My journey to shoot for the moon.

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Return of the Blogger

It’s funny how something that was so important can quickly become irrelevant.  Blogging was very important to me and it was there for me through some very difficult times in my life.  And, then it wasn’t. (more…)

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Writing, DCSD (Douglas County School District) and the Union

Writing is a habit. It takes a while to build the habit and it is easy to “miss” a day (just like exercise). I took a bit of a vacation from posting because I wanted to spend some more time writing and save some of my posts for when I didn’t have time to write.

I failed. Oh, I wrote, but not for my blog. There is a lot going on in our school district and I spent a great deal of time posting (anonymously). (more…)

6 Word Memoirs

Our school is working on improving writing scores on standardized tests.  I’ll be meeting with my Administrator to come up with a goal for my professional growth and student writing this week.  I did not get to purchase the writing program that I wanted to use with my students, but that is ok.  I did buy myself a book by Kelly Gallagher called Write Like This:  Teaching Real-World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts.  I stayed up way too late Saturday night reading it!  Yes, it was that good.  (more…)

Writing When Happy

A fellow blogger (thanks Maxi) recently posted some thoughts on writing.  She discovered some research that said that writing is easier when we aren’t happy.

I have a few thoughts on the matter, so I thought that I would blog about those thoughts rather than fill up her comment section.  You can read her blog, titled, Is it Harder to Write When Happy.

Many teenagers and young adults write poetry.  Is it because these years are tumultuous?  Do teenagers and young adults feel things more deeply?  Or do they think that they are the first ones to feel the way that they do?  Are writing and hormone levels related somehow?  Is that why I stopped writing poetry when I met and married Chris?  Or was it because I was happy and didn’t have as much to share?

Now, in my early 40’s I’ve started writing again.  Not poetry, but blogging.  Writing for me (not school work which I’ve done on and off for my entire life).  I’m not particularly sad (although there are some very sad things in my life), and not particularly happy.  Is the sadness the reason that I’ve started writing again?

I would claim no.  For example, I’ve written on different topics for the last 3 hours and I don’t feel sad.  Most of my writing over the last 3 hours  hasn’t been about the difficulties in my life.  Some of the writing has been about my daily experiences.  Some of it has been funny and some of it has been fairly mundane, but none of it sad.  And like I said, I’ve been writing for 3 hours.

Are my hormones going crazy?  I don’t think that is it either.  I think that good writers are inspired by events that are occurring around them and they go with it.  You can have writer’s block when you are sad and when you are happy.  I think that depending on your writing style you can find a lot to write about.  I don’t ever seem to be at a loss for a topic.  If I was, I would only have to turn on the TV or look on the web and I am sure that I would find a large number of topics.  Sometimes I read something in the newspaper, or on a news website that makes me angry or touches me and I feel inspired to write about it.  Sometimes it is the things that are happening in my life and sometimes what I write about is totally unrelated to anything.

Writing is a skill and it needs to be learned and practiced.  Some of us are born having good composition skills.  Some of us have to work very hard to write a paragraph that will be understood.  I think that those of us who have been born with this gift find that writing needs to be shared and that the amount of people that we can reach with the internet has made writing more fulfilling.  Personally, I am happier when people are reading what I write and commenting on it.  But, I would continue blogging even if no one were reading because it is an outlet for my creativity, emotions and my opinions.  It is my online diary – containing parts of myself that I don’t mind sharing with the world.  It is a place where I can laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously – which is something I need to do more frequently.

What do you think?

Reading and Writing: My Philosophy

BLOG WRITING

I would imagine that I write my blog quite differently than most people.  My blog writing is somewhat unorganized (like my thought process).

First, I have my blank blog forms with only titles.  These are things that I want to write about and a key phrase that will help me remember it when I get around to writing.  Right now I have 9 titles waiting for me in my draft folder.  A couple have been there since I started writing my blog.  The most recent one was from today.  At some point I’ll get around to writing about these topics, but until then, I want to remember what they are.

Next, I have my actual drafts or works in progress.  Right now, including this blog that I’m working on, I have 5 drafts in my folder.  These are postings that I’ve started and not finished because I’ve not had time or want to ponder.  Sometimes the subject matter is something that is more difficult to write about and will take me a few days, other times I  had a great idea that had to be written NOW, so I put the original writing away and come back to it.  Postings like my Musings are written over the course of several days, as I have ideas and get posted when I seem to have a decent amount.  Generally, I finish these within a few days of starting them.  Sometimes, they are still drafts because they need pictures and I haven’t gotten around to adding them.  To make it as WordPress’ Freshly Pressed and be a Featured Blog, you need pictures.  That is one of my goals for my blog, so, you will see some of my first blogs don’t have pictures, while later ones do.  Also, if you read something when I first posted it, it could have been picture-free and I added them later.

The final items in my folder are the ones that are complete and ready to be published.  They are all ready to go and I am just waiting to post them.  Currently there is 1 item in this folder waiting for me to post it.  However, since I’ve been jokingly accused of “over-blogging” I’ve cut myself back to one post a day – plus either a Job Search Update or an update on Chris’ cancer.  So, if I finish writing an entry for my blog, but have already posted one, I save it and post it a different day.

There is no special or right way to blog.  It is what works best for you.  This is working for me, for now and when it stops working, I will change it so that it will work.  I only wish that I had a computer blackboard, so I could write all my ideas down in one place and erase and cross out and change as I needed.

https://i2.wp.com/education-clipart.com/education_clip_art_2.jpgREADING

While writing this post, I realized that I blog like I read – I have books waiting to be read, several books that I have started reading and am working on finishing, and books that I have finished.  Yes, I read several books at a time.  I might be reading a professional development book (like Waiting for Superman), a purely fun book (like a romance novel), a book for personal enlightenment (like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance), a book to discuss with the boys (like The Case for God) and a self-help book (like 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families).  When I find a book that I’m enjoying, I will often read it until I complete it without picking up another book.  But a difficult book, like The Case for God, I will read over the course of several months and re-read sections as I need to for comprehension.  I am an avid reader and probably read over 52 books (more than 1 per week) in a year.

From the list above, I am certain that you can tell that I read books from many different genre.  I LOVE historical fiction and can devour a book based on history in a day or two.  I also enjoy SciFi/Fantasy books of many different types.  I read some classical literature, as I have discovered that somehow I missed reading some very good classic novels.  Can you believe that I never read The Three Musketeers?  And I was even an English Major in college!  Trashy novels or romance books are fun reads for me and usually only take a couple of hours for me to finish.  They are generally harmless and waste time.  Because of my hearing difficulties, I sometimes prefer the “mindlessness” of a trashy novel, over mindless TV.  Professional development books are slower reading, but I usually have one or more that I am working through – research and understanding change so much that it is difficult to keep up.  Self-Help books help me to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things.  I guess under self-help would be parenting books.  I have read some excellent books that are on parenting in the last decade.

Books are a staple of life for me.  Chris and David have Kindles, but I prefer a book.  There is something about holding a book and turning the pages that I really enjoy.  Michael feels the same way and would rather wait to have a solid book in his hands.  I’ve taken classes where the textbooks were online, and I didn’t like that much.  I want to underline and write comments in the margins.  I like having a solid book to take with me rather than a device.  That isn’t to say that I won’t read a book on the Kindle, sometimes I just don’t want to wait to order a book.

When my parents moved from Illinois to North Carolina they took only a small portion of their book collection.  I took a large number of books from them and I donated at least 500.  The books I took traveled to Colorado with me and the boys are reading some of them.  Their closet is full of books, we have boxes of books in storage, and those don’t include the books I’ve saved for when I start teaching.  I’ve found that if I get a book for a quarter at the library or 50¢ at Goodwill or Salvation Army, I don’t mind if it takes me 2-3 hours to read.  If I am buying a book full-price, I want it to be a BIG book and be a series.

I also like leaving books (and magazines).  My favorite place to leave a book or magazine is at the oncology clinic at University of Colorado Hospital.  I have a bag with magazines that I take with me when I go, usually I am too anxious to read anything significant, but a trashy novel or short stories work.  I haven’t been to the clinic with Chris since I started blogging.  I usually go with him for visits after he has a scan (the other visits are just medication checks and we don’t find out anything new), but the last scan visit he had was when I was contagious with pneumonia.  So, I stayed home.

Reading is a passion of mine.  I have taken a number of classes for instructing struggling readers.  Kids who don’t want to read, seem to have difficulties reading that cause the avoidance.  And difficulties reading mean that they will have difficulties writing.  That is part of why I wanted to be a teacher; I can’t imagine that kids would not want to read.  Those who have difficulties reading, should like to be read to or to listen to books.  There is so much you miss when you don’t read.  Of course, I am speaking to the wrong crowd, if you are reading this blog, then you are probably a reader.

My Blog, My Humor and My Brain

I’ve had a couple of people tell me that my blog is funny.  For those of you who know me, you know that I am not usually funny in person.  My sense of humor seems to be different from most of the people I meet.  First of all, I don’t like “stupid” humor.  For example, The Three Stooges were never funny to me.  Neither is Tom and Jerry.  Although most of the world laughs at their antics,  I don’t think it is funny.  Second, https://i0.wp.com/toeas.com/emoticon/files/2011/07/laughing-emoticon-2.jpgcomedy usually isn’t funny to me.  I can see what is going to happen and I just don’t find it funny.  Most people think that it is funny that “everything that can, will go wrong.”  I just don’t.  Maybe because I have already thought through all the things that can go wrong.  Lastly, it takes a lot to make me laugh.  I treasure people who can make me laugh.  I love watching toddlers and puppies because of their antics.  They make me laugh.  I laugh at myself all the time (see my post on my hearing loss).  I don’t like to laugh at other people unless I can tell that they are laughing with me.  Maybe it is because I felt laughed at a lot as a kid:  believed I was the butt of the jokes.  My sense of humor is uncommon (I don’t know anyone else who has a similar sense of humor).  Can’t tell you why and can’t explain it, it is just the way it is.

So, being told that my blog is funny, is perplexing to me.  https://i2.wp.com/www.imageenvision.com/150/35485-clip-art-graphic-of-an-orange-guy-character-holding-a-curvy-question-mark-by-jester-arts.jpgI can see where some things I write about are funny or amusing, but I don’t think of myself as being funny.  Having people enjoy the humor in my blog is something that I don’t totally get because while I do try to write in an engaging, interesting manner, I am not always certain that I am successful.  And, today, as I write this, I think of someone who has social skills deficits – they don’t always understand why people find something funny and how that could describe me.  I’d like to think that I don’t have social skill deficits (Social anxiety?  Absolutely), but maybe I do.  I guess you would have to tell me.

In effect, I tend to be funnier if I’m not paying any attention to being funny.  This is difficult to do, as I want people to read my blog and enjoy it.  Often what I think is funny falls flat and what someone else finds to be funny, doesn’t seem funny to me.  I guess that the glimpses into my thought processes are funny – my brain tends to work on overdrive and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  Sometimes it is working so hard and so fast that I don’t even process what I am thinking and I think that tends to be what people find funny.  When I process, my Type A, personality takes over and I edit.  When I edit, some of the humor disappears because I question if it is funny and usually decide it isn’t and take it out.

I’ve also been told by a few people that I should write a book.  I’m not really sure how that would work out.  I have a hard time staying focused on a topic.  Well, only sometimes, when I write my blog, https://landamongthestars.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/writing450.jpg?w=300I can stay on a topic for the entire post, but to do it on a much larger scale?  I’m not really sure that it would be successful.  Besides what would I write about?  Advice about writing says that you should write about what you know – and I have good material for short essays about my life but to have enough original material to make a book. . . that is something to ponder, and ponder.  Would my brain behave and allow me to write and stay on topic for an entire book?  Could I develop believable characters?  That isn’t the type of writing that I’ve been doing.  So, I’m not really sure about it.  My brain tends to bounce around a lot and I think it would be difficult for me to write a book without being totally distracted by other thoughts.  In an other post, I’ll explain about how I blog.  I am not certain, but I think that it is unique to me – but other bloggers will have to tell me.

https://i0.wp.com/cms.envirasoft.com/images/content/abstract_purple_design_free_vector.jpegHere is an unedited example of my brain at work – I’m typing this blog and thinking about what I type.  There is a knock at the door.  I answer the door and tell Michael’s friends that he has a soccer game and that we are leaving in a few minutes.  Then I think that I have a headache so I should take something.  I go into the kitchen to get some acetaminophen and see the Benadryl box sitting out on the counter.  I remember that I got bit by something this morning when I was taking the dogs out and that I took one.  Then I wonder if that is why I was suddenly so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  Decide that it probably was since I took it and then was sleepy less than 30 minutes later.  Put the meds back in the cabinet and see the gum in the cabinet.  Think that I would like some.  So I take it out.  Then I think that it would be a good thing to write about – my brain and how it works.  https://i0.wp.com/www.answer-my-health-question.info/images/improve-brain-health-2.jpgGo back to typing on the computer.  Call David to take Sugar out.  Tell boys we are leaving in 2 minutes.  See the gum sitting on the counter and realized that I didn’t get any.  Tell Michael to take Kirby.  Time to go, so I need to plug-in the computer, get my purse and camera and get some gum.  Need to slip on shoes and grab sunglasses and save this draft to come back to it later.  Head out the door with the boys.  Thinking the entire way to soccer how the title I picked for this blog isn’t going to work and I need to change it.  Then I think of other things I can blog about and that I should try to remember them for when I get home (but of course I can’t remember any of them).

And this is my brain at work:  convoluted and going in tangents.  It is the reason that I have to blog to get my thoughts out before they cause my brain to explode.  And I find thoughts of my brain exploding, funny.

If You Like My Blog, Share It . . .

Good Morning!  It looks like it is going to be a nice day today in Colorado!

A few days ago I wrote about reaching 500 views of my blog.  It is amazing, since I’ve been writing for less than a month!

I really am enjoying writing my blog.  The creative and emotional outlet is one that my life has been missing, and I wish I would have started sooner.  It isn’t that I didn’t think about it, but I was often too busy dealing with things day-to-day to take the time to do the research that brought me to this wonderful site to manage my blog.

I really LOVE seeing how many readers I have on a daily basis.  It is affirming and encouraging.  One of the things, about the site I picked to host my blog, is that it tracks how many views my posts have and how people got to my blog.  So, if you read Pantyhose when I shared the link on Facebook, it tells me that 1 person clicked on my Facebook link and that 1 person read Pantyhose.  If someone accidentally finds my blog and goes to read it because they were looking for articles on pantyhose, it tells me that too.  You get the idea.

So, please, if you are enjoying my blog, share it with a friend.  Choose to subscribe (by clicking on the email subscription button) and have it delivered to your mailbox.  If you want, post a comment.  And if you wish that I would write about something specific, let me know.  Part of the real fun in doing the blog is knowing that people are reading it.

July 23, 2011

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