Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Slice of Life - I don't like...

I was able to walk away from my bigger writing project this summer while the top editors were reading and offering their suggestions.  I got my writing back last night with suggestions, questions, and editing guidance.  I appreciate all of their feedback and it's pushing my own thinking.  However, 24 hours later I'm still feeling ICK about the process.  It's not ICK over their feedback.  It's not ICK over using google documents.  It's not ICK over the feeling of them asking for more writing and me wondering if I have any more in me.  

It's ICK about not having a face to face writing conference.  I'm desperately missing a face to face conversation with our top editors.  I know his/her kind face, pausing, thinking, and questioning is soft spoken, filled with reflection.  It's also nurturing and guiding in a way different way than these little boxes.   I want a smile from these little comment boxes.  I want the little boxes to see my puzzlement or worry, but they don't.  

As I think about this process, I find things that aren't ICK.  I love using Google Documents and love the little comment boxes where others can record their thinking and I can check them off when I have resolved them.  I also love using the comment boxes for my own notes for feedback or recording suggestions from a face to face writing conference.  I enjoy co-collaborating using Google Documents.  

This experience is going to impact my writing workshop this year.  I'm going to have to provide feedback to my students in person.  I may use a comment box or a sheet of paper or post it note but when that writer is receiving a chunk of feedback at one time, especially the first time I want it to be in person.  I want to help the writer embrace a range of emotions and be available to them, if they have questions.  I don't want my students to feel ICK about writing.

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Slice of Life - book flaps

Me - "How's your new book series?  The one we got over the weekend."
B - "It's great!"
Me - "What makes it great?"
B - "It's fantasy."

Silence. (I'm not getting anything more easily, I think.)

Me - "What makes it fantasy, is there magic, what are the characters doing?"
B - "You know how the book is hardback?"
Me - "Yes, just the first one."
B - "I love when books have the paper cover because then you can use the front flap for a bookmark and then when you get further in the book, you can use the back flap as a bookmark.  It's GREAT for when you can't find a bookmark to use, like me right now."

Interesting.  (I'm thinking, at least she has no plans to dog-ear the pages.)

All day I've been pondering this conversation. I didn't get much of a book conversation going.  I learned she likes the book.  She likes it because it's fantasy.  I saw her reading it yesterday, so she's sticking with it.  We don't buy a lot of hardback books but the book flap as a bookmark is an interesting feature.  It's also interesting because for many years prior to this the book jackets always came/come off of books because she didn't like them.  They got in the way.  Now that she sees a purpose beside the given purpose, book jackets are GREAT!  

Kids are so interesting.  Sometimes we have to set aside our own agendas and let them lead a conversation to discover something unique or special or enjoyable to them.  I can't wait to make the time this fall to find interesting nuggets with my new readers.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting and fostering this writing community.