Using First Day Jitters to Teach Inferencing

  As an author, I find that mentor texts are one of the most powerful, and versatile, tools in my toolbox.  As a teacher, I used mentor texts to teach both reading strategies and writing skills.  So here is one way I helped students understand inferencing by using my book, First Day Jitters. Strategy: Students […]

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The Road to Inspiration

Sometimes writing is a lonely business.   Every day you and only you are faced with the decision to put your butt in the chair and get to work.  Therefore, one of your biggest assets as a writer is the ability to stay motivated, no matter how bad your writing project is going, no matter […]

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Getting Unstuck…One Solution

Getting stuck.  Here is what it looks like for me.  I have a great idea.  I get started.  My pen flies over the page.  My fingers fly over the keys.  Words pour out of me like rain.  I’m in the flow. And then, inevitably, eventually, somewhere along the line, I get stuck. The problem might […]

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I Love Revision!

I love to revise! No. Really. I do. For me, the knowledge that I can start with an okay story and gradually make it better,

and better,

and then better still…

….well, it’s a very freeing notion.

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Growing a Garden of Ideas

A gardener plants more flower seeds then he needs because he doesn’t know which ones will actually grow.  In the same way, as a writer, when you plant ideas in your journal, you can’t always predict which ones will blossom into a full grown story or essay or poem.  Writers often go back to the […]

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First Draft Know How

  So how do you go about writing a first draft anyway? I write fast and furious.  I don’t worry about conventions, or mechanics, or spelling, or coming up with beautiful language.  I don’t even worry about writing in chronological order.  My only concern is getting my ideas down on paper. If I am writing […]

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Nothing is Wasted…Luckily

Nothing is wasted.  –Richard Bausch,  Experienced writers know this.  How? From experience!  It isn’t necessarily an easy lesson, but it is an important one nonetheless.  Writer Richard Bausch explained once that the first thing he ever published was a short story.  Unfortunately, when he started writing it, he thought he was writing a novel.  And […]

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