Posts Tagged ‘Great Flood of 2016’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts



What is voice in digital writing? We know it when we see it, but it’s difficult to define. In one sense, everyone has a voice, right? So shouldn’t every piece of writing have a voice?

However, we’ve all read things that touch us in a certain way. We feel like the writer is speaking right into our ears. The writer is with us all along the way.

Yesterday I had the privilege to see many wonderful authors at the Mississippi Book Festival in my home town of Jackson, MS. I’ll write more about this great day later this week. Kate DiCamillo told me (yes, me because I got up the courage to ask her a question.) that the voice of the narrator in The Tale of Despereaux carried her through the writing of the novel, and this voice carries the reader through as well.

Voice is elusive and difficult to teach. Actually, I don’t think voice can be taught. Voice needs to be discovered. My students discover voice by writing a Slice of Life every week. By writing about something personal, their personalities appear on the page. They post their Slices on our class blog at Kidblog. (Click here if you would like to follow our blog.)

This week we only had a few days together because of the extensive rain and flooding in our area. When we met on Wednesday, my kiddos were full of stories about the flooding. Jacob’s house was flooded, and he was excited that he could write about it. He wrote three and a half pages in his notebook. Others went directly to the blog to write.

Lynzee’s voice comes through in her poem.

Fearsome Flood

Half the yard gone,
Bayou is swollen,
Stranded in the house,
Some in shelters,
People afraid
Of the
Fearsome flood

And Tobie is, well, always Tobie on the page.

When my sister and I were getting dressed, we turned on the news as always, but this time, there were no commercials, no GMA, only local news. We watched a bit, getting dressed, when all of a sudden, it smacked us right in the face. We dropped dead, got buried, and stayed there until we rose as zombies. Okay, maybe I exaggerated, but we were pretty shocked. By the fact that… “Iberia Parish schools are closed,” said Dave Baker. I asked my mom what that meant, but on the inside, I knew. NO SCHOOL!! But that is bad because, well, it must be pretty bad to cancel school. For like, 4 days.

Digital writing makes an unique voice more possible. Daily blogging allows students to discover their own voices and to share that voice with others. My students are having conversations with each other. I am not the only one they are writing for. An authentic audience offers my writers a reason to write and a pathway for discovery.

Please join the conversation by posting a link to your unique voice, your own blog. Tweet at #DigiLitSunday. Google+ community here.

Twitter Chat with Katherine BomerSunday AUg. 28, 20166-00 CST (1) copy

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.


In the midst of tragedy, how can we celebrate?

Was it Mr. Rogers who said to look for the helpers?  There are helpers everywhere.

There is also kindness.

I have been glued to Facebook for the past week watching the shocking flooding of my friends’ homes. (The water came knocking but didn’t get into our house.)

I remember.  When I was in high school, my house was flooded 5 feet.  I know the smell.  I know how it feels to see your treasures piled up in the yard.  I’ve seen the studs in my home.

I also remember the kindness, the helpers.

I celebrate the helpers.  Kylene Beers and Kate Messner, authors I admire, both put out calls to replace books lost in the flooding.  If you know any school that has been affected, please check their Facebook pages.

I celebrate the resilience of my friends, how they are facing this tragedy and noticing the good.  They are experiencing the overwhelming feeling of loss alongside gratitude and hope.

Here is a post from my friend Gwen:

Our home is a metaphor for Louisiana.
Yes, we’ve been stripped down to our studs.
Right this moment, we’re a bit vulnerable, and we’re a bit weak.
We’re exposed.
But you know what is shining through?
Human character at its finest.
When we’re most exposed,
we show strength, generosity, kindness, joy, and love.
When we’re raw, we also show fear, despair, and sorrow.
The days have been long, and will continue to be.
When some are feeling strong, others are low.
But through it all, I have no doubt that we’ll recover.
It’s not our lowest point.
It’s not our darkest hour.
It’s our defining moment.

–Gwen Guillote

My friend, artist Paul Schexnayder, created a painting the symbolizes the resilience of people here.  He is selling prints and t-shirts to benefit the Community Foundation of Acadiana.  If you want more information about purchasing a print, t-shirt, or just making a donation, please send me a message by comment or email.

onward by Paul



We see the helpers.
We see the kindness.
We know hardship.
We know sorrow.
We know our neighbors.
We know love.



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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.


The rain started early Friday morning.  I knew this was a serious rain because school was cancelled 5 minutes before I walked out the door.  The rain stayed for days, falling in sheets for hours and hours.  By Friday afternoon, the news media was calling this an Historic Flood.  One of my colleagues posted on Facebook that her house was going under.  I watched and waited.  Finally a text came that she and her family were rescued and safe.

But the rain kept falling.  By Saturday morning, I went into a panic.  The bayou water had not risen this high in the 12 years we’d been living here, and neighbors said not in 20+ years.  This was truly an historical event.

The sun peeks through the trees. Water is up to the back step.

We put the furniture up, rolled rugs, emptied book shelves, and watched and waited.

Sofas raised up on kitchen chairs. Mimi watches the sun come out.

Sofas raised up on kitchen chairs. Mimi watches the sun come out.

Then on Sunday morning, the sun came out.  The water was a few feet from our back door, but it hadn’t come in.

Not everyone in our area was as lucky.  This incessant rain was worse than any hurricane.  And the flood waters did not discriminate.  Everyone here knows someone who is cleaning up today.

Painting the rain, collaborative work by a mother and son at the shelter.

Painting the rain, collaborative work by a mother and son at the shelter.


In my gratitude, I went to the shelter in our City Park to help out with an art activity with the kids.  It was crazy and messy and just what I needed.

Messy art is the best kind!

Messy art is the best kind!


Today, I want to focus on the sunshine.

The sun will come out.
We know this is true.
There is always light after the rain.

reflection flood poem


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