Or perhaps it's because my oldest son graduated from high school this year, and we spend the week following the last day of school in a whirlwind of ceremonies and celebrations, which included a triple-helping of family gatherings.
|We rock out, even when graduating.|
All of these things have me tilted slightly off-balance. It's not my normal June. There was no neat and tidy exit from school, no final day dance-off in the kitchen at home with the kids, no 48-hour sleep-a-thon signaling the beginning of a cozy month (or two) to write lazily through my days.
Instead, the boys and I have slowly crept into summer. I feel as if I have my hands out before me in the dark, worried I'll slam into something that sends me hurtling back towards no-summer-land. It's weird. So hopefully you'll pardon me for being even more addle-brained than normal.
I'm ever-thankful for Kate Messner's (free!) Teachers Write! workshop, which is helping me ease into summer. Each day there is a different writing activity to explore, and there's even a FaceBook group of over 700 members sharing writing and mumble-grumbling when the writing doesn't come so easily. And did I mention it's free?
I'm still a little behind, working on an outline for my new-old work-in-progress, but I love reading the amazing words all the other teacher-librarian-writers are sharing. It takes a whole lot of courage to put your writing out there for others to see, but the growth from this scary little act is unreal. It's hard to explain, really -- but when you think that this is what we ask our students to do on a daily basis -- share! grow! learn! take risks! -- it seems only common sense that we step out of the shadows and do the same.
So, in the spirit of sharing, here's a bit of what the Teachers Write! workshop has me working on this week. I'm mostly just throwing words on paper, trying to scratch out the details of a story that has to be told. I've written and rewritten many versions of this story through the years, collecting bits and pieces and putting them together in the only way I know how. In the past two years, it became clear to me that this is THE story. The one I have to tell, because it's been trying to get out for so long.
Anyhow -- enough blabbing. Here's a rough snippet of the setting I played with last night:
It's difficult sometimes to remember that I'm not seeking perfection when working on a story. I'm seeking words -- feelings, glimpses of character, the story revealing itself word by word. Throw all those words out there into the open, mix them around, and let perfection come from the creative imperfection of the process.