What every writer needs: a smart, honest, critical reader. Or in a perfect world, a posse of smart-honest-criticals. Let's face it. If you have an Einsteinian friend, but he only heaps praise upon your work and doesn't share what could be better, how does that help? If you have an Eeyore-type who honestly sees prickles… Continue reading Smart, Honest, Critical
Hands down, my students' favorite class is when they write and perform skits. We read The King and His Hawk to get a feel for the form. The lesson of this great fable: Don't do anything in anger. The King and His Hawk is especially appropriate for the battle-weary parent, as she has multiple hawks… Continue reading That’ll Teach You a Lesson: Skits
Who doesn't love a contest? AND...awesome writerly judges?! We have both. I would like to introduce Kathleen Joyce and Cynthia Hilston, local authors who, between the two of them, have published a whole shelf of books. Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another… Continue reading 5000 Words Fall Flash Contest Winners!
Uncertainty is the only certainty there is. - John Allen Paulos One must be able to adjust to uncertainty, and since the weekly Microcosms contest is down, I've scrounged up my very favorite story-prompt of all time, the above image. I invite students and fellow bloggers to participate in a little flash contest of our… Continue reading Flash Fiction Contest
Today is the first time I have ever watched one of my children get on a yellow school bus. When people were awed that I homeschooled four kids, I used to tell them homeschooling wasn't much different than doing homework together. I take that back. It's one thing to be a cog in the great… Continue reading First Day of School, First Triathlon, NO CEILINGS, & First Day of the Rest of Mom’s Life
Figurative thoughts, that is. Four years ago I posted this in regard to my son attending Saint Ignatius, a rigorous private school. I used Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled," and I used it in that wrong way so many do (but I don't care). The idea being, find a barely perceptible path in the… Continue reading Thoughts from Mount Everest
What makes 5000 Words stories stand out? I believe it's the boot camp dynamic of the class. For 12 weeks, we immerse ourselves in a great work of literature (this time, Lord of the Flies) while churning out copious amounts of stellar writing. Students who can handle the demands of the class come out with… Continue reading 5000 Words Spring 2019 Contest Winners!
Each session of my 5000 Words class, we devote one week to flash fiction. The assignment is to enter a piece in Microcosms, which experiences a rather dramatic spike in entrants. 🙂 This morning when I opened my email, I found Microcosms is having technical difficulties this week, the week my students are to enter… Continue reading Flash Contest Detour: No Microcosms, No Problem!
Each session, 5000 Words culminates with a peer-judged writing contest. Our last few classes are devoted entirely to workshops, which are the faves of mine and my students. After surviving the gauntlet of peer critique (in which the writer must remain absolutely silent), students polish and edit their stories to a brilliant shine. Why silent,… Continue reading Congratulations Fall 2018 Contest Winners!
It was during my 5000 Words Writing Class that I first heard the news about my brain tumor. I'd be lying if I said it was easy to focus during the weeks leading up to my surgery. I let some things go, like this announcement. The stories that follow were written by my students, all… Continue reading Announcing the Winners of the 5000 Words Creative Writing Contest