The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

When "No" Means "Yes"

Sometimes people hear "no" and they don't stop. They're told they can't get something published... and they publish it themselves. They're told they'll never get into a certain publication... and they keep trying until they do.

No can shut people down. However, it can also fire people up.

If you'd like to find out what being told "no" has done to me, check out my post on The Muffin. It might be some nibbling you'll enjoy...

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2nd Place

Sometimes being #2 is enough. Sometimes it's wonderful.

A couple of days ago I read of a writer who snagged the second prize in WOW's nonfiction essay contest. Her piece was A. Maz. Ing. It's a moving story and it's well crafted.

You can read Bea's story here.

Today is my second day with students. Yesterday was an incredible day. My goal (one of many): to remember a few students' names in each class.

Sometimes #2 is better than #1. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the first day, I'm looking forward to an even better day today.

How do you handle not making #1? Does missing top spot get you discouraged? 

Or, does it make you dig your heels in and try even harder the next time?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Back to Work

Next week I officially go back to work. Last week I went in and began working on my classroom. This week, I've done the same. There are still some crates to unpack, along with things to put away.

Along one wall I've attached a long banner that says, "Our greatest heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary things." On another wall, on the sections of wall space between my six windows, I've hung posters of some of my historical heroes. Jackie Robinson. Abe Lincoln. Mae Jemison. Harriet Tubman. Anne Frank. Barack Obama.

I'm hoping that if my students don't have any heroes, they'll discover some during the school year. 

We'll be writing research papers, creating movies, and interviewing senior citizens. (My school is right next door to a senior complex.)

Who are some of your historical figures? 

Friday, July 26, 2019

A Glimmer

It's almost the end of July and I'm filled with glimmers.

A glimmer of excitement. I worked in my new classroom one morning this week. (I'd be there more, but I don't have keys yet.) I set up 5 of the 6 tables I'll need for students, along with chairs. (I'm mixin' it up. Alternating tables, some with orange chairs and some with blue.) I laminated some posters of some of my historical figures. (Mae Jemison. Harriet Tubman. Abe Lincoln. Jackie Robinson. President Obama. Anne Frank.) I put out my Author's Chair and a rug that used to be perfect, but after the science fair last year, now has a smear of rubber cement.

A glimmer of joy. I've been hitting the streets, begging for donations from area restaurants for donations. Love a Golden's trivia night is coming up, and it's my responsibility burden to get the majority of the gift certificates. We're just about to reach our goal, so I'm thrilled. I can slow down the prostrate train...

A glimmer of hope. A second publisher has requested a full manuscript. Obviously, such a request might result in them still saying, "No thanks." In fact, both of them might say, "Um, no." However, I'm preferring to keep looking at that glimmer of hope.

And if you'd like to catch a glimmer of why I love a new TV show, check out my post on the Muffin.

As Emily Dickinson so eloquently wrote:

Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sioux's Baaack!

I'm back. On the previous post, I said I was disconnecting due to doing some family fun stuff. That wasn't completely true.

I was out of town--on another continent--for 10 days, and I didn't want the riff-raff (who, of course, are reading my blog) getting wind that I wasn't home. After all, I got lots of valuable stuff to pilfer through... stuff like a half-full crate of markers I haven't moved to my new classroom yet... stuff like almost every John Prine and Cat Stevens album ever recorded... valuable stuff like 10 or 12 writing journals (each one with only a few pages written in).

I was on a cruise that circumnavigated Iceland, and found it to be a country of such differences. Parts of it looked like another world, with weird rocks that seemed to leap out of the surface, creating huge formations.

Parts of it were brilliantly green...

There were incredible mountains, formed by glaciers and volcanoes...

And the most powerful waterfall in Europe? It's in Iceland.

My photos cannot capture the beauty of the country. Fortunately, my memories did capture how gorgeous Iceland is... and I will always remember the starkness, the lushness, the other-worldly amazingness.

If I made a movie about my trip, it might have been more effective than mere photos. And today on The Muffin, that's what my post is about--making movies.
Check it out. (And how about you? What fun or exciting things have you done this summer?) 

Monday, July 8, 2019


This graphic makes me wonder. When we don't have access to the internet, to social media... do we feel like we're imprisoned?

Or, are we imprisoned by our constant need to check our email, our posts, our Facebook whatevers? Do we feel anxious and deprived if we can't connect?

I am disconnecting for a couple of weeks. It's by choice. I'm going to be doing some things with friends and family, and I want to be present in the present.

By the time the middle of July rolls around, I'll reconnect. I promise.