#OneLittleWord #SOL19


Happy New Year! The first day of the new year seems to be the perfect time to share my One Little Word (OLW) for 2019 and reflect on 2018’s word — write. (Click here to see a brief video of how a OLW can be a thread that weaves its way through life’s tapestry.)


Write I did! As much as I would have liked? No, but does anyone ever accomplish as much as they would hope? Enough to feel good about? Yes! A few highlights included:

  • keeping a daily writing notebook, special projects mini note books, and launching my first bullet journal specifically to capture and nurture ideas for future (or not!) use
  • participating in my first month-long February Daily Poem Project on Facebook, an ekphrastic poetry challenge spearheaded by author/poet Laura Shovan throughout the month
  • slicing daily in my second Slice of Life (SOL) Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog, writing 31 straight daily posts
  • writing alongside (albeit virtually) author/poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during her National Poetry Month Project in April, writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique discussed in her brilliant Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann, 2017)

That was three straight months of daily writing, creating, and publishing. By May, I was exhausted, but strangely energized, so I also:

Now onto 2019’s word!


2019 is going to be all about moving and moving forward, both body and mind. My husband and I have lots of fun walks and hikes planned, including a special trip in July. Santa brought us snowshoes, so we are just waiting for snow. And those InkJoy Gel pens (0.7mm, please) will keep moving forward, too, scribbling across notebook pages even more than in 2018. Promise!

Onto 2019! Let’s get a move on!


Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?


“Some may wonder why,” a golden shovel, and a challenge reminder #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone is our lovely hostess this week. I had the great good fortune to meet Molly IRL, as they say, a couple of weeks ago at Heinemann’s annual teacher tour in Portsmouth, NH. Molly and I have been chatting through comments here on PF, on our Tuesday Slices, and in the TeachWrite Facebook community for some time. It was fun to finally meet face to face, albeit for just a short time…this time!

Molly has been crafting the most gorgeous sonnet for some time now, and it’s finally ready for it’s debut. Don’t miss it! You’ll be swept away by The Solace of the Ocean.

One of my goals for the summer was to try different types of writing (tipping my hat to you, Jennifer Laffin!), including new poetry forms. A golden shovel was on my hit list — taking a line from someone else’s poem and then using each word in that line as the last word of each line of the new poem. But which poem to borrow a line from?

I’ve been talking a lot about notebooks this summer with the goddess of writing notebooks, Michelle Haseltine, the TeachWrite community, and on other social media venues, so notebooks it is! Who better to borrow from then Ralph Fletcher, one of the pied pipers of the students-using-writing-notebooks community. His poem, It’s a Place, was the perfect fit. (Click the link to read his original text.)

So here it is, my first golden shovel, borrowing from Ralph’s first line, “Why am I keeping this notebook.”

Some may wonder why (Golden Shovel)
Some may wonder why
But its who I am
Whiling away the hours, my pen and I
Words sounds, feelings, oddities, life, stored away for safe keeping
Ready and waiting for a time such as this
To be quarried like gemstones from my notebook

Poetry challenge reminder: I’m hosting Poetry Friday next week, on August 17. I threw a bird-related poem challenge out last week to anyone willing to fly along. Your poem can be about any bird you like, or birds in general. It can be in any form you like. Just wing it! If you are stumped, take a look at all the bird-related wonders on Wonderopolis.org. Choose one and create a “found” poem by highlighting key words, or why not try a “blackout poem,” crossing out/covering up unused words.


Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Trying Out Morning Pages #SOLC18

Many in our growing tribe of writers have referred to Morning Pages. This term was new for me, so I followed their lead, read Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, and here we go. This morning was my first morning to try the pages. I wrote all three longhand, as you do, and then, after reflecting on the process, decided to type, edit just a bit, and slice. You don’t usually share your Morning Pages, but I’m relatively new to writing daily and I think the process and journey are fascinating enough to share just this once. Please forgive me, purists. 


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I’m tired on this Saturday morning. It’s 7:00 AM and I’m just sitting down to begin my weekend routine. This is late for me because my husband and I were out later than usual last night at a celebration in the school district where I teach. We arrived home at 9:30 PM and were tucked in by 10:00 PM, but read until 10:30 PM. While in theory this isn’t THAT late, when you are used to getting home by 6:00 PM and having time to settle in and wind down after a long week, it’s late.

So here I sit on the blue couch in the living room next to my husband. He has already dived into his Saturday morning routine of reading and writing. He’s got a book, laptop, and a notepad all going at the same time. He’s writing a book in his spare (hah!) time, and today got started at 6:30 AM. That’s late for him. He is usually up and reading — just reading — by 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM at the latest, but he was a terrifically supportive husband and came to the school celebration with me last night. In the summer months, when the weather is warm, you can find him as early as 4:00 AM on the porch reading. He loves 4:00 AM, and was actually just telling the husband of a colleague we met at the party last night (who is also writing a book in his spare time) about the virtues of 4:00 AM. 3:00 AM is still nighttime, and 5:00 AM brings the sounds of the world beginning to get going — cars, trucks, etc. At 4:00 AM all you hear is the dawn chorus growing gradually and a few other nocturnal creatures stirring. I never join him at 4:00 AM, but occasionally at 5:00 AM, if we’ve had an early night. But it’s usually closer to 6:00 AM. I try to start with reading and then a bit of writing, usually with Teach Write’s wonderfully prompts that arrive dutifully in my email in-box every morning. I am trying very hard not to start with my laptop or tablet. I know there are emails in my in-box, blog posts to read and comment on, and social media feeds to scroll through — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and always in that order. It’s my routine and I’m not sure why I stick with that order, other than that’s the order in which they came into my life — email, then Facebook, then Twitter, and finally Instagram. I find if I start with technology-based activities, I easily fall down the internet’s seductive rabbit hole, and before I know it, the clock says I’ve run out of “me time” and I’ve got to get going with errands, chores, and life. So for now here I sit with notebook, pen, mug of coffee, and blank pages waiting to be filled.


This post is part of the annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge organized by Two Writing Teachers. Join us! It’s my second year of Slicing in the challenge. (If you want to take a peek at the Padlet of writing ideas I’ve created, I’m happy to share. Click here! It grows every day.)



Happy Writing Anniversary! #SOL18


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Exactly one year ago today — February 20, 2017 — my writing life changed. Began, actually. I wrote my first blog post here on Wondering and Wandering. (Click here to see!) I remember surfing the net during February vacation week and stumbling upon a blog post mentioning Two Writing Teachers’ annual Slice of Life Challenge. I had never heard of it before. I dug around a little bit, read a few posts about participating, and was convinced it was a challenge I’d like to take. It seemed like just the gentle nudge I’d been waiting for to get writing, something I had been wanting to do for quite some time. Writer’s Workshop has always been my most favorite part of the school day, and I thoroughly enjoy sitting and writing alongside my Kindergarten writers. They get a kick out of watching me, too! That cold February day I heard the rallying cry loud and clear — that writing teachers need to write — and off I went! I honestly thought I’d be lucky to make it through the month. After March perhaps I’d post from time to time.

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So here I am. Still a humble, little blog with just 100 posts (SOLC Tuesdays and Poetry Fridays), 43 followers, 1,350 visits, but readers from as far away as New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Now that’s exciting! I can’t wait to see where this journey will lead over the next month. The next year.  I’m writing each and every day in my notebook thanks to Teach Write’s #DWHabit and I’m filling up my Writing Ideas Padlet to help get me through March and beyond. Feel free to join me there! Take an idea. Add an idea. Thanks for stopping by.

How did your life as a teacher writer begin? I’d love to hear your story!


Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?