As a jumpstart in my writerly life, I am participating in a 30-day challenge to reflectively write at least 150 words and then post online. We’ve since expanded on the idea with international colleagues into #modigiwri. Join us and here goes!
So, I am supposed to be writing and posting at least 150 words a day, and I have some lovely colleagues who have taken off with the #modigiwri challenge (check out this Wakelet curated by Wendy). You can get a taste of the range of digital writing they are sharing and responding in the short exchange below.
And where have I been? Well, for the most part I’ve been doing the holidays that we celebrate…and still adjusting to life with a newborn. And I have written some—about 150 each day at least. I just haven’t posted them. They haven’t felt post-worthy. My fragments have felt, well, like fragments. I have been inspired by how beautifully Darlene (who inspired this jumpstart) weaves together the everyday and the truly meaningful, and how Betina addresses the atrocities of our world head on, and how creative Wes is in the variety of his posts. And so I aspire to be more like them in my writing. In the meantime…I need to meet this challenge and post something even if I feel I have “nothing to write home about.”
The theme of dots and connections has bubbled up in the #modigiwri activity (see Sheri’s post), and so I’ve been thinking I’d just let the fragments be just that—fragments or dots with no apparent connection, or maybe they’re just hide and seek connections that you get to make! I’ve got it, let’s pretend this a Choose Your Own Connections activity…
A One-Item Favorite Things List
Some of the posts have reviewed folks favorite things, and so far I have only one thing I want to write about…tea, particularly, licorice tea. Let’s be honest: Licorice tea is part dessert, part warm cozy blanket. I try to rotate through teas a bit—another favorite being a Ginger Dragon that is made by a local coffee shop here—but I always come back to licorice.
I started thinking about this when Betina mentioned having a warm cup of tea next to her as she wrote a post, and it made me think about how important a warm cup of tea has become in my writing process. It helps me focus, and triggers an enjoyable reflective posture for me. Those are lovely and helpful, but if I’m honest, this “favorite thing” may be a crutch. A warm drink, big windows, people to watch, and background conversations (though not too loud)—these are the features of the ambiance of my writing environment, not my ideal writing environment, but what has become a necessity. (I even have the Coffitvity app downloaded on my phone. It creates a pseudo coffee shop sound for you. I’m sick. I know.)
This writing challenge is helping me challenge this crutch, thankfully. I am finding myself writing at night, on the couch, with Dragon dictation, with one hand while holding a baby with the other, all times and in spaces I don’t usually get writing done in. And it has, at the same time, reminded me that even if I can’t get all the features together, I can quickly grab a cup of warm licorice tea as I sit for a bit to write. And by association, in that way, writing can be part dessert too.
Tick Tock, Tick Tock
Time is one of the many things I am not taking for granted anymore as we head into 2019. I have such a newfound appreciation of it. For a long while I’ve been fascinated with time (eg. here and here), but mostly the long expanses of it, and for the theories and physics of it. With the brand new addition to our family this last month, now I am appreciating the practicalities of minutes, hours, and afternoons like never before. I’ve never realized how long the night is, and how many hours there are from 5:00 am to 8:00 am. I’ve known that my colleagues with young children were miracle workers, but now I know they’re time wizards.
I have a growing list of things to read bookmarked online and piled next to my desk. Here are a few. If you read them first, let me know. Maybe having a bit of accountability to someone else might help me get some reading back into my life! (Or maybe not…see the Time fragment above…)
- The Marginal Syllabus is starting the new new with Marcelle Haddix’s essay: What’s Radical about Youth Writing?: Seeing and Honoring Youth Writers and Their Literacies
- Kerry Ann Rockquemore shared her Annual Planning that Works approach
- Chris Rogers pointed me Critical Race Spatial Analysis: Mapping to Understand and Address Educational Inequity a while ago and I need to get back to it and finish it.
- Even longer ago, my friend Tim Fredrick had a short story called The Death of Tommy Turner published that I need to get to reading.
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