Saturday, September 21, 2013


It is almost here!  NANOWRIMO 2013 will be here in about 39 days.  Are you a writer?  come and join us for NANOWRIMO: National Novel Writing Month.  It begins November 1st and ends at midnight November 30th. I will be participating for the third year.  Once again I have invited my students to join me in this adventure.  At this point I have almost 30 students wanting to join.  So what are you waiting for?

Monday, September 2, 2013

A New Writing Challenge: WFMAD

Laurie Halse Anderson, one of my favorite authors, has started a new writing challenge, "Write Fifteen Minutes a Day".  Click on the link and check it out.  This was the story that came from the fun prompt she gave us to write.

Clara and Belle were best of friends. As best as two cows can be. One day a dance troupe came to town. They were having auditions for their new dance troupe. 
“Hey Clara, want to join me in the auditions for the new dance troupe”, Belle asked Clara.
“Sure.” , said Clara, “What do we need to do?”
“Let’s work a dance routine that we can do both alone and together.” Said Belle.
“How can we do it both alone and together?” asked Clara.
Belle began to dance and show Clara. As she twirled around she said, “First I will dance, then you will dance, then we will finish together.”
Clare began to shake, “I don’t think I can dance alone.”
“I’ll help you with your part.” Said Belle. They danced and practiced all day. When they went to town that afternoon Belle made all of the arrangements for them to audition. They stood patiently outside and waited their turn. When their number was called Belle began to walk forward. She turned and saw that Clara was not with her. She looked all around the room. Belle wanted to dance so she proceeded to the stage. There was only one problem. She and Clare had made up the dance with each having a part so it would be the right length. By the time she got to the front she knew what she would have to do. 
Belle told them that she would be the only one dancing for them. The music started and she began to dance. She could feel the rainbow of happiness in her heart. It was always the same when she danced. She danced her heart out. She leaped and twirled until the music stopped. Then she took a bow and went back to her seat. She sat and watched all of the other animals try out for the dance troupe. They were really quite good. She waited patiently while the judges talked and tallied their scores. 
The head judge came to the front of the stage. I have great news we have chosen the following to join our new dance troupe. Please come to the stage when you hear your name. Belle waited. She heard Ollie Ostrich called to the front. He had done a wonderful split. She knew he would probably be chosen. Then she heard them call Ella Elephant. She had been able to stand on her trunk and balance ever so lovely. Next they called Leon the lion. He had been wonderful at keeping the beat. There were only two spots left. Belle hoped she would be called. She was okay if she didn’t win the spot because she knew that at least she had tried and done her best. 
“Daisy Dog”, the judge called out. Belle began to squirm in her seat like all of the other contestants. She knew there was only one spot left. The judge looked out into the audience and began to speak.
“The last member of our new dance troupe came here with a handicap. They had practiced hard and then when they got here they had to change everything. We want someone with imagination. We want someone who can think on their feet and are willing to take up a challenge because they love dancing. We want someone who can feel the rainbow of music in their heart and dance such a beautiful dance. We want Belle the cow in our troupe.”
Belle was shocked. She knew if she had not tried she would never have made the troupe. She felt sorry for Clara for missing such an opportunity. She ran back to the farm to get her belongings. There was Clara dancing in the field. Belle walked up to her. 
“I’m sorry you didn’t make the troupe Belle.” Clara said.
“What are you talking about?” Belle asked. 
“When they talked about the last person having a handicap I knew they were not talking about you so I left. You are one of the healthiest and most wonderful dancers around. Maybe if I had not chickened out we would have won. I am sorry.”
Belle laughed. “Silly girl, if you had stay you would have realized that the handicap they were talking about was having to make up a dance on the spot because you quit. I am in the new dance troupe. I just came home to get my dance things and to go back. We leave tonight for our first performance. But, it’s okay Clara. I did what I had to do because I wanted to dance. If you don’t take chances you won’t get anywhere in life. Remember that.”
Belle walked off and Clara felt lonely and sad. I wish I had tried out instead of chickened out, maybe I would be with my best friend dancing around the world.
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