I get some of my best ideas. Glad you’re having a good start to camp!

  34. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I am wrapping up (and packing up for a move to another school) this week but have been squeezing in writing. It has felt great to just try! Thank you!

    What I’ve learned so far about myself? I may need to build my writing stamina. I am glad these have been quick writes because I don’t think I’d be able to continue writing about the same topic for too long. This is a good reminder for me with students. They may need to shift often to various projects throughout a writing time. They may need a lot of time to just think before the pen hits the paper.

    I’ve also learned this week (and during the Slice of Life Challenge) that I tend to write very short pieces and stick to reality. Fiction does not come easily to me. Any strategies/tips to help shift into fiction or move a nonfiction piece to fiction to begin to play that way?

    Kate: I won a copy of Marty McGuire Digs Worms from you a few months ago, read it, and lent it to a second grade teacher. She has read both Marty books to her class in the past few months (just finished the 2nd one on our last day yesterday) and the kids loved them!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Dana,

      Compared to reading, I definitely need to build my writing stamina as well. When it is something like an academic paper, I am fine, but I also need more exploring/experimenting with shifting from reality to fiction. It will be interesting to see what we both learn along the way, including learning from each other stretching ourselves as writers.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Oh, thanks for the kind words about Marty McGuire! And thanks for being here with us – I’m glad you’re learning so much about yourself as a writer and teacher!

  35. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    This was such a great idea and has been pushing me to write each day. I am thankful that you and those who are collaborating with you are providing us this opportunity.

    I am excited that you have two new books coming out this fall. I just heard about them both in the last couple of weeks for the first time. Congratulations!

    Yesterday I linked to my post about what I have been learning so far, but it actually fits better with the discussion today: http://www.snapshotsofmrsv.blogspot.com/2012/06/teachers-write-reflections-so-far.html

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I just realized that Eye of the Storm is already out and the other is coming out in July. I’m not sure why I was thinking they were fall releases! I look forward to reading them.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing your reflections, Mrs. V! I’m glad you’re enjoying camp so far, and thanks for the enthusiasm on my new/upcoming books!

  36. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I love that you are doing this, Kate! It is so generous of you and all your guest authors. It’s been really helpful in getting me back in the writing mode! Thanks a million!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      So glad you’re back in writing mode!

  37. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Yay for week 1! I have tweeted, facebooked, and told all my teacher friends about Teachers Write. I hope they join in! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I think they are listening to you! (I get new requests every day!)

  38. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    This writing camp has been my first try as a “writer” apart from blogging. It’s thrilling and intimidating at the same time. Many thanks to you, Kate, for opening up your time and talent to this budding community of writers and giving us a safe place to share writing!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad it feels like that safe place for you – that was the whole idea. Thanks!

  39. Jessie Trotter
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Enjoying writing on my blog each morning. Feels good to stretch those muscles again. Thanks for this challenge.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Happy you’re writing with us, Jessie!

  40. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I love camp! I’m off to a rocky start because I spent most of my time this week doing gradebook stuff for school, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it! Thanks for being awesome!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Camp is totally supposed to be at your own pace, and whenever your school year eases up to give you time. I’m glad you’re here!

  41. Paul W. Hankins
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Personal writing is behind the scenes right now. I haven’t really shared out this week, except for the parody I wrote for John Schu (Mr. Schu Reads). I’ve been writing up a storm, however, in book reviews and blog posts which is starting to serve as a sort of “wake up call” that most of my writing is about other people’s writing. I think to myself that this is a being a kind of resource, but I’ll never really keep up with all of the sharing out that I would like to do. And other writing projects sit patiently by waiting for me to return as I finish reading another book. We’re working on this. . .

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      You are a HUGE resource, Paul – but I do understand your struggle to balance different kinds of writing. It’s something I think about a lot with my novel revisions, picture books, the blogging that I like to do, and (now!) Teachers Write, too. I think I’ll be working on that balance piece for a long time!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      It’s so hard to juggle it all, Paul, but I know I am one who cant wait to read the words you write about or for YOUR stories in addition to the words you write about others’. The little bits I’ve seen have been tremendous, so I hope this summer will bring you more time to write for YOURSELF. I know when you try to pull back, those of us who adore you as a resource buck at this big time. Because we’ll miss that side of you. But we understand too — and will be happy to see you take that time for your writing.

  42. Mary Meihaus
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I have looked forward to writing every day this week and I KNOW I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for “writing camp”. Thanks for the motivation!! Thanks for helping me make the big leap into going public with my writing – it is scary,and we ask kids to do it all the time as if it’s nothing. My goal for next week is to comment more, giving feedback to other writers in the camp.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Hurray! So glad you’ve had a good Week One!

  43. Carol
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I’ve got pages of snippets I started this week and a made plans for my class next year. It’s always good to put ones self in the students shoes!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Carol – and snippets are a great start!

  44. Wendi Morton
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Can’t thank you enough for hosting this writing camp. I have a long dead writing project that is taking flight again. Visiting camp is my new favorite way to start the day. Thanks also to all of the other incredibly talented authors who have taken the time to add to the experience.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Here’s to old projects flying again!

  45. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    School gets out today, so this has been a crazy, exhausting week, but I DID write. Monday, I made a plan; I followed the Tuesday prompt; I wrote down the Thursday prompt to dive into when I can catch my breath this weekend. Here are two best things, though: I have started to carry my notebook with me everywhere I go again, and last night I wrote and posted a new book review just because I felt the need to write about(someone else’s) good descriptive writing in celebration of what we’re doing at Camp. So, thanks again, Kate, and all the amazing authors you’ve gathered for this adventure. I look forward to getting to drink more lemonade next week!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      You are so very welcome – I’m glad you’re here!

  46. Brian
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    On unprompted writing days this week, I’ve ended up with what amounts to an impromptu journal. Today’s entry described the sneaky benefits of pursuing individual endeavors within a larger group, and I drew parallels between Teachers Write! and a trail-running group I recently started. Thanks, Kate, and to the hundreds of others in this burgeoning community for all your efforts, and the resulting benign, benevolent, and irresistible peer pressure.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Did you know that Franki Sibberson has been blogging about running and reading? I do think there are parallels between creative work and exercise.

      • Brian
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the pointer. I checked out Franki’s blog(s), and I’ll chime in there as appropriate.

      • Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        I can’t help but notice how many writers and artists of all kinds also run. It is mind-clearing and energizing, and I love that two disciplines can move side by side, both freeing and hard work at the same time! My first inspirational read on this subject was What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami. He started running to take breaks while writing and ended up doing ultra-marathons. No ultras for me, but his thought process and growth have stuck with me.

        • Brian
          Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I did read and enjoy Murakami’s memoir, marveling at the running/writing connections throughout. Two others to add to this one on our nascent running/writing book list: _Born to Run_ by Chris McDougall immerses readers into the world of quirky ultrarunners and _Catalyst_ by Laurie Halse Anderson, YA fiction with a runner as main character.

  47. Holly Mueller
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I notice that I stall a lot before I write, as opposed to reading. Ha. But once I start, I can keep going. It’s just the starting that’s difficult!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Holly,

      Getting started is the HARDEST part for all writers. It’s like you’re at the foot of a high, sheer rock face, and it would be so much easier to put your gear down and walk away. But one step at a time, and you find yourself accomplishing heights that send waves of satisfaction and joy through every fiber of your being.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      For what it’s worth, starting is always the hardest part for me, too. I’m glad you’re writing with us!

  48. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I stumbled upon this through Twitter, and I’m so glad. For a while, I’ve been operating in a bubble, trying to write and get my MS agented alone. I had no idea that writers were out there offering so much help! I’m discovering this through agent contests on writers’ blogs, through Twitter, and now through this opportunity. What a great amount of time, Kate, you dedicate not only to developing the ideas for this program but to commenting on all the posts. I am so appreciative of your efforts to help other writers. It’s awesome. (In both the “awe” sense and the totally 80s sense.) Thank you!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I love Twitter..I have learned so much being connected to so many others!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Amen, Leslie. Kate is amazing me. It’s impressive.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Well, truth be told, I’m about to get a big, fat editorial letter in my in-box (before midnight tonight, I’ve been told) so I’m trying to comment as much as I can before I get locked in my writing room for a while to revise. I’m glad you’re having fun here!

  49. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I wrote a ton this week and suddenly a chapter book I’ve been thinking about for 4 years popped out of me. In addition, a writer contacted me after she read some of my posted work and offered to mentor me to help finish the book. I owe it all to how organized and flexible this Writing Camp has been. Thank you, thank you.

  50. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Kate, thank you so, so much for doing this for the teaching/writing/librarian community! This has been wonderful; reading others’ ideas and writing pieces is inspirational and makes me want to work harder on my own writing. πŸ™‚ I’m in awe of your beginning this during such a busy week for you — with BEA appearances and your daughter’s field trip — we all owe you a debt of gratitude! Mahalo nui loa for all you do!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Thank YOU for all the time you’re spending giving feedback and encouragement, Margo – I really can’t do this alone, and I so appreciate knowing you’re here.

  51. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I am delighted by my newfound enthusiasm each morning to write, despite my “last week of school” delirious state! I have enjoyed the discussion in the comments, and just reading them has given me so much insight and inspiration to continue to write. It’s the first time, besides a writing workshop quite a few years back, that I have really shared my writing and felt safe and open. Even though I have had a teacher resource book published, writing and channeling the voice of a character is a totally different expression of vulnerability. I feel a release each time I let one of them speak..so cool!
    Thank you so much Kate, and all who are participating. What a gift this time with you is.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Joan – I’m learning here, too!

  52. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    TeachersWrite is the perfect venue for me right now. I am just starting a new teaching position and also doing a summer institute that focuses on writing. Have you heard of the Write to Learn Conference? It was held this last March at Tan-Tar-A Missouri, writers from all over the country were presenting workshops. It changed my life. Learning and writing has taken over. Thank you so much for doing this. There is a piece I wrote, but I am not ready to share yet, maybe by the end of #TeachersWrite.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Good Luck on your new teaching gig. I hope it’s pretty exciting and the writing conference you are part of looks interesting. I think there is a need for quality writing conferences. I took a writing course for my reading endorsement but wasn’t impressed with the course at all. I did more of my own learning about writing on my own.

      • Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        I clicked on your name and went to a blog then left a comment there. This summer’s writing institute is part of the National Writing Project, our region in Missouri is the Ozarks Writing Project. Have you checked out your states NWP regions?

        • Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

          I need to look, I haven’t heard of any in the Southern Utah area…maybe in the Vegas area???

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you’re having fun at camp! And I hope you decide to share what you’ve written, whenever you’re ready.

  53. Heidi S.
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I just want to say thank you, Kate. I can imagine that this project is a lot of work for you, but it has been a wonderful first week. I think the best thing that came out of this week for me was being able to join in a community of writers/writing teachers. Every year, I strive to make my classroom a safe community where we all work together to help everyone be their best. After getting to experience that myself this week, I am even more convinced of the importance of the classroom community.

    I also want to thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone by sharing my writing. It was definitely a humbling experience to read all that wonderful writing and try to fight the fear of posting my feeble attempts after reading other posts. This year I had my 5th graders fill out an end of the year survey on writing workshop, hoping for feedback about their experience. The common response that came back was how much they loved to share their writing, how proud that made them feel. As a more private person myself, I couldn’t believe that was their favorite part. Now, however, I can see more where they are coming from. It’s an accomplishment just to say I actually shared my writing with somebody else.

    So, thank you!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for letting me know all this – it’s amazing to hear how everyone’s responding to this experience and what you’re taking away from it.

  54. Gloria Dahle
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I actually wrote this week and I am not much of a writer. It is a little intimidating reading all the wonderful posts. However, you have to start somewhere. Thank you for this opportunity.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Just so you know, those of us who write books for a living feel this way, too, when we read our colleagues’ books. It’s okay to admire other people’s writing – great, in fact – as long as you realize that your own voice is unique and important, too. I’m glad you’re here.

  55. Deb
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I just found out about this amazing blog from a writer on NESCBWI and I am psyched! Today’s my big writing day (I teacher M-TH) – so far this is how I have made time. Fridays are sacred to me and I don’t plan anything else but writing from 9am-5pm. After reading about your other suggestions for making time, I feel a sigh of relief! I’ve been thinking an hour a day and haven’t been able to figure out what to cut out (not work, not time with my family, not exercise) – but with “permission” to make it 15 minutes instead of an hour I going to do my best to etch it in stone. Thanks for that advice! This week I’ve been revising a lot – I found myself getting distracted by doing that on the computer all the time (oh how easy it is to check email every 30 minutes). So I sat down with good old fashioned paper and pencil and did my revising that way – I was so much more productive! Thanks for this site, Kate.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I do a good bit of my revising with pen and paper (and Post-It notes!) too.

  56. Deb
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the typos on my last post! I think I was overly excited to comment. Really, I do know how to spell and use grammar correctly. πŸ˜‰

  57. Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I have learned a lot about myself as a writer this week. I am anxious to see where the next few weeks lead me. I teach first grade and love it, but this week has made me think some day I might enjoy teaching “more advanced” kiddos. Thank you for doing this, I am in awe of your level of commitment.
    Tammy

    First Grade @ Klinger Cafe
    dtklinger@gmail.com

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Tammy! I’m glad you’re writing with us!

  58. Laura Straus
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Kate, guest authors, and campers! I’ve done a lot of satisfying writing this week, though I haven’t posted anything yet. I’ve been inspired by the posts and comments of others, too. Isn’t it heart-warming to see how many people have managed to show up and write, each day, even in the midst of frantically busy and demanding lives? I’ve learned so much this week. I’m beginning to see how to participate in the world of writing, tweeting, and posting online. I hope to start a blog very soon.

    And I really hope that I’m the lucky winner of _Eye of the Storm_!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      It is awesome to see all the writing happening, Laura – I agree!

  59. Nanette
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Thank you Kate for organizing this. I feel somewhat out of place here. I teach high school physics and everyone looks at me kind of weird when I say I’m writing a book. Especially when I tell them it’s NOT about science and it’s not about school. (It’s a fantasy novel) I did keep my students updated on my progress. I figured the more people who knew about it, the more likely I’d be to finish.

    Here is a quick funny. One of my students was hypnotized during the after prom party. She was asked what would you do if you won 5 million dollars. She said she would publish my book.

    Nanette

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Awwww…what a great student! She must think highly of you. πŸ™‚

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I LOVE this story, Nanette. Don’t lose track of that student. I think that’s a binding contract! πŸ˜‰

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Do you know how powerful it is that you’re NOT an English teacher but you talk with your students about your writing? That’s huge. And also, I love your story about the student at prom!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Science teacher who writes fantasy = the coolest one here. Love it!

  60. Joanne Toft
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    YES, I wrote this week and became very brave and posted it yesterday. I have loved this week of reading other peoples writing, thinking about books and snooping on new authors web sites and writing myself ( even through we were still in school). It is an amazing virtual world we live in. Thank you so much for setting this up, for commenting on so much of the writing. I am thrilled at the number of people who do and want to write with and for young people. Today I wonder about how to get students on this type of virtual writing path. I think they would find it exciting and motivating to have authors respond to their work. I am giving that some thought today as I return to grant writing. Thanks again.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Yay for newfound bravery!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      You’re the second person who’s wondered about something like this with students. I think it could work, especially on a more local scale.

  61. Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks for an awesome first week! I’ve loved being able to see what everyone else is working on, and I’ve found myself writing much more than I would had I been going at it without this amazing community. That writing bug is contagious!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      So glad you’ve been inspired!

  62. lillian
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I wrote some this week, but not what I’d planned to write. We had to put one of our dogs to sleep early Sunday morning, so the writing I’ve done this week has been my way of working through my sadness over that. It has reminded me once more that writing can take so many forms and can help us in so many ways.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I am so sorry about your dog – glad that writing is helping.

  63. Jamey
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Been a good start, the workshop gives me a chance to be creative.

  64. Patsy Williams
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    We have some outstanding writers at this camp. My writing is so elementary and even though I’ve posted each day, I know I am well out of my league.

    I have trained in the Simple Six and in turned trained teachers at our grade school. We have been using this program for over two years. I would like to step it up a level next year.

    I am gleaning much from this camp and I appreciate it. Looking forward to next week!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      You are not out of your league – because this “league” is a community of teachers and librarians who care about writing and want to practice and explore. I’m happy you’re a part of it!

  65. Amy B
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Thank you for doing this! I am writing in a journal, and have loved it! I have not shared my work, but I have been so inspired by this. I am going to have to keep a separate notebook for ideas for my class!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      So happy you’re writing with us! Share when and if you’re ready – and I love your idea of a separate notebook for your class ideas!

  66. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I was nervous to begin this camp and really had to work up the courage to post my quick write yesterday. Everyone’s writing is wonderful so I felt like mine wouldn’t measure up. I finally stopped reading everyone else’s long enough to post mine and I was grateful that you and Margo took the time to comment on it. It really boosted my confidence and I suppose I had forgotten what it feels like to be a student. I think this experience will help me understand what our students go through as well. Thank you so much!

    • Jan Hamilton
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right. I need to remember that some of my students may be scared to death to put any of their thoughts on paper. It isn’t as easy as I have always assumed it was.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      I am so happy that this is turning into that “safe place” for writing that I hoped it would be – and doubly glad that you decided to share!

  67. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I have accomplished more this week than I ever imagined that I would when I signed up (especially with the hustle and bustle of the last two weeks of school ahead of me). The positive energy is amazing and also motivating. The opportunity to share has been the most rewarding aspect of the first week. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing, but I have enjoyed reading others even more. Thank you very much!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for being here – I’m glad you’re writing with us, Andy!

  68. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Yay! This has been a great week. I have a different blog that I am using for my upcoming fifth graders this summer to keep in contact and to share books and writing. I told them that I am doing this Writing Summer Camp. I hope to write more this summer. One big obstacle is that I am moving. My wife and I bought our first house and we have found that it needs new paint on the inside…and it sits on an acre of land that had quite a few weeds. So, the next few days will be terminating weeds, painting, and moving. But, I will be doing some writing in between.

    Thanks Kate, Gae, and Jen. This is pretty awesome!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      John, if you write (in your head) while you weed, the weeding will go so much faster! Congrats on the house! You’ll do what you can do. A new house might inspire tons of ideas and creativity. πŸ˜‰

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Journals still work, even when they’re splattered with a little paint. Good luck with all your projects!

  69. Joanne Toft
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Kate – I was suppose to be writing a grant this morning on arts integration with visual art, writing and science and some how came back to thinking of your new release – The Eye of the Storm. What a perfect fit for my work this next year. I will be teaching 4th and 5th grade literacy and science. For me that also means integration the arts into this work ( observational drawing). I would love to hear about any good resources you might have used as you wrote this book. It will be a great story for our class to read in winter when it is released. How perfect can that be! Excited to read it with students.

  70. Jan Hamilton
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Kate, this has been such a good experience. I look forward to next week.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m excited for next week, too!

  71. Tracey Shuckhart
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The first week of writing camp has been a great experience! πŸ™‚

  72. Diana Pierce
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    This has been a great kick-off week. I haven’t been as active as I would have liked since I’m still working, but one more week and then I’m off for a few weeks! Should be able to participate more then.
    Thanks for putting this together!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      That’s okay… we’ll be here!

  73. Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Kate, Gae & other camp counselors/authors! I knew I’d be trying to start a daily writing habit this first week, but couldn’t have dreamed that my main character would reveal his name (finally) – looking forward to more stretching and working together!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Yay, to MC’s finding their names! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Hurray!!

  74. Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    What I’ve learned so far is trying to be better at writing with my senses, which is hard for me since I am used to just writing facts for articles. Here is a link to my attempt at Tuesday’s Quick Write. http://jessicawhitmore.com/blog/2012/06/06/teachers-write-describe-a-specific-place/

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I understand, Jessica – I was a journalist for seven years before I started teaching/writing fiction, and that facts-only writing habit takes a while to break. Your post made me hungry for asparagus!

  75. Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your work on Teachers Write.

    This last week has been filled with end of school year wrap up. I didn’t write any prose this week, but I was happy to start freewriting about an abandoned story I want to get going in. I made some progress on figuring out one of the story arcs and rearranging some events (This story started as a third person novella from one viewpoint. Now the hope is for it to be a first person novel from 3 viewpoints. One of the viewpoints was lacking in development as it brings in things not in the original). I need to find the fun of creating again and not get hung up on things not being ‘right’. Nothing will get anywhere if I just wait for right. I know it doesn’t have to be perfect in a first draft (and won’t be), but somehow knowing isn’t helping the practice right now.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      My books are never “right” the first few tries out of the box – it’s around the third or fourth draft that I start to like them.

  76. Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Kate and Gae and Jen and all the guest authors and fellow campers. I’m excited about the writing I’ve played with this week. The quick writes have given me an opportunity to play around with my Little Red Riding Hood novel without becoming overwhelmed by the fact I have run out of fairy tale and the story is nowhere near the end–and I have absolutely no idea where to go next. I hadn’t worked on it in over a year, so yesterday I sat down and read what I had written so far. As I read, I jotted down questions. There’s a lot about this story I haven’t discovered yet. I’m ready now for some serious brainstorming even though I’m slightly terrified that I am the one who gets to make the decisions about what kind of world this story takes place in.

    Now I want to find time to read and respond to some of the other writing out there. It is so hard to find the balance to do it all as I keep up with reading, blogging about what I read, online discussions, and providing taxi service for my daughter. Somewhere in there my family still expects to eat.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Families are so demanding that way, aren’t they?

      I’m glad you’re making some progress on your story – asking questions is a great way to get thinking in the right directions!

  77. Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This has been an incredible week for me! I overcame the fear of sharing my writing and thanks to the wonderful comments that I received, and reading the amazing quality of writing that I have been reading and commenting on, I am hooked! I love that I am doing more of something I love and growing personally and professionally!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Yay, Christy! It’s a win-win! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      This comment totally made my day. I’m glad you’ve had a great week here!

  78. Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    First and foremost, I know that they say the best form of teaching is modelling, and I frequently write in front of my students, but this, for some reason, seemed different. Perhaps it was because there is within a community of so many talented writers, and I felt somewhat inadequate or ill-prepared. But those feelings were good, as they put me in the role of my students, and how overwhelmed and unsure they must feel at times.

    Secondly, I realized that once you start writing, it never leaves your head!!! I had to have my notebook right with me at all times, because suddenly something would jump into my head, and I was scared I might forget it!

    I’m looking forward to more – thanks everyone.

    Nicole

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree that it never leaves your head. I continue to think about my little paragraph as I move through the day-how I can make it more descriptive and better words pop into (and out of) my head. Keeping paper close would be good.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      And make sure to keep a journal and pen next to the bed. Some of my best ideas/solutions to writing problems pop into my head right as I’m about to doze off, and if I don’t write them down then, they’re gone by morning. πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I have notebooks all over the house in addition to all my bags/backpacks!

  79. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    This has definitely been a great week. I have continued to write everyday on my memoir and worked on two assignments. Teachers Write has inspired me to write again.Thank you Kate and peers whose comments have helped me shape my thoughts.

    Usha

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you’re making such great progress, Usha!

  80. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What an AMAZING week!! I have added chapters and scenes to my YA WIP and have figured out some logistics this week as a result of the generosity of Kate and her crew. I am still astounded at this wonderful opportunity and grateful for this incredible writing community that has been created. AND I am very excited for my dear friend Sandy Frazer Foster who has made incredible progress on her YA WIP this week. Way to go Sandy!! Here’s to another incredible week of Teachers Write!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Micki, your comment just got me all hyped up and excited! Maybe it’s that you love exclamation marks as much as I do!! SO happy you and Sandy are making strides! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Writing buddies are the best, aren’t they?

  81. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I would like to thank everyone involved in Teachers Write for brining the awesomeness. Bravo!

    After a week of writing, I kind of think that I need one of these WIPs that everyone is always working on. I would really like to do a better job of working through the writing process by participating in Teachers Write, and I know that in order to do that I need to focus on something. The quick writes are great, but I think that I need to use them to help me with something I’m working on. Not sure if this makes sense.

    Have a great weekend, friends!

    • Gae Polisner
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Colby, I would be exactly like this, so it makes sense to me. Even if the exercises wouldnt end up part of the WIP but just a vehicle to explore a scene or character. I like to build a whole.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      We’re going to talk about generating project ideas a week from Monday, I think… (Monday is about outlines) That may help you decide if there’s something you really want to focus on as a WIP.

      • Colby Sharp
        Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Perfect:)

      • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        I like this idea too, plus hearing all the advice about outlines will also be a help. FYI-I posted early this am, & am loving all these comments & advice. It’s like a chapter in a book of good writing thoughts!

      • Posted June 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        As I read through the comments, I am finding common threads from many of us who are coming into this writing place. I too, began the week with nothing, and am feeling propelled into beginning to put something together for a WIP. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s assignment.

    • Ernie Cox
      Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Colby,
      This makes complete sense to me. I am pulling out paragraphs/scenes/ideas from a piece I started for NaNoWriMo and promptly abandoned in November. The quick writes are really helping me to improve ideas I have in this WIP.

      I have to make more time because I am several days behind the rest of the highly productive members of this camp! Hey at least I got that Tuesday quick write posted…..

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      agree!

  82. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I am so happy to have written three blog posts this week, thanks in part to Teachers Write. I really look forward to see the next posted “assignment.” This was a great idea! It’s making me think more about my writing, my words, and my reflective thoughts. Kudos!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      So glad you’ve had a good first week!

  83. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for doing this. I have needed this kind of motivation for a long time! I have also discovered things about myself, and I can work around those little foibles.

  84. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Spent an hour going through old files and came across the class I subbed in. I taught a class on genre fiction. Kids had to read a book in their favorite genre, then later give a book talk on it. The final piece was writing the hook and a couple of pages for a novel. They had to give me an outline of the story and what they thought the end would be. The 10th and 9th graders were awesome.

    One student whose first language was Russian wrote a great Western a la Louis L’Amour. He was learning his English reading those novels and was right on in tone and grabbing me. I’ve saving that one.

  85. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Like Amy said, it is good to be reminded what a “beautiful hardship” writing can be. This week’s prompts have helped me to remember and to dare to write for me and my students. Thanks!
    Denise

  86. Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Kate,
    I can’t say thank you enough already for the way I am having to stretch myself here! I haven’t written creatively in years, and already this week I’ve written more than in forever, and I’ve shared it in a public forum – yikes! Definitely something I didn’t think I would be able to do any time soon. The feedback and sense of community is already very encouraging. Thanks again!

    Sasha

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad you’re here…and having fun!

  87. NÚRIA
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I was a little scared at the beginning because it’s my first experience writing and I’ve enjoyed a lot and I really want to write, learn and share more!

    Have a nice weekend and I hope to have the chance to win one copy of EYE OF THE STORM

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad it’s been a good experience so far!

  88. Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for a great first week “at camp”!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      You’re welcome! You’ve all made it a fun place to be!

  89. Carol Owen
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I remembered on Tuesday (thanks to a comment Kate put on Goodreads) that the virtual writing camp was starting this week, so I went on and jumped into doing the quick write for the day. Well…it wasn’t exactly a quick write, I ended up staying up till almost midnight that night (on a school night!) I was so excited to be writing again. Actually, I had gone back through Monday’s offerings, too. I went through the National Writing Project this past summer, and thought I would do so much writing after it. NOT! My job changed and I was back to doing more teaching of reading and very little teaching of writing (I find I write more when I’m teaching it). So I was anxious to get back to the writing.
    Anyway, I anxiously checked on Wednesday to see if there were any posts to my story…and there were none. I was disappointed, but I had posted late, and there were LOTS of posts! So Thursday I intended to getting my writing done early, but that didn’t happen. Due to some storms my server was down and I couldn’t get to this site until evening again. I did the quick write and before I went to bed checked to see if there were responses. Hooray! There were! What an exhilarating feeling that was! To see two authors responding to my writing. What an experience. So, I say all that to say – this is such a great idea, Kate! I’m glad to be a part of it.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the kind words, Carol! I truly wish I had time to respond to every post, every day, but I know that’s impossible, so I’m settling for popping in every so often and hoping to hit everyone somewhere along the way.

  90. Ernie Cox
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I have done more writing and planning this week than in all of NaNoWriMo (still need to finish Thursday quick write). Thanks to you Kate for getting all of this underway!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Hurray!! (And stay tuned for Monday… We have a guest author visiting to talk all about outlining!)

  91. Ellen
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kate,
    I think this is a fantastic idea! I’ve signed up (a little late) and hoping to get in on all the great feedback, tips and topics. However…I’m having a difficult time navigating. I’m not sure where to look to find all the wonderful writing people are sharing. Am I missing something?
    Ellen
    P.S. I just signed up today

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Ellen – and welcome! Here’s where to go:

      http://www.katemessner.com/blog

      If you scroll down, you’ll see all the posts labeled “Teachers Write!” If you click on the title of the post, you’ll go to the page for just that particular entry, which will include all the comments people have left sharing writing, and you’ll have a chance to comment there, too.

  92. Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s been a hectic week, but the writing prompts helped me get unstuck on a couple of things on my longer manuscript. I’m having a lot of fun reading, writing, and lurking on this blog. Thanks for coming up with such a fun summer writing camp!

    Also, reading ‘Real Revision’ right now. It’s been very helpful. πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Glad you’re getting unstuck, Lauren! And thanks for the kind words about REAL REVISION.

  93. Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,

    I don’t see on Gae’s blog where we are to post our paragraphs. Can you help?

    Thanks once more for this fabulous summer camp!

  94. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Writing has been a challenge this week with it being the last week of school. I look forward to having time to write BEFORE midnight! I am also looking forward to building my own writing stamina…just like my students worked so hard to do this year!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m smiling…because while I was teaching, so much of my writing happened in that magical midnight hour.

  95. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I had to do some family traveling this week, so didn’t do any writing, but I am completely thrilled to see all this writing success!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Aren’t these people awesome?! I love everything they’re sharing!

  96. Jaana
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    This was definitely a challenge this week! School is almost out and some many things are happening. But it was also grounding to sit down and write! I was even able to share with my students one piece of my writing. Looking forward to more writing this summer!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      I nodded when I read the word “grounding.” Writing is that way for me, too – the thing that slows me down and reminds me who I am. Glad you enjoyed Week One!

  97. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    What a pleasure it was to join your movement for teachers this week, Ms. Messner! Reading the mission of this experiment reminded me of Katie Wood Ray’s book, Words You Know By Heart, and the voice of Nancie Atwell in my brain, exhorting us to write for ourselves! I’m among the masses of teachers who also write fiction, but find myself allowing myself the excuse that, “I don’t have time!”. While, in many ways that can be true, this was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back on track as a writer and a lover of the process of writing. This will definitely be a summer vacation I can share with my students when I return!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m smiling, imagining you telling your students all about your summer writing! So glad you decided to join us.

  98. Pat Thrailkill
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Only wrote on Tuesday this week, as it was last week of school, and crazy busy, but enjoyed the challenge. I didn’t think too much before about “posting” but after reading the wonderful responses I will be working even harder and thinking twice, no 3 times before I hit “post”. πŸ˜‰ Thanks again, Kate, for the opportunity to stretch our writing wings.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      I hope you won’t hesitate to post – we’re all friends here!

  99. Tricia Cook
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I am enjoying the writing camp. I haven’t posted anything yet but I am keeping a file on my computer. Thank you for this opportunity!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you’re writing with us, Tricia!

  100. Sue Maloney
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I wrote a little this weekβ€”more than I would have without the encouragement of this group.
    Thanks!

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad, Sue – thanks for joining us!

  101. Stacey Hicklin
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    It was great to write again–it felt good. Thanks for the encouragement and all the great teaching through the various day’s themes. I particularly learned a lot from everyone’s questions and answers.

    • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Stacey! I actually loved the Q and A day, too!

  102. Peg B
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I am proud of my week. As I consider the amount of writing I did (that I would not have done) because of camp… I am proud. I am looking forward to more writing moments in the next few weeks and more time for writing once school ends. Thank you to everyone for your inspiration and sharing your incredible talents.

  103. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    We’re still in school, but I’ve found time to get a few things down on paper (Thanks for Monday’s post). It has been great reading some of the comments this week (But not all of them! Holy cow!). Lots of great writers!

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      I know what you mean about the comments! I’ve been trying to read all & comment on some each day, but whew! Glad you’re here with us, Adam!

  104. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    I did it! I made it through the whole first week!!!!

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Woo-hoo!! Congratulations, Donna!

  105. Carol Ann Osler
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I promised myself that if I finished camp and did good that I would treat myself to a SCBWI memebership. And so far I’ve done okay….
    I have fun just reading all the wonderful stories from camp.There is some real talent, and some wonderful teachers.
    The libray quick write scared me to death! so this is all I could write. I have a teenage boy who is not the libray type, meeting a girl who is, he is talking to himself as he pretends to know what he is doing and where he is going….he’s lost, But he’s cools. He is pretending to study an important sign, he is nodding the sign reads GIRLS SOFTBALL TRYOUTS THURSDAY.
    I do this everytime I go somewhere for the first time. I try to pretend I know what i’m doing.

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

      Two things…

      1. I think an SCBWI membership is a great way to treat yourself for writing this summer!

      2. I love that you wrote something in response to the library prompt, even though it scared you. I doubly love that you were brave enough to share it here.

      3. I already like that kid reading the sign about softball tryouts.

      (Wait…that was three, wasn’t it?)

      • carol ann osler
        Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the wonderful encouragement! For taking the time to share with so many of YOUR campers.
        Hope you can find time for what you want to do too!

  106. Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I think I’m a little late to be posting today since I’m like 10 minutes away from midnight where I live, but this week has been fun. I’ve liked the prompts and just seeing the community of writers/teachers has been encouraging

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      You’re not too late – I’m glad you’re enjoying camp so far!

  107. Teri
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Hey, I’m hanging out here in the background. Doing some writing and sharing with a friend, colleague, fellow camper, and much more dedicated writer. Loving taking a few moments this summer to reconnect with why I do what I do.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Teri

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      I love that people are finding so many ways to share their writing, online and off. I’m glad you’re writing with us this summer, Teri!

  108. Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I am busy catching up, because I missed the first few days of camp! I am happy to say that I made a plan for writing this week and managed to get a blog post up, as well – that’s got to count for something. πŸ˜‰

    I am looking forward to sharing words with such a motivated and talented group of educators this summer. I can already tell this is going to be the highlight of my summer.

    Cheers,

    Haley

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Congratulations on making your writing plan!

  109. Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    It’s been a hard week to start writing with a seven hour drive on Wednesday, training Thursday through tomorrow morning, then seven hours home! πŸ™‚

    But yet, I did manage to blog a bit about this, so please, have a look!

    http://wp.me/p1Mpsc-99

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      You know, the “suggested topics” and quick-writes have one purpose, really, and that’s to help you get started writing. So if you read one and think, “Okay…but what I really want to write about is xyz…” then by all means, get moving on xyz and you can return to the original prompt another day if you ever need it.

  110. Laura Heitkamp
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I really loved the activity of using our senses to write. I think it was great to do this as a “before” and “after” piece to be able to compare. It really makes a difference, and it will be a great activity to try with my students!

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ve done this with kids, too – fun!

  111. A Shaw
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Book give away?!?

  112. Carrie Johnson
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I just learned about this camp through a Stenhouse Newslink I received last night. It’s disappointing to have missed the first week, but I’m pumped to join in next week. I can’t even describe how motivating it has been to read these posts. Writing has been living in my bucket list for too long. I just changed its address to my active list for permanent residence.

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Glad you found us – and you’re more than welcome to join now.

  113. Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    This week, I shared the virtual writing Camp with my students and actually had them try out the writing tips/strategies for this week during our mini lessons. I pulled up the writing tips on the blog onto the smartboard and we all wrote together using the tip. The kids enjoyed the tip of writing for 2 minutes about a setting using all the senses and said it helped them.
    Thank you Kate and to everyone for this exciting writing opportunity! πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      I should actually announce this on a blog post, but if there are prompts that you’d like to use with your students later on, just bookmark them – I’m going to leave the whole thing online so it’s available.

  114. Beth Ho
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I have loved this first week of writing. It has encouraged me to think and write everyday (well. Thursday and Friday I did not. But I had a reason that I am allowing myself as a reason, and it is a one-time “excuse”). And this has been a phenomenal experience in that it allowed me to flex my writing muscles again!

    I look forward to next week.

    Thank you πŸ™‚

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Hurray for flexed writing muscles!

  115. Posted June 9, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Kate,
    I only managed one of the writing prompts this week, partly because we still had school this week. One more day next week and then I’ll have more time. But I did make time to work on my WIP once or twice too. I forgot how much writing prompts get your juices flowing, especially about something unrelated to your project. And who knows how it can all knit together later…
    Thanks, Lisa

    • Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Lisa! I agree – so often when I’m at a writers’ conference, I’ll try out a prompt and think, “Oh, this is totally unrelated to my WIP but I’ll do it anyway…” only to find that it IS related to my WIP somehow. Always good to stir up ideas.

  116. Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Drowning in words! A good way to go. πŸ™‚

  117. Posted June 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m humbled and amazed at what you are doing here, Kate! I’m having trouble keeping up, between the day job and my own stuff, but am trying to get more engaged because I see the amazing things you’re doing and the inspiration you are to everyone here. I’m in awe of how you’re managing to keep up with BEA and all your own stuff!
    Big kudos to you!

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Joanne! I’ve been pre-scheduling the blog posts for when I know I’m going to be away and then checking in when I can. It’s been so much fun to see what great things everyone is writing!

  118. Posted June 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for taking this on and even more for going ahead with it when it grew more than you had imagined. You all are rock stars! I can tell I am learning because I have been uncomfortable more than a few times this week. As a teacher, this is a fantastic reminder that students who aren’t uncomfortable once in awhile may just be coasting. Also, that children may be avoiding the work, not because they are lazy, but because it is such a struggle sometimes. I am hoping to have more empathy and more tools for encouragement in the fall. You and your author team are great at encouragement. Thanks again!

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Crystal – Your comment is just what I hoped for – not that I want people to be uncomfortable, but that I’m glad you’re stretching to a place that’s letting you know this is new.

  119. Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Started the week off with a plan, but then the last week of school kinda got in the way of writing! I scribbled in my notebook a couple days, but was hoping to do more. We’ll see what the first week of summer brings!

    Thanks for the chance to win a book!

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Ah, the last week of school has a way of doing that. Don’t worry – we’ll be here when things are wrapped up!

  120. Meghan
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for inspiring me to write. This week I am learning to make time to write and to find a writing voice. I am determined to write for 15-20 minutes a day and the writing prompts have left me writing beyond my time limits. I am slowly getting comfortable to share my writing samples and hope to do so soon. I am finding that my writing samples keep returning to a certain time in my life. It is like I need to write about the experience in order to close the chapter and not look back. Thank you. Can’t wait till next week.

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      I love the way writing can show you what you need to be thinking about, or exploring, or healing. I’m glad it’s been a good week for you.

  121. MsJenx
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Please enter me into the raffle! I always seek ways to build my classroom library, which I am currently logging into http://classroom.booksource.com/. It is an awesome resource to use to allow your students to check out books.

    On the writing camp, I don’t mind expressing again how excited I am part of a community of writers I can depend on who will help me mature in my craft. I am also grateful to be able read other people’s work. I joined a Writer’s Alliance in my town and I am not always able to meet with them.

    What I would love for us to maintain this site. Mrs. Kate, you don’t have to post prompts because I know that it is exhausting. Nevertheless, I would just love to have a site or a resource where we can post our work and get feedback from it. The National Writing Project had an online anthology or something like that, but it only ran during the summer.

    It is just a thought.

    I know that I would like to have the same writer’s community for teenagers but I have to make sure that it is safe.

    • MsJenx
      Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      One thing that I forgot to mention is that this writer’s camp if forcing me to write. I make excuses, but I AM THANKFUL that I have no more excuses.

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      I am working out the details, but rest assured, I hear you. I already love this community, and it will not just go away in August. More later in the summer about what a school-year Teachers Write will look like!

      • MsJenx
        Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        AWESOME!

  122. Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I had no idea how much I needed to be in this kind of collaborative experience again. It’s like the first time you get back outdoors after too long inside. Looking forward to next week!

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Breath of fresh air… Learning from all of you has felt that way to me, too. Thanks, Gayle.

  123. Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I began the week strong, but had to step back on Thursday to get some school work done! I hope to work on Thursday’s quick-write tomorrow. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it all and can’t wait to devote more time to it as soon as my school year is finished.

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      That’s the thing about a virtual writing camp – the prompts are posted on a given day but available whenever you can meet them. Glad it’s working out for you!

  124. Nora
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick thanks for this camp — I actually wrote this week!

  125. Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    With summer vacation still two weeks away, I am soaking in all that’s happening in writing camp so far, but not actually doing much writing. Love everything about the writing camp. Thanks Kate! I am adding Eye of the Storm to be summer TBR pile. Cheers!

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      No worries – we’ll be here when school ends, and all the old prompts will remain, too.

  126. Erika Victor
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    We still have two weeks left in the school year, so I have not written much yet, but… I have bought a new writer’s notebook and made three entries so far, so I am going to count this as a successful week one. My class also was lucky enough to Skype with Kate this week and it was a great experience!

    • Posted June 10, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Erika! I loved Skyping with your students, too!

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

    Like several other campers, school is still in full gear for me with 14 days to go, so I haven’t written much (that’s if you don’t count report cards which can be considered very creative writing at times). I wrote on day one, read the assignments here each day, and I’ve tried to read as many comments as possible. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to day 15 when I’ll be able to jump in and start really writing.

  128. Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    We wrapped up the school year on Friday. Simultaneously writing and closing out my classroom was especially draining for me (physically and emotionally), so after two days “off the grid” I am rested and feeling full again. I’m looking forward to starting my first official day of summer tomorrow with #TeachersWrite!
    Thank you, Kate, Gae, and Jen for the support and framework to help all of us grow as writers and network in a safe writing community. I am thrilled be participating with all of these wonderful, creative, and gifted people.

  129. KristyDempsey
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I am a little late to the party because we still have another week of school. So even though I haven’t been participating and commenting daily, I’m checking in as much as possible. And I’m writing! Don’t include me in the drawing because EYE is already on its way to me. Looking forward to the rest of Writing Camp!

  130. Posted June 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    This weekend has been much busier than I expected, but I can NOT wait to get back into the chicken house, where my main character is currently touching, smelling, hearing… this is an expansion of a scene written some time ago; I’ll share when I’ve written it using the exercise from Tuesday. When I have trouble sleeping, I find that writing in my head actually calms the buzzing busy brain syndrome… and I’m using a notebook too, instead of (or before) a keyboard for my camp assignments.

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