So What?

When I start a new story or essay, I don’t necessarily know what the theme or focus of my story is.  I’m just responding to an idea and trying to develop it into a finished piece of writing. However, once I’m done with a first draft, the next thing I do is ask myself, “So […]

Read More

Energy Begets Energy

Energy begets energy.  –Dolly Parton   All I can say is, Dolly sure knew what she was talking about! I don’t know about you, but there are days, when I spend much more time avoiding writing than actually writing.  I want to write, maybe even need to write, but somehow can’t seem to get myself […]

Read More

Students Sharing Stories

“The shortest distance between two people is a story.” –Patti Digh. Before first period, Sandra told me about her funny cheerleading accident.  After second period, T.J. described a movie he saw over the weekend.  Trevor did too.  Kyle always has a story to tell me.  Sometimes it’s about his new kitten, sometimes about his little […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More