Sunday, June 3, 2012

You Should Write... TeachersWrite Intro


"You Should Write a Book" 

My life has run in cycles. I’ve always, deep down in my secret heart, been a writer. My early memories include happy days spent writing stories about alien encounters. I can still picture (though I’ve thankfully lost) a series of free verse poems written as odes to each of the planets. I would spend days creating meticulously detailed characters, knowing each one well enough that I could describe the cereals she would eat each morning and the type of clothes that hid in the back of a closet.  I dabbled with time machines and the Civil War in high school. Yes, that story is also lost to posterity. I remember giving myself shivers as I wrote the ending to that one, but I doubt it would fill me with glee today.

My writing life goes underground for long stretches at a time, but always resurfaces. The last time my Muse poked me was about twelve years ago, when I participated in my local branch of the National Writing Project and became a PAWLP fellow. I wrote a story about a girl and a dragon, and then proceeded to fill notebook with story ideas that I never completed. I remember the story being wonderful, but I buried it and now I’m afraid to exhume the body. 

Participating in the March Slice of Life challenge got me going again. I don’t get the chance to do very much direct writing instruction with my students, as my groups focus more on reading and math, but I realized that the way we teach writing in schools today takes almost all the passion out of it. I want the passion back, and I want to go through the full experience so I can share it with my students. April came along, and I played along with a poem a day. Now it’s time for the rubber to meet the road (pardon my horrific clichés) and I’m jumping into the #TeachersWrite summer virtual camp.

What will be the end result? Darned if I know. My plans include reopening my writer’s eye, and hopefully keeping it open this time. I WILL exhume that dragon story and see if I can decide what to do with it. I will finish the story that I’m currently writing, and write more than 200 words a week on the blasted thing. I will find that writer’s notebook I had twelve years ago and see if any of the story ideas I had back then will spark my interest today. Maybe I’ll even dabble in some realistic fiction, if I can tear myself away from aliens, time machines, and dragons. Or not. Only time will tell.

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