Monthly Archives: May 2016

Budding Writers!

Have you ever been given the commission to lead some young-uns and put them on a higher path?  Well, I recently had that task when I attempted to teach the beauty of the writing process to a group of middle-schoolers.

And now, as graduation tassels are being flipped and summer vacations are in view, I see smiles for miles.  They are saying, “We did it!”  And I graciously remind them that they are successful because they are good students and they followed my guidance.  Simple enough!

They followed my voice. My intonations. My examples. My formats and formulas.  And, yes. our frustrations did surface on some days.

They had to write in longhand.  They had cramping fingers and often did finger exercises.  And, yes, to their shock and dismay, they had to use ink pens.

Here are some of the orders that I barked out on a regular basis.

“Yes, use a pen with blue or black ink. No green, red, purple or any other color!”

“No!  No pencils!”

“Pencils are for math.”

“No, do not scratch out words.”

“I have two bottles of white-out on my desk.”

Some days, the entire room smelled like white-out as they carefully painted across their errors.  I laughed to myself, but they were learning to be meticulous and conscientious.

And, could they write all the way to the right end of the notebook paper?

“Hecky no!”

“There is a red line.  Respect that margin!” my voice raised.

Will they ever forget the experience?  Probably not.  Because now they are begging to read their papers to the class.

Others are showing those who were absent how to write a perfect five-paragraph paper filled with discussions and supported by evidence from the text with page numbers.

This should get them through high school and college because they listened. And now, voila!  We have a host of nouveaux auteurs or new writers!  And who knows?  There may be a few budding authors in our midst!  Selah.

Flaubert

 

Lynn M.                                                                                                  May 29, 2016

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Open Windows!

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There are so many lessons from our childhoods that guide us and encourage us to do the right thing.  Prompters like The Golden Rule or turn the other cheek or Mother Teresa’s poem Anyway along with a host of other pointers, nudge us towards making good choices in life.

One of my favorite poems is If by Rudyard Kipling which reminds me to keep my head when everyone else is losing theirs and blaming it on me.  Many lines have been written to help us to keep on forging ahead and remember that”when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Winston Churchill, who saw two World Wars, penned, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

All of those sayings have stood the test of time and are still true today. We must strive to maintain a level of peace and poise during the challenging times.  When we get to the other side, there will be a light-filled zone and the occasion for a victory dance.

Good choices, silver linings, happy outcomes along with a good reputation  will be intact.  All of those wondrous things will show up to embrace us with loving arms of comfort.  We simply must hold on and hold out and the fresh, open windows of opportunity will surely breeze our way.

Lynn M.                                                                                             May 22, 2016

 

 

#Am Writing!

Writng

Writers are often looking for good topics.  They have to be keen observers of life and in a moment’s notice, they may have an aha moment.  Something appears across their screens and the writing process begins.

Ideas flow and the fountain pours with speed.  The moving hands can barely stay ahead of the race.  There is a writing marathon which hopes to capture all that has been revealed.

I was looking at Author Sandra Cisneros speak on You Tube, from the Book Festival of 2012. She talked about never running out of material or things to write about because she reminded her audience that we live stories throughout the day.

That was such an interesting take on life because it holds true.  She talked about stories being born every moment that we participate in this life.  The real challenge for writers is to find the time to sit down and put the words on a page of paper.

Every encounter with another person is a potential story or vignette.  Life lessons are being learned and experienced minute by minute.  Small things such as chatting with a colleague at the local grocery story can easily turn into a story.

Every day offers several simple stories.  Watching how others spend their time as they wait for their clothes to wash or dry at a laundromat could evolve into some mini tales.

Some may read or organize business papers while others tap out messages on their electronic devices; but with the addition of that creative touch, some truth may shine through in the form of a narrative.

It is the little things that people do on a daily basis that often pique the interest of readers.  Afterall, emotions and responses are universal and many can identify as they also travel through this life.

The beauty lies in the fact that someone took the time to write it down or pen it.  Thus, hearts are touched and snippets of everyday occurrences are shared.

Writers remind us that we are indeed alive and that each moment is filled with delightful little stories. Ernest Hemingway said it best when he said, “To write about life, you must live it!

Lynn M.                     May 15, 2016

Good Reads!

What propels writers to pick up their pens?  What have they seen, felt or heard that will not leave their spirits alone until it is scribbled out on a page?

When writers have that divine discontent or that restlessness to tell a tale, they have been known to use napkins, paper towels or any available paper.  They must unleash that flow of words to capture those thoughts and feelings.

Those motifs refuse to stay dammed up or held back.  So, they push their way forward while the scribes act as mere instruments used for expression.

Some stories must be told, shared or made visible to the human eye. They can be compared to a hefty sub sandwich bearing all of the outer wrappings before biting into the meat or main ingredient.

A plot unfolds after the characters and setting are introduced in quite in the same way that the crusted bread lays the foundation for a good sandwich.   The mayo and condiments can be equated to the suspense that builds as the story reaches a crescendo.

And then, at last, something key happens. The reader sits up and takes notice.  The pages are turned more rapidly to see what will happen next. After things have come to a rest, everyone is altered or changed in some way, including the reader.

A bite has been taken in the sandwich and the meat has been tasted.  The reader inaudibly replies,  “Ah, there is the rub.” The lesson is clear.  It is well-received. The reader sits back after digesting  the book and sighs, “Now, that was a good read.

Open-Book460_276

Lynn M.                                                                                                  May 8, 2016

Beautiful May!

May flower

Beautiful, green, springy May,
Brings many smiles every day.

Warm, calm, temperate weather ,
Requires just a sweater.

May Day’s colors on the first,
Clear blue skies make us athirst,

For warmer days right ahead,
Peace permeates. Enough said.

May, we are glad you are here,
With you, joy is always near.

Lynn M.
May 1, 2016