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Archive for January, 2015

Fly

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Fly word cloud 2

Holly invites us to reflect on our spiritual journey. For the next several weeks, we will be writing about different little words. Today is Michelle’s word, FLY. I made a Tagxedo image with my thesaurus. com search. My own little word, Reach, came up a number of times. I hadn’t made the connection before. When I selected Reach, I was thinking more about goals I want to strive for. But isn’t that like learning to fly, trying to pick up the tail winds and soar?

Discovering synonyms is a good way to ruminate on a word. I watch the birds when they fly. The hawk that glides across the highway in search of hidden prey. I am not like the hawk, a hungry hunter.

The hummingbird comes to the feeder, fluttering wildly to sip sweet nectar. I am not as desperate as a hummingbird who is so quick and finicky.

The seagull came up in my search a few times. Am I a seagull, like Jonathan Livingston, tired of materialism and conformity, looking for meaning in perfecting his flight?

With a wing for understanding and a wing for influence, my flight will be balanced. I will rise to awareness. I will strive toward space, a place to be me. A place to know I am loved.

With God as my compass.

Created on Canva.com

Created on Canva.com

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Skylight at High Museum, Atlanta

Skylight at High Museum, Atlanta

My 2015 One Little Word is Reach. Here are some images of my weekend in Atlanta where I reached for my phone a few times to take these shots. I follow Kim Douillard. She posts lots of pictures. Her blog title is Thinking through my Lens which is exactly what she does, photos and reflections. She posts a weekly challenge. This week’s challenge was Outside. We were in Atlanta for a wedding, and the weather was gorgeous, sunny and cool. On Saturday morning, we took a walk outside. We followed the mother-of-the-groom’s niece, her husband, and their young children, and together we found a park.

Look at the high cirrus clouds.

Look at the high cirrus clouds.

The iPhone captured a rainbow around the sun.

The iPhone captured a rainbow around the sun.

The joy of being four on a big tall slide!

The joy of being four on a big tall slide!

Another Reach for me is a paleo diet. I have been vegetarian (actually, pescetarian) for about four years. My daughter started a paleo diet and wanted to take me along with her. What a stretch! I had to add some meat back in to get enough protein, but I am particular about it. For example, New Year’s cabbage rolls contained grass-fed beef.

Stacey Shubitz of the Two Writing Teachers has made a paleo Pinterest board here.

Maggie and I went on a paleo shopping event on Monday to Whole Foods. This is a 25-mile trek. We came home with loads of vegis, almond yogurt, fruits, salmon, and coconut cream. My cat was curious about all the plastic bags and new smells.

paleo shopping

The biggest reach for paleo me is my morning cereal and crackers and hummus afternoon snack. I am having eggs, turkey bacon, and avocado for breakfast and nut mix for a snack. Fruit is always a good choice. There are problems, too, with eating out. I have to ask a ton of questions: Is your soup cream based? How is the fish cooked? So far, most servers are willing to answer and explain. I think more and more people are becoming conscious of what they eat.

I’m not sure how long this diet will last. I haven’t lost any weight that I can tell. But challenges are good for us, and being more knowledgable and more concerned about what we eat is important to leading a healthy life.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Boudreaux is Caroline's furry friend.

Boudreaux is Caroline’s furry friend.

One of the greatest gifts of Social Media is the connection my students and I can make to authors. Caroline Starr Rose blogs regularly about writing. Last year, I won a 30 minute Skype interview. My students asked her for a galley proof of her next novel. We received it in August. Vannisa, already a fan having read May B, read it immediately. I read it over the holiday break. What a wonderful story! Both Vannisa and I loved the characters of Alis and Kimi. We are amazed by Caroline’s way of making history come to life in her characters. After Colby Sharp of Nerdy Book Club and SharpRead, Vannisa wrote a 5,4,3,2,1 interview.

Blue Birds cover high res

Can you tell me a little bit about the story of Blue Birds?

Alis and her family have left London to help establish a colony on the island of Roanoke. She is the only girl and lonely for a friend. Kimi watches the newcomers warily. The English killed her father and sister, but she’s curious about the girl. Alis and Kimi form a forbidden friendship that threatens to change both their worlds.

How did you manage to find all the information for the book?

I read a whole lot. I also asked experts to look over my work to see if I’d gotten things right.

What is your advice to authors writing a historical fiction book as accurate as yours?

Read, read, read. Be true to the times. But beyond the facts, think about emotions and feelings. Through the ages, these are the things that unite us.

Are you currently thinking about writing a new book?

I’m working on one now about the Klondike gold rush.

What is your advice to student writers like myself?

You have something unique to say. Your work can only improve if you keep at it! Don’t be in a hurry to be finished or move on to something new.

http://www.carolinestarrrose.com

This post is part of a week-long celebration in honor of the book Blue Birds.

Get this free quote with pre-order of Blue Birds

Get this free quote with pre-order of Blue Birds

Author Caroline Starr Rose is giving away a downloadable PDF of this beautiful Blue Birds quote (created by Annie Barnett of Be Small Studios) for anyone who pre-orders the book from January 12-19. Simply click through to order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, IndieBound, or Powell’s, then email a copy of your receipt to caroline@carolinestarrrose.com by Monday, January 19. PDFs will be sent out January 20.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Tweet from Michelle Haseltine

Tweet from Michelle Haseltine

I love Twitter Love. Nothing better than having colleagues/blogging friends recognize, honor, and celebrate you. And without you even knowing it! I was traveling yesterday. Presently, I’m in Atlanta for a friend’s son’s wedding. At the end of the long day, I checked my Twitter alerts. Were they really talking about me? I had to read the Tweets again.
Twitter love

Then this morning I received an email from Stenhouse offering a free preview of Kate Messner’s new book, 59 Reasons to Write. It took a while to thumb to page 198, but there I was. I had written a mock letter to myself as a reflection of Teachers Write camp. I must have sent it to Kate, but I have no recollection of that.

So today, I celebrate Kate Messner, Teachers Write, and Twitter Love. If you haven’t done it yet, order 50 Reasons today. You don’t need any more reasons.

59 reasons

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Find more Poetry Friday with Irene at Live your Poem.

Find more Poetry Friday with Irene at Live your Poem.

shells

The shells went to school this week. Children are fascinated by shells. They loved picking out their own special shell to write about.

In her book Awakening the Heart, Georgia Heard writes about spinning metaphors, “Spinning metaphors and similes has the effect of spinning a kaleidoscope around to see the beautiful and multifaceted color variations.” On a clean notebook page, let’s see how many metaphors we can think of for our shells. Then we started spinning.

Wonderopolis has a number of seashell-oriented Wonders. We explored two of them: How Much is a Sand Dollar Worth? and How are Sea Shells Formed?

After enjoying the Wonders, shells, and discussion, we had a “sacred writing time.” During this time, I gave them the option to write a Deeper Wisdom poem introduced by Joyce Sidman at Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle H. Barnes.

The steps are:
1. Choose a subject. It can be anything: an ant, the Empire State Building, your father. Your poem will be called “What Does [your subject] Know?
2. Think about the greater Truths that this particular object knows, whether it is alive or not.
3. State these truths—six of them—in two stanzas, repeating your question before each stanza.
4. If you want, rhyme each final word—but this is not necessary. (Joyce Sidman)

My student Matthew met this challenge with an amazing result.

What does a seashell know?
It doesn’t know the Pythagorean Theorem
Or how to count by fives,
But it knows the ocean’s feelings.
It’s felt the sea god’s cries.
It knows it has an owner.
It knows that it’s a shield.
It has one life purpose—
to make the sea assassins yield.

By Matthew, 5th grade

I struggled with this form. Rhyme stumps me up every time. After quite a few tries, I tweaked the form a bit to write the poem I wanted to write.

Sea Shell Wisdom

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Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Holly invites us to reflect on our spiritual journey. For the next several weeks, we will be writing about different little words. Carol’s word is Listen. I chose to write a poem today.

Turn off the sound machine.
Listen.
Hear the refrain of a hymn in your mind.
Find strength in the silence.

Open the window.
Listen.
Hear the sound of the rain on the roof.
Find solace in the rhythm.

Take a walk with a friend.
Listen.
Hear her story.
Find company in connection.

Enter the world.
Listen.
Hear echoes of chanting.
Find peace in shared sympathy.

–Margaret Simon

“The deepest source of real power lies in consciousness and the ability to be present in all circumstances.” (Understanding the Enneagram, 331)

My Enneagram number is two. I am the giver, the helper, the one who does for others before doing for herself. I can get wrapped up in helping and giving for selfish reasons, to gain approval or love. Julie Johnson introduced me the Ennegram Institute and the “Thought of the Day.” Today I could see the wisdom. Be in the moment.
Listen. Wake up.

Layout 1

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

This fall a friend of mine started a prayer shawl ministry. So I picked up some yarn and crochet hooks and started re-learning how to crochet. Now I’m hooked! Pun intended. I have been working on something ever since. There always seems to be someone needing prayer and comfort. But I never expected it to be a colleague from my past.

Ten years ago I was teaching at an Episcopal elementary school. When I left the school, I lost contact with many of my colleagues. That was not intentional, of course, but it happens, especially when I live in a different area than the school. Just after Thanksgiving, I got an odd friend request on FB from the sister of one of my former co-teachers. We taught third grade together for 5 or so years. I remembered her sister, so I accepted the request. That’s when I saw her recent posts about Stacey’s breast cancer and chemo treatments. I immediately messaged Stacey’s sister and emailed Stacey.

We really should not wait for tragedy or illness to get in touch with former friends, but sometimes that’s what it takes. I knew I needed to crochet a shawl for her. I had just purchased some blue yarn and was unsuccessfully attempting a scarf. Switch perspective and it became a shawl–for Stacey.

I love this ministry. I can meditate while I stitch. I can say a mantra, a prayer, or merely count my double-crochets, but I am present in the moment doing something for someone else.

The shawl carries with it this presence. I know Stacey felt it as soon as she put it on. Her tired face perked up, and she began to glow. Stacey still has quite a battle ahead of her, five (out of 8) rounds of chemo left and then surgery. With the shawl on her shoulders, she will know the hope that God offers and the love of a longtime friend.

Stacey wrapped in the prayer shawl and her daughter, Erin.

Stacey wrapped in the prayer shawl and her daughter, Erin.

Why Knot? is the clever name my husband has given our ministry. He says it will start a conversation. I agree. Why knot?

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