Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2018

Silent Sunday

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia today at Poetry for Children.

Rain is falling again.  That’s the way it is here in South Louisiana in the summer.

Rain and green.

Rain and steam.

Rain and gleam.

I could write a bayou poem about it always raining.  In my new book, Bayou Song, I have a few favorite poems.  Like children, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but today I am thinking about the poem There is always…

This poem uses anaphora, a repeated line. I think I stole it from Jane Yolen, but I can’t be sure.  One thing about writing poetry is poetry begets more poetry. For my next writing project, I hope to keep better tabs on where the inspiration comes from.

If you’d like a personalized copy of Bayou Song, I can mail it directly to you with payment using Paypal.  Email me at margaretsmn at gmail.

Bayou Song has had a beautiful blog tour so far.  Today the stop is with my friend and writing critique partner, Linda Mitchell.  Check it out. 

Friday, June 22:
Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Friday, July 6:
Kimberly Hutmacher at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 

Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy

Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink

Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters

 

Read Full Post »

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

St. Mary Falls, Glacier Park

 

Montana mountains
marvel me with rugged peaks
water blue as topaz.

 

 

Bear Grass wildflower
Glacier Park, Montana

 

Bear grass blossoms
a mountain spray of stars
invite travelers in.

 

 

Kayaker on St. Mary Lake, Glacier Park, Montana.

Lone kayak streams
rock mosaic reflection
private piece of heaven

 

I understand why Basho turned to haiku to capture moments in nature.  They are just too big to write big about.  Last week, my husband and I spent July 4th with my friend Dani and her husband, Randy, hiking in Glacier Park.  A note about Dani: We meet through a Voxer group and Twitter chats with #G2Great.  It means so much to me to have a close friend so far away.  What a joy to get our guys together and spend time in a magnificent wonderland! These pictures say it all, beauty and majesty, and all that is good.

 

Read Full Post »

I have signed up to participate in a few online communities this summer, two of which started last week while I was vacationing: #cyberpd and an online book club. This week Kate Messner’s Teachers Write virtual writing camp began. As I was thinking about Sara Ahmed’s book Being the Change (the book chosen for #cyberpd), I thought of a way I could connect ideas across all that I was studying. Let’s see if this works.

The first chapter of Ahmed’s book guides us to writing activities around identity as a way to begin to see our students and treat them with a kindness that comes from knowing them.

Identity has never been a problem for me, really. I grew up seeing a large portrait of my maternal grandmother holding her violin on her lap. She wore a flowing white gown and looked beyond the viewer in such a way that I felt her presence without judgment. I was named for her and have always thought she was my guardian angel. (She died 3 months before I was born.) This portrait still hangs in my parents’ dining room. Maybe it’s wrong to hang your identity on a portrait, but this heritage comes to mind when I think about who I am and who I came from.

In the Teachers Write prompt for Monday warm-up with Jo Knowles, we were asked to think about the identity of our character in our WIP (work in progress). Her exact instructions involved imagining a photograph of your character at the end of the story, but I made the leap myself to identity.

The character I am currently writing about is far from who I am. She was born on the heels of emancipation as a black woman. Her intelligence and education took her out of the South to San Francisco in 1901. My intuition tells me that she would have struggled with identity. She was a light-skinned black woman, and there is some supposition that she acted as white in San Francisco. If this is true, how did she feel about the denial she was living in? Was she proud of who she had become or ashamed at who she left behind? Identity can be complicated.

 

In the book I’ll Give you the Sun, one of the characters, Noah, is a boy of 14 coming of age and falling in love with another boy. His identity is rocked by this realization. His expression is his art. In what ways can creativity help us understand our identity? Can poetry, like art, help me write about my character’s identity as well as my own. How connected are we all when it comes to identity? How separate?

Sara Ahmed suggests an identity web for students to draw and come back to throughout the year. Can I use an identity web to better know my WIP character? An identity web is also a great tool for getting to know a fictional character like Noah.

Identity is important when it comes to valuing others for who they are.  We must value our own identities, accept them as OK; we certainly cannot change them.  And yet, when we are faced with new characters in our lives, either from fiction, from history, or our very own students, we should accept and honor their identities.  Our differences, our connections, our shared lives make this world an interesting and wonderful place.

Read Full Post »