Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week #3 - Teachers Write Sunday Check-In 2016

Welcome back, writers! I was in Michigan for nErDcamp for the beginning of the week and it was as awesome as ever. It's been good to be home again though and to be trying to get into a summer routine. I'm sure I'll figure it out just as we go back to school...which is August 15th for us! Anyway, I'm going to revel in these last few weeks and in writing with all of you and the rest of the Teachers Write community. 

Thanks for checking in again with me this week! I love having the time to reflect on how things are going. This week I'm sharing two books by Jandy Nelson that I've used as mentor texts for my own writing. Jandy puts so much emotion on the page and it moves me every time. 
When it comes to writing, I hope to bring my characters to life for readers and doing that means writing what is real and raw...all those emotions have to be right there so the reader can experience them along with the characters. Jandy's description makes me feel as though I'm there with her characters so that's why her books The Sky Is Everywhere and I'll Give You The Sun are mentor texts for me when it comes to writing what is real and raw. It's not always easy, it's actually usually super scary to open up my little heart and bare those feelings, but I'm pretty sure that's what writing is all about!

Some real and raw quotes 
from Jandy's Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere:

“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. 
Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; 
it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. 
I will never stop grieving Bailey 
because I will never stop loving her. 
That's just how it is. 
Grief and love are conjoined, 
you don't get one without the other. 
All I can do is love her, and love the world, 
emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”

“I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me.” 

“... if you're someone who knows 
the worst thing can happen at any time, 
aren't you also someone who knows 
the best thing can happen at any time too?”

Some real and raw quotes 
from Jandy's Nelson's I'll Give You The Sun:

“Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. 
“Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time. 
Hauling them in as we make choices, 
good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, 
find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, 
retreat from the world, dive into the world, 
as we make things, as we break things.” 

“Sometimes you think you know things, 
know things very deeply, 
only to realize you don’t know a damn thing.” 

“In one split second I saw everything I could be, 
everything I want to be. And all that I’m not.”

My Teachers Write Recap:
I did it! I did it! I tackled my troubling timeline and think I worked it out. I had to rearrange a few chapters but now I think it makes sense. I still have to read through the entire manuscript to make sure it's ready to go but I'm so glad I worked through this whole timeline business. What really helped me was to take a break from it and come back to it with fresh eyes. 

I actually had a picture book that was finally ready to be written so I spent time getting that first draft out. It was almost like a warm up that then helped me tackle that timeline trickiness. So, hooray picture book! I sent it to a few readers and am curious to hear their thoughts. I've decided that when it comes to picture books, I need to write more. I went through my writer's notebook and made a list of 30 topics for picture books. I'm hoping to pick a month to write a picture book (draft) a day just to see what happens. 

This week I'm hoping to work through the rest of my revisions for this draft and hopefully to dive into my other ms that needs revising. My goal will be two 20-minute revision chunks this week everyday and hopefully towards the beginning of the day. We'll see how it goes! 

A reminder of my rules for Teachers Write Sunday Check-Ins:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We only offer constructive criticism.
3. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
4. We recognize and maintain this as a safe environment.

Today, in the comments:
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What mentor texts come to mind when you think of 
books that made you experience raw and real emotions?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the not-so-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-totally-fun part?)
What are you looking forward to and planning for the week ahead?
P. S. Thank you for replying to each other's comments! 
While I read them all and do my best to reply and 
reply as soon as possible it doesn't always happen.
I so appreciate you cheering each other on through Teachers Write! You r-o-c-k!

Psst! Yes, you! One more thing...
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