Monday, August 31, 2009

Combining Two Loves

There are several things I love - dark chocolate, my stir crazy popcorn popper, Kookabura licorice (yummy mango!), football, cute clothes/shoes/jewelry, etc. I adore my kids, continually fall in love with my husband and manage my life happier when i have a cold Diet Coke in my hand. I love to teach and it takes up most of my time during the school year (duh!) and I love to write, but between all my other loves above, it has been getting pushed into non-existence.

I teach two creative writing classes. Most of the beginner's writing books recommend that new writers develop the habit of writing by doing so for 15 minutes a day. I really didn't want this to feel like homework, a "must be creative or fail" situation because that kills creativity. Then I thought, since we are on the block schedule and each class is 87 minutes long, I could cut 15 minutes out of my teaching time and have them do a free write in class. And what is the best way to teach (all you parents out there know this one. No really, you do!) By example!


I can write for 15 minutes each "B day" with my class. But wait! I have two!!! I get to write for 30 minutes a day and get paid while doing it!!!

My student's think it's cool because I'm not just giving them crap to do and they like that it is casual - I don't give them writing prompts, tell them this time it must be - they just get to write. We have only done this twice now, but I'm loving it.

Laurie Halse Anderson usually does a write fifteen minutes a day for a month on her blog and this year, because of some tragedies in her life, she didn't do it until August. August is just a hard month for me, so I'm going to go back through all of her posts she did in August and do them in September.

This year I am also going to try to succeed at my 50,000 word goal during November for NaNoWriMo. I would love some buddies who want to give it a go as well...let me know if you are interested. It's lots of ridiculous and at times stressful fun, but a blast!!! And the best part - I've worked this into the curriculum, teach by example and will have almost three hours in classroom to write with my students this year. Granted, I don't have a story I want to pound out yet, but have no worries...I'm brainstorming.

I'm having so much fun combining these two loves! Now, if I can only figure out how to mesh some others...chocolate popcorn? Football and shopping? Reading and playing with my kids (which reminds me - I have four books I need to write reviews for...their coming I promise!) I guess some things are just so good they are better left alone :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Enna Burning

This is the second book in Shannon Hale's Bayern Books series. I really liked Enna's spunk and attitude in Goose Girl, so I was naturally drawn to a book that is about her. And the concept behind the book is fascinating to one who is intrigued by fire. :)

Enna has moved back into the forest to care for her ailing mother and stays there due to a feeling that she doesn't really belong in the city, but isn't sure that her life experiences will allow her to ever truly return. Then she discovers that her brother has found a way to control fire, make it do what he wants. She gets the same power and finds that it makes life much better, especially when war breaks out in her land, but it gets to the point where she isn't sure any longer if she is controlling the fire or if the need to burn is controlling her.

This is darker than Goose Girl, but I LOVED it. It is an addicting book, but also shows how someone can become so addicted to something that was once thought to be controlled. While it is a fairy tale in genre, I really found it to be applicable in life, and I may have even liked it a little more than Goose Girl. I really like Enna, found her to be very real and she has a spunk that made her even more likeable. The other thing I liked about this book is that it can work either as a continuation of the series or a stand alone. My author crush on Shannon Hale continues!