Wednesday, November 1, 2017

21 Ways to Be More Creative

As we move into NaNoWriMo and any other challenge you choose to participate in, you might want to consider how you are going to accomplish this. One way is through an infographic that was recommended to me by writer and blogger Daisy Hartman. I tried to post it here but it becomes either too large or too small to read. Here is a link to it.  I highly recommend it.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Daily Writing Project - Day 14 - Long

Today's Word is:

It has been a long time since I have just sat down and enjoyed doing nothing. Today was one of those days. My husband and I went to a picnic for the bee club of which he is a member.  There was good food, good company. The best part was we were outside the entire time.  I feel best when I am outside. I hate being cooped up. Since Hurricane Irma blew through, it has been too muggy to sit outside for long.  The mosquitoes have been horrible as well.  We get some rain almost every day. The ground is so saturated that it doesn't take much. This then brings in the mosquitoes.  I am hoping it won't be long before the temperature changes. Spending time sitting in my yard swing next to my husband is a wonderful way to end our day after work. We need to take time for each other instead of waiting so long. We never know how long we have on this earth and need to make the most of our time together.  What are your plans for the following months?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Daily Writing Project - Day 13 - Melt

Today's Word is 

There are days when it is so hot that when you go outside you feel like you will melt.  The humidity in Florida this time of year is very high. Some mornings you walk outside and the air is so wet that by the time you get to your car you feel like you need a shower.  The sun comes out and it gets very hot. Then the rain comes and the humidity is so high you can barely breathe.  It is funny to watch people measure how hot it is by how fast things could and would melt.  I am looking forward to winter when the high is often only 75. Hurry up winter because if you don't come soon we may all melt. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Daily Writing Project - Day 12 - Remarkable

Today's Word is 

The life of a honey bee is so remarkable.  About two years ago my husband became a bee keeper. We went to a bee festival. He met several people and was invited to come to one of their meetings.  That was the beginning.  Since then we have obtained several bee hives.  He also removes bees.  Some of these cases have been very easy, and several have been extremely difficult cases.  His easiest removal was a swarm of bees that  had decided to take up residence in an owl house. He was able to go in and use the bee vac he made to vacuum them and the queen out.  So we obtained another hive this week.
He has had some that didn’t go quite as planned. He recently removed bees from a historical house.  They were approximately 30 feet up and way back under the roof line. They were so aggressive. When he first stepped out of his truck a bee flew up his shorts and stung his leg.  By the time he got up the ladder three of them had managed to get in threw his veil and sting him.  It is remarkable that he didn’t swell up very bad.  A friend had recommended a salve to put on his stings and between that and Benadryl there was no swelling.  The second day he went out he was approximately 10 feet from the house when they began to attack him, stinging his suit and gloves.  Needless to say they had to be euthanized. There are times you just can’t save them.

I have learned so much about bees.  The drones are all males. Their only job is to mate with the queen and then die. Any drone that did not mate with the queen will be pushed out of the hive at the end of summer and will not be allowed back in. The worker bees take care of the queen, the hive, the brood, gather pollen and nectar to make honey. They live between 30 and 40 days.  The queen can live up to five years. The bees my husband rescued from the owl house started making wax for their comb the next day.  He has a hive that is way behind on making any honey.  I am looking forward to getting our own honey from our own bees.  These insects are truly remarkable.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Daily Writing Project - Day 11 - Thoughtful

Today's Word is:  
Image result for thoughtful

During the hurricane, I witnessed so much compassion. I saw people cleaning up lawns for those who were unable. People who had no way to cook or get water relied on others to help. The thoughtfulness of those people amazed me. You see so many times people who are selfish and just for themselves. I worried because we saw fights breaking out over supplies like water and wood. When two people start slugging it out over a bottle of water in the middle of an aisle you worry.  I figured things would be worse after the hurricane. That was when everyone decided to show their thoughtful side and help each other.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Daily Writing Project - Day 10 - Voice

Today's Word Is:  

My voice trembles as I tell your grandmother the news. She hears the word deployment and immediately says she will pray. She tells me you will be okay.  I know you will. I placed you into God's hands before you were born. He was there protecting you the day you were run over. He has been with you every step of the way.

My heart hurts.  You will miss your sister's wedding.  She loves you so much. You have been her strength through everything. Yours was the first voice she heard. When she cried you rushed to her side and rubbed her forehead. You would speak calmly to her. No one else could pick her up without your permission. She is strong because of you.

I remember hearing your voice on the phone telling me you were coming to see me in the rehab facility after I had my knee surgery. I kept thinking your voice sounded so close. Then you rounded the corner and walked into my room. I will never tire of hearing your voice. I will never tire hearing you tell me you love me.

You have and always will be my “Sonshine”!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 9 - Red

Todays Word of the Day is: 

A Letter to My Son

Red is the color of my heart. The heart that beat so rapidly for you the day you were born. When you were four, red was the color of my anger. On that day you were run over by someone who wasn't paying attention, while you and your cousins were playing in the yard.He left you lying in the yard as he drove away to his appointment. It burned a darker and brighter red the day we went to court. When the man said he didn't hit you, that you hit his car I saw nothing but red. The red was so hot they held me in the chair because I wanted to hit him. I am not a violent person. But on that day someone needed to stand up for you.  

Red was the color I saw the day you asked us to sign the papers for you to join the army. It was a fear I felt. It has always been your dream.  You wanted to know everything you could about your grandfather's time in the army. I have been so proud of you as you stood up for our country. You have seen the world. You have also sacrificed time with your own children.  My heart broke for them and your wife. She is much braver than me. Red is a strong color like you. You have always been my strength. When things were rough you always saw the bright side of everything. You made me laugh. Red is the color of your laughter I carry in my heart.  It is so funny that red is not your favorite color. You have always looked so good in that color. I choose that color to represent you, to honor you. I have to hold onto that color as you take your next journey in life. Because if I don't hold onto that color it will change to blue.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 8 - Share

Today's Word is:  Share

            Jessie walked into her brother’s room and stood in front of him.   
"Share", Jessie said as she held out her hand to her brother Noah, who was holding his bag of candy. 

            “I don’t have to. This is my Halloween candy. Where’s yours?” he asked hugging his bag to his chest?

            Jessie sat beside her big brother. “Daddy took it. He said it would rot my teeth. I guess he doesn’t care if it rots his teeth because he ate it.”

            Noah saw the tears in her eyes.  He knew exactly how she felt. Her dad had pulled that trick on him when he was her age. Noah went to the kitchen and got a brown lunch bag from the cabinet. He walked back into his room and sat beside Jessie. He reached into his bag and pulled out a piece of candy. You can have this piece. She quickly unwrapped it and put it into her mouth. She watched silently as Noah dumped his candy onto the floor. She watched him separate it into piles. The gum went into one pile, the chocolates into another pile. He continued until it all the candy was separated. He looked at his sister as she licked her lips.  Next he propped two brown bags up on the floor. He began with the chocolate dividing it evenly between the bags. He left the extra pieces on the floor. When he had finished dividing the candy he counted the left over pieces. He looked at Jessie and told her to pick out five pieces. He handed her a bag and told her to put them inside.

            “That’s all your candy and this is mine”, he said. “You can hide it in your drawer so daddy won’t find it.” 

            Jessie smiled at her brother. “Thank you for sharing Noah. You are the best brother ever.” She hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, then ran to her room to hide her candy.

            Noah smiled. He felt warm inside. I liked sharing with his sister because it made her smile so big.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 7 - Refuse

Today's Word is:

I refuse to fall into the same mental patterns I did last year. I refuse to walk the path I did last year.  There was so much hurt and anger.  Things were out of control. I helped them spin further out of control with my negative attitude.  When I let someone control me, my emotions, my thought processes then I have let them win. I will not let the bullies win this year.  I will do what I have to do, to better me. I will do what I have to do to get along with those who are control freaks. I will do what is best for my students. I refuse to stoop to their petty level another minute. I am worthy of so much. I am a valued person, an intelligent person, I am an educated person. Most of the time I am a loving person.  I refuse to do the work of others. There is a difference between helping someone and doing all the work.  So therefore, I REFUSE to be treated as less than what I am.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 6 - Grain

Today's Word Is:  

Sometimes you know when someone has out right lied to you. Sometimes you know you are getting something with a grain of truth to it. That is what hurts the most.  You want to believe what you hear them saying, yet you’ve already overheard the truth.  Don’t try to sugar coat something and make it seem like you have made a decision for my benefit. Because if a decisions was made for my benefit why are you trying so hard to justify it or make sure you had not offended me?  I would prefer the whole truth instead. At least the sting comes and goes just as quickly. A lie with a grain of truth to it makes me feel you are unreliable, untrustworthy.  That makes me feel even worse.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 5 - Careful

Today's Word is:

How many times have we told someone to be careful only watch as they ignored us. You just knew something was going to go wrong. I tell my students every day to be careful going down the stairs, especially those who trot down them without holding on to the hand rail.  I had no sooner said this to the student leading the group when she suddenly slipped and sat down hard on the step. She looked at me triumphantly, pumped her fist in the air and yelled, “yes, saved it.”  She then stood up and proceeded to trot down the rest of the stairs followed by a herd of students doing the same thing.  Some times telling someone to be careful doesn’t help at all. Some times no matter how careful they are bad things still happen. We still want to try our hardest to keep people safe. So I will always tell them to be careful.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 4 - Quaint

Today's Word is: Quaint

I spent three weeks this summer inn a quaint cottage on the beach at Manasota Key, Florida.  It was a time for me to work on my own writing. I was one of five teachers in the state chosen for this artists retreat, There were a lot of quaint little buildings. Most of them were seventy plus years old.  Their charm was what made staying there so sweet. To wake up each morning and see the gulf from my desk or to enter the bathroom or my bedroom and see the bay on the other side was wonderful.  If I could spend my time visiting historical cities and staying in quaint little buildings I believe my writing production would increase.  There is something about a quaint little town, or building that makes you want to return again and again.

Daily Writing Project Day 3 - Bubble

Today's Word is:

When I think of bubbles so many things come to mind. I am reminded of the gifts of bubbles I give my grandkids almost every year. I don’t believe you are ever too young for bubbles.  I also think about people who go through life as if they live in a bubble. Only those things that exist within their bubble are real to them or matter to them.  Today was different.   As I walked my seventh graders to lunch they were wound up. I reminded them twice to stop talking and disrupting classes around them. They got to the stairway and the volume increased.  They were no longer single file. They were standing in little groups all talking at the same time. I stopped and in my former kindergarten teacher voices said, “Enough, stand single file and put your bubbles in.”  Every child lined up single file with their cheeks puffed out.  We marched down the stairs to the cafeteria. Only when they reached the door and stepped in did they let the air out of their cheeks.  I giggled as I walked to the teacher’s lounge.  I had not made kids put the bubble in their mouth for 24 years.  It’s nice to know it still works.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 2 - Deliver

Today's word is:  

Dear Lord deliver us from all of these catastrophic events.  We’ve had earthquakes and mudslides in Mexico. We’ve had devastating hurricanes and flooding in Texas and in Florida.  In the midst of all of this we have idiots who prey on the vulnerable.  They steal from those who have already lost so much. They wait to cheat those who have little out of what they have left.  We have also seen the good side of humanity. We’ve watched people who lost most everything, take what little they had left and deliver it to those who were in need. We watched schools and communities come together to collect food, blankets, clothing, diapers and much needed water so that others could deliver it to those in need. For me the best thing happened five day after Hurricane Irma struck. My husband delivered the news that our power had been restored. I had never been so happy. I worked with my husband after the hurricane helping remove storm shutters. My school was shut down as were so many in the state. My daughter delivered the news to us that she and her family had weathered the storm with little damage but no power. They delivered their children to their grandmother because she had power.  We have a ways to go before hurricane season is over. I’ll take the clear skies.  Our ground is so saturated that a short but heavy rain causes our yard to be flooded. This floods our septic tank and puts our bathroom out of commission.  So please Lord, deliver us from any more storms for a while. Let us get back on our feet.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Daily Writing Project Day 1 - Unite

I have chosen to ramp up my writing. I have let school, hurricanes and all other kinds of EXCUSES keep me from writing. I spent three wonderful weeks on Manasota Key at the Hermitage Artist Retreat this summer writing. I was working on a novel. Then I came home. Yep! That seemed to be the end of my writing. I had two days before I had to be back at school. Our IB Middle School is undergoing construction to merge with the IB Elementary School. So we had all of the confusion and discord associated with an ongoing construction site while trying to teach students. Then we had lovely Hurricane Irma bless us with her passing.  All of these obstacles thrown in my way and the garbage that accompanies them made it very difficult to write. It wasn't that I didn't want to write.  With no power and going into survival mode writing was the last thing on my mind. After returning to school there were so many changes that I had to make that writing once again got pushed to the back.  I have decided to join the Daily Writing Project. There is no signing up or anything else. She provides a word each day. You may use this word or choose your own. This is a commitment toward developing a daily writing habit.  Today's word is UNITE.

Hurricane Irma showed how we as a people in Florida, in our own towns and neighborhoods united to help one another. It may have been something as simple as taking a cup of coffee to a neighbor because they have no way of making any. It could be making a large pot of chili to share with those around who didn't have the time or the ability to cook a meal. Sharing water with those who have none. Most importantly is uniting in friendship. Meeting and making new friends that you would never have met if it weren't for this tragedy. Sharing our past and our history enriches our lives. Hurricanes can be so destructive. Yet if you look beyond the destruction you will see the way people unite to build each other up, or to help where help is needed. It is these lessons of how people unite for a good cause that we want to teach to our young people. They are our future. If we don't teach them how to unite with others what are we to expect for our future?
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