Friday, March 23, 2018

#DWHabit: A Poem: God's Canvas

Come sit with me.
Gaze at all that God created.
Find a sky of crimson and gold
with clouds that form mountains 

Sit and sip from nature’s bountiful table.
All the beauty your eyes behold,
the gold and crimson colors
was painted on the sky’s canvas.

Sip from the well-spring of beauty
That cools and soothes the burning soul
Sip from all that God has provided

Through nature’s beauty.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

#DWHabit: Word of the Day: Sun

Several years ago I had some major eye problems.  I was losing my vision. I had a total of five eye surgeries.  The first one was the most crucial. I was told there was a 50% chance I would lose my vision. My husband asked if there was anything I wanted to do. I told him there were several things I wanted to do just in case. My school made sure I went on the class field trip to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL.  It is one of my favorite places. The John and Mabel Ringling Mansion sits on the bay.  We lived just a couple of blocks away from it so we spent a lot of time there. The only other things I wanted to do was to visit some of my favorite nature parks and watch as many sunrises and sunsets as I could.  Florida has some of the best of both.  Last year I was awarded three weeks at the Hermitage Artist Retreat to write.  I had the gulf on one side and the bay across the road.  I woke to the sun shining in my window. Every evening I had a front row seat to some of the most spectacular sunsets ever. The picture above was taken from the beach outside my cottage. If you didn't know better you might think this was a lake with a mountain in the background. Those are nothing more than clouds.  For me the sun not only warms my face and body but also warms my heart and soul. It doesn't matter if it is the sunrise or the sunset. I leave for work every morning before the sun rises. I walk into my room just as the sun begins to rise. My classroom windows face the east.  I get to see some of the most spectacular sunrises every morning. The trees look black against the sunrise. Then the sun creeps higher and light spills over the land showing the world in which I work in all of its glory.  This is usually followed by birds who fly to the palm trees around the property, or the water birds who wade in the ponds around the school. The sun is so much to me. It is a fresh beginning each day and each evening it is a kiss goodnight. I always have and always will love the sun's rise and setting each day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

#DWHabit: Word of the Day: Elated

I love working with students. I especially love it when you can turn a student on to something that they have announced they hate.  As a book reviewer I often get advanced reader copies. My students know this but just ignore it.  However, I recently received a book that I thought was phenomenal.  I was telling my students about it and one asked to read it. Today I brought the book in for that student. I put a picture and the book blurb on my computer to project it for my students.  Then at my department meeting this morning I told my teachers about the book. I told them it is one they will want to purchase for their classrooms when it comes out in May. I also told our media specialist.  When my meeting was over, two of my teachers picked up the book and started discussing who was going to take it home with them. I hated to break it to them that it was already checked out to a student.  I told that story to my second period class after showing them the cover and blurb. I told them that after Spring Break I would start a check out list. One of my students jumped up knocking his chair over. He yelled,  "Me, Me, I want to read it first."  I just cracked up. I told him since this was the first time I'd seen him excited about any book I would put him down to be first.  I have a list of students already who want to read it. There is so little time left for all of them to read it.  I am so elated that a book could do this to a student.

My great day didn't end there.  Two periods later a student ran up to me and said, "I got this book yesterday and read it last night. Do you have anything else by this author?" I found her the only other book I had by that author. She asked me to check Amazon. When I did I ended up ordering two other books. All of a sudden I had several students at my desk wanting to know what book she was talking about and could they read it.

There is nothing that can put me on cloud nine like watching kids talk excitedly about books which creates excitement in others.  It is even better when the people they inspire are my struggling readers.  The lowest reader in our school is one of my students. Our librarian told me yesterday that over the pasts week he has checked out and read eight books.  If we could only convince students that the more they read the better they will get.

I think I will probably go to bed and wake up tomorrow and find myself still on Cloud Nine.  What will it take to elate you?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

#DWHabit: Word of the Day: Frustrated


When life gets difficult I need to remember to write.
It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month since I have written here.  I have been so frustrated. Sometimes life gets in the way. I had a teacher in my department take an emergency leave of absence that ended up with her resigning. It meant that I had to pick up the slack and grade her papers for the assignments we created for her classes.  Just as we reached a solution and I felt I could breathe again my husband called to tell me that he was on the way to the hospital with my mom because she had fallen. She broke a rib. The CT scan showed the broken rib and a mass in her lung.  Two days later as my husband was bringing her home he got a call from his mom. She was in the hospital in a town just north of us.  Since my mom couldn't be left alone I would rush home from work so my husband could leave and try to do some of his work. One of his jobs is bee removal. He does most of that before sunset. Every time I sat down to write my mom would need something. I tried to write during my planning period at work but I seemed to have a revolving door. One of my students asked if I had gotten any writing done. I asked them why and was told that when I don't get a chance to write for a while I seem grumpy.  I told my husband what my student had said and he agreed with my student. I have let lesson plans go and started work on my novel again. I seem to be more relaxed. This doesn't mean I don't write lesson plans. It means that I don't come home from work and do nothing but more work. I have got to maintain that balance in my life. My mom is going in for a biopsy. They have already told her that they are sure it is cancer. This means my writing will get me through this next frustrating ordeal. I have felt alone out here since not writing. I realize that my life is so connected to those who write.

My question is this. Do you find writing something that helps keep you sane?  Why do you write?
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