Since we last met, I had another birthday (my 39th again), started a new semester in school, and learned what it means to have “ice” (as opposed to getting “iced,” which is what I thought they meant. My bad. Jackson got me some beautiful diamond earrings for my birthday which I showed off to my students today. Teenagers keep me young.)In addition, my students and I all created vision boards for the new year, and of course, mine focuses on THE BOOK. Here, take a look:
Anyway, I haven’t much news in the way of writing THE BOOK, except that it’s always good to get some distance. Just when I think I have something figured out, then I realize I really don’t, that writing a book is really hard, and that maybe I need to change my perspective on something. Being flexible is key.
Also, you know what else is key to writing a book? Reading it aloud. I’ve read some short pieces to my students, and when they are engaged, or giggling, or surprised, I know I’m on to something good. But when there is dead silence, or I think I’ve lost them, I know that something isn’t right. Something must be boring. Then voila, time to revise that piece. It really has been quite helpful, and they love knowing they are helping with my book. Today, one student actually asked if I would read more to them!
And another thing key to writing a book: a groovy, quiet-except-for-music, cozy work space. For Christmas, my stepdaughter McKenna gave me a Himalayan salt rock light to plug into my computer while I work, and my creativity level has soared! (I’m totally not kidding.) I also have found that Justin Timberlake, George Michael, and 80’s music are the best artists/music to enjoy while creating. Chardonnay and a cute kitty to pet also seem to amp my abilities. (Take all these hints and use them, people.)
Here’s an excerpt from THE BOOK I’d like to share as a preview, and it goes along with something on my vision board–see if you can figure it out!
“Fairy Tale Interlude #4: In a Fairytale Land
I am one of 39 teacher-winners from across the nation attending a prestigious awards ceremony at Disney Land when I realize I am about to meet Cinderella.
Okay, “meet” is an eensy bit of an exaggeration.
We—Cinderella and I—are sharing the red carpet in the happiest place on earth, and I am the happiest I have ever been.
Okay, “ever” is an eensy bit of an exaggeration, too.
But it’s the DisneyHAND national teaching awards, and I am so darn excited! Me! An award-winning teacher after only twelve years! Me! Out of more than ten thousand applications! I had dreamed of this since watching the awards during college, hoping that one day, I could be so loved and lucky as a teacher, and it happened.
A part of my fairy tale was coming true!
Cinderella and I stood side-by-side, arms around each other’s waist, both of us dressed to kill. She rocked vintage, one-of-a-kind ball attire, and I wore a glamorous, beaded black gown.
Cameras flashed, a string quartet played, and Minnie and Goofy frolicked nearby, as we smiled for photographers. My dad snapped our photo just in time to capture the unmistakable, childlike look on my face that said it all: Ohmygod, it’s Cinderella!
I was in awe of her, unable to muster any words.
And then, as if it had turned midnight, she was gone, and I hadn’t gotten to talk to her.”
Discussion question: would it be corny to frame any short pieces as Lesson Plans since I’m a teacher? Too much? Okay, discuss.
P.S. A student showed me an email from his mom who enjoys my blog! Thank you, Mom–you know who you are!
P.P.S. Time to go count down to “The Bachelor”!