Saturday, January 31, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Listening to him read brings tears

My 10 year old son is dyslexic. We have struggled to teach him to read, and he has struggled to learn, for many years now. Finally, we have him in a program that is bringing results! Today, he read to me. Read more in one sitting than he ever has. Read without me forcing him to try. He still has a long way to go, but we are on the way and it feels good. So the tears this time are tears of joy and not frustration.

For more 6 Word Saturday fun, visit Show My Face.

Friday, January 30, 2009

January's Over - How am I Doing on My Goals?

This is our world right now. Ice, frosted with a fluffy layer of snow. The sun came out today and turned everything into crystal. The trees looked as if a thousand tiny prisms hung from their branches, splitting the light into colors.

So how have I done on my Lit Themed Goals for this month?

1. I wanted to keep better track of the books I read. I regret to report that I have not finished a single book in January. I am currently reading three books, and one of them is pretty long. That's my excuse. I could come up with more excuses, but I'll spare us both. I am enjoying the books I'm reading.

2. I wanted to get in some writing practice/free writing each day and fill a whole spiral bound notebook. I didn't quite do that. I did fill most of a notebook and wrote many days out of the month. I used the time while waiting on kids to finish activities to write, so I'm happy with that. Often, this time gets sucked up running errands, so to turn it into writing time is good.

3. I wanted to host weekly haiku challenges here. I missed one week. I have not held the challenges in the same way twice. I may need to revamp this goal.

4. I signed up for the Random Complexity Writer's Challenge hosted by In Search of Giants.
The goal is to write 1000 words of fiction each month. I wrote several stories in my writing notebook, although I never estimated the number of words written. For January, the entries in the Clarity of Night writing contest counted for the entire 1000 words, even though the contest called for a maximum of 250 words. So, I've met the January goal for the Writer's Challenge.

5. Speaking of the Clarity of Night contest, I was happy with my entry. Thank you to those of you who read my entry. Your encouraging comments mean a lot. I did not win or place in the contest, but it was a great challenge and I really enjoyed participating. I also learned a lot from reading the other entries.

On to February!

I feel compelled to say that I really did think this was January 31. Maybe I'm just very ready for the month to be over!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Haiku prompt - Winter Weather

We were supposed to get lots of snow today, but instead we had about an inch of ice and the freezing rain is still coming down. I let the kids go out to play for a few minutes while it wasn't raining. They had a blast because the backyard was a skating rink.

I know I missed posting a haiku prompt last week. If you want to play along this week, post the link to your poem and blog in the comments section here.

Here's my haiku:

Carefully climb steps
Slipping on icy play set
Slide down across yard

I wish I had a picture of the neighbor boy sliding today. He slid all the way across the yard after going down the slide!

Notebooks closed today
Boots, snow suits, cookies, cocoa
January fun

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Finally slumped my weary self down

It's been a day of basketball games, dance classes, groceries, laundry, cooking - the usual Saturday stuff. It's all good, but I'm tired!

For more Six Word Saturday fun, check out Show My Face

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bookshelf Meme

What book lover doesn't love to share their bookshelf? I found this meme on the excellent blog, Find You Next Book Here.

Tell about the book that's been on your shelf the longest:

I remember sitting on my bed with my mom, sounding out the words in this book. Mom didn't read to me very much so maybe that's why I remember this incident so vividly. Or maybe it was because learning to read was so important to me. This poor book is missing the cover. It think it was a Little Golden Book passed down from some older cousins.

Tell about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, place, time etc):

Like most people, there are several books I could have chosen to fill this category. I decided to go with a happy choice. This is the book my husband and I used to help us navigate NYC on two separate weekend get-aways. The maps are marked up, the subway "cheat sheet" pulled out, restaurants review circled. Two great trips together - what more can you ask for from a book?

Tell about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used book store, prize etc.):

I participated in a Secret Sister program this fall with a group of homeschool moms. The purpose was to get to know each other better and it was a big success. On the form, I listed my hobbies as reading and writing fiction. As it happened, the person who got my name also loves to write. The first gift she gave me was a huge birthday cake and balloons. She told me in that first card that she also loved writing. Throughout the weeks, she gave me a journal and pen and several notes that included more teasers on her writing. Every week at Learning Zone, our homeschool co-op I would try to guess the identity of my Secret Sister. Finally, she gave me this book at the reveal and we were able to talk about writing. One of these days she's going to have to let me read a little of her work.

Tell about the most recent addition to your shelves:

This book came through Paperbackswap. I haven't started it yet, but I've heard good things and I like the cover.

Tell about the book that has been with you to the most places:

My Bible is over twenty years old and has travelled with me a lot. I'd like to say that I read it every day, but I don't. I keep up well for a few weeks and then slack off. The cover has a place for a journal which I use for writing thoughts and prayers. I have lots of prayer journals from years past stored in a drawer upstairs. My Bible is easily my most precious book.

Tell about a bonus book that doesn't fit any of the above categories:

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is my current favorite fiction book. It was one of the first books I ordered from Paperbackswap. Foolishly, I put it back into circulation and mailed it out again. The book in the picture is the second copy I received from PBS. One of these days I may break down and buy a new copy. There's something about the characters in this book that I just fell in love with. In my mind they are all real and visiting them in Whistle Stop only requires me to let the pages fall open.

The Rules for this meme:

1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!
Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.
If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.
Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…
Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc

I'm not going to tag anyone with this, since I basically snagged it from Jenners. If you want to participate, consider this your tag. Please let me know if you do - I'd like to read about your books!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cate at Show My Face hosts Six Word Saturday. This is my first time to play along.

Eyelids are heavy this cold evening

It's only 8:30pm and I'm about to fall asleep. I'll never make it through the movie we rented tonight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Few Things

Haiku - Games
Elftea has already shared the link to her haikus on the Monday post. I'm going to link it here as well, to make it easier to find. If you haven't written a haiku or poem for the prompt "games" and you would like to, please leave your link in the comments here.

Here's mine:

travel colored squares
Rainbow Trail and Gumdrop Pass
Candy Castle treats

"Ascension" Short Fiction Contest
Most of my writing time this week went to my entry for this contest hosted by The Clarity of Night. The word limit for the contest was only 250 words. I found this to be a good challenge. It forced me to focus and pack as much as I could into the work. Each word really needed to count. I'm not sure how I ended up doing, but I'm happy with the result. I re-wrote it several times as I worked to show, not tell. My submission is #105, The Lottery Winner.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing Challenge 2009

If you're looking for this week's Haiku prompt, click here.

Jenners let me know about this writing challenge hosted by In Search of Giants. The goal is to write 1000 words a month. The writing can be fiction or creative non-fiction. In one year, I should have 12,000 words to show for my efforts. I have a terrible pattern of winning National Novel Writing Month and then putting my pen down until the next November. Hopefully, being part of this challenge will keep me writing this year.

Through In Search of Giants, I found a writing contest hosted by The Clarity of Night. I'm working on my 250 word entry. I'll post it here when I finish.

Haiku Prompt - Games

Let's play this week. Write a haiku or other type of poem based on games. Use your imagination and have fun.

For those who might be new to writing haiku, it traditionally follows a 5-7-5 syllable pattern in three lines. I'm all for breaking rules though. Give it a try and have fun. I'll put up a post on Wednesday so that we can share our poems and visit the other participants' blogs.

Here's a haiku I wrote a few years ago. I'll be writing a fresh one this week for the prompt.

Ivory bishop
Diagonal move to check
Long-standing bet lost

Don't forget to come back Wednesday (or later, I'm not set on deadlines!) to share your writing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Haiku Prompt - Building - Share your poems

This is the second haiku prompt I've shared on here and I'm hoping to make this a weekly event. The comments for this post will always be open, so even if you can't post your haiku or poem today, please come back and share later.

Here's what I wrote this week:

Seasons sweep over
Roof timbers and red plank walls
Securing history


Plastic bricks clicked tight
One on top of another
Model pyramid

I can't wait to read your poems. Don't forget to visit the other participants and leave them an encouraging comment.

Now for a bit of technical stuff. I'm not in love with Mr. Linky yet, so I ditched him for this week. Please leave your permalink in the comments of this post, so we can find your poem.

What's a permalink, you ask? If you click the title of your haiku post on your blog, you will notice that the address in the address bar has changed a bit. This is the permalink. Copy and paste that into the comments here and that way visitors can always find your poem for this prompt.

Want to make a real link in the comments? To do this you need to use a little html code. It is easy to do - I made it work yesterday, so it must be easy! For a great explanation of all of this, go to Luke Holzmann's blog.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Haiku Writing Prompt - Building

The writing prompt for this week is "Building". You can treat this as noun or verb. Write haiku or another form of poetry and come back on Wednesday to post the link to your poem on your blog. You can also post your link after Wednesday - I'm not strict on deadlines around here.

The barn picture is one I took from a moving car as we drove along I-75 (no, I was not the one driving!). My husband got me a new camara for Christmas and I have loved playing with it.

Now, I'm off to write my haiku for this prompt. I can't wait to read all of yours!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Lit Themed Resolutions

1. Keep better track of the books I read - I love reading the list of books people read in a year, and start off with good intentions of keeping my own list, but somehow I don't follow through. I've started a project called "Book 100", taken from Chapter after Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams by Heather Sellers.

The goal of Book 100 is to read 100 books that are similar to the one you want to write. Read the book and then record these thoughts about the book: summarize the book in a sentence, summarize the book in a paragraph, the best thing about this book, memorable and useful techniques the author used.

I've got about 14 books in my list of Book 100. I haven't been adding the new books I read, though, thus the resolution.

2. Write Morning Pages - I thought I knew where this idea originated, but now I'm not sure. I think it came from a book that I've never actually read and I can't remember the name of it. (Anybody out there know?) The idea with morning pages is to fill 3 pages of a notebook each morning with whatever is on your mind. I've done this before and it's a great exercise, but I'm not regular with it. If I did it for a month I would fill one of those cheap, spiral bound notebooks. That's my goal - fill one notebook full in one month.

3. Host regular haiku/poetry writing prompts here on this blog - Check here next week for the next prompt.