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Posts Tagged ‘Teaching Authors’

Discover. Play. Build.

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

In our household, if you make it into our local paper, you are famous. I made it into a local free magazine, Acadiana Lifestyle. The writer Anne Minvielle called me about 6 weeks ago asking me about my hero. She was doing a feature on local heroes’ heroes. I didn’t have to think long. My hero is my mother-in-law, Anne Simon. I’ve written about her a few times on this blog.

When I married at the young age of 21, I moved with my husband to his home town, away from my family in Mississippi. So his parents became very important to me. Following his father’s death (ten years ago on Nov. 14th), his mother Anne and I got closer and closer. We affectionately call her Minga. That’s the grandma name my oldest daughter gave her. It was a baby’s version of grandma. We loved it and kept it. What a coincidence that the greeting in Burma is “Minga La Bal.” Yes, a few years ago, Minga traveled to Burma and came to my classes dressed in traditional Burmese clothes, bowing her head and saying, “Minga La Bal.” I wrote about it here.

Acadiana Lifestyle, November 2014

Acadiana Lifestyle, November 2014

From the article: “Margaret speaks of her mother-in-law as if she were truly a hero. ‘She is like a mother to me, but more than that, she is a best friend, a writing partner, and a confidante. I can talk to her about anything and trust that she will love me no matter what,’ she says. What a blessing!”

While I write this celebration post, my wonderful husband is making a roux for a gumbo. That is the smell of cool weather and of home. However, the scent gets into all your clothes and your pores. We will carry that southern home smell with us all day.

Teaching Authors posted a challenge yesterday on Poetry Friday. Three Weeks of Gratitude. Writing thanksgiving haikus, otherwise known as Thankus. I did this activity with my students a few years ago and here is one from a student. I keep it pinned to the bulletin board in my kitchen.

The seed of a rose
You sprout your knowledge like roots
We share our petals.
by Kylon

Keep your hand moving: Roux in the pot.

Keep your hand moving: Roux in the pot.

Thanku to Roux

Heat tempered with love
Strong scent of flour and oil
Come home for gumbo.
–Margaret Simon

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Slice of Life Day 27.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 27. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

I was suffering with severe “noideaitis,” a term created by my student Magic Matt. So I traveled around the kitlit blogosphere for inspiration. I found some at the site Teaching Authors. I follow Laura Purdis Salas on her blog, and she has just recently joined the Teaching Authors. Her Wednesday Writing Workout post outlined a process for writing a rhyming nonfiction poem. I gave it a shot. Recently I bought some new spring flowers for my deck. One of these is a bougainvillea. I just love saying the name. I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned all I needed to know to write a quick poem. As Laura suggested, I used Rhymezone to find rhyming words. I don’t think the results are brilliant, but they do teach a bit about this mouthful of a plant.

The actual flower of the bougainvillea is a small cluster of three white flowers in the center.

The actual flower of the bougainvillea is a small cluster of three white flowers in the center.

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a thorny, ornamental vine.
From Brazil or Peru, paper petals intertwine.

The actual flower will fool ya’
hiding white in the bracts of Bougainvillea.

Each heart-shaped leaf steadily climbs.
Don’t you want to say it three times?

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Red bougainvillea on my deck looking all perky and springy.

Red bougainvillea on my deck looking all perky and springy.

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