The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Finding One's Voice

         I've been spending time with a small group of 3rd grade writers after school. They work for microwave popcorn, chili or nachos (sometimes) along with the chance to tell their story... in a unique way.

        The group started out with six students, then four and this week it was down to two. Just two girls.

       Yesterday was our second-to-last day of working together. One of the girls (all school year) has written pieces that sing. Her stories are infused with pizazz. Her voice has almost always been quite evident and distinctive. 

       The other girl struggles. Her writing has been bare-bones (not in a good, sparse way) and she lacks confidence. Her words plod along on the page.

       We've been creating digital stories which makes me sweat (since I am technologically a nimrod) way more than the kids. The students have brought in photographs and drew pictures to be a part of their stories. 

        Yesterday we did some video clips to insert in our pieces. When I suggested that instead of reading their bits off a notebook, perhaps they could say their spiel in a more conversational, off-the-cuff way, they both rose to the challenge... and the results were incredible.

        Each of the girls knew their story. They knew what they wanted to say because they had written it, so when they had the opportunity to use their voice and their facial expressions and their gestures to help convey their story, they did an outstanding job.  



      I have been struggling with a WIP. Struggling perhaps is not the best way to put it. Perhaps mired in the muck would be more accurate. The project has sat, stagnant, for a while. However, even though I haven't written much on it, I have been thinking about it. Ruminating. Reading other things (like Stephen King's Revival) and getting some pre-writing done.

      I'm hopeful that when I get some time to write this summer, my voice will become unleashed. I'm hopeful (fingers crossed) that I can fill in the holes that have reared their obnoxious head in my story (so far).

      What are your plans this summer?  

16 comments:

  1. AWESOME! I know you have made a difference in these girls' lives. A word of encouragement goes a long way.

    Don't get down on your own WIP. Whip it out and start tweaking...not twerking.

    I hope to write more and travel a little.

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    1. Linda--You get published so much now, and writing is only a part-time thing for you. I can't imagine how high you'll soar with all that time to write...

      (And me twerking? Millions of people are groaning at just the thought.)

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  2. Exactly what Linda said--I love teachers like you, Sioux!

    And here's to you finding your own voice with your WIP this summer! I'll be doing what I do every day--trying to take over the world, one word at a time. :-)

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    1. Cathy--Thanks. I hope it's a productive summer for you as well.

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  3. What a great thing you are doing for these children! I thought after retirement could do something similar, but it has not presented itself. Forming programs fell through. Now I have lost the push due to laziness and stumped in my own writing. Summer is not usually a writing time for me, but if it continues to rain I might just cast my ark out and write while I float away! Good luck on your WIP!

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    1. Claudia--Thanks. With all your experience as a writer, I imagine the schools around you would LOVE to have you volunteer as a writer-in-residence. There are teachers who would kill to get a writer in once or twice a week to help kids talk through their writing... a writer who could inspire them... a writer who could encourage them.

      Think about it. You might find that younger writers could get your out of your slump...

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  4. You are an inspiration. No doubt when these girls grow into young ladies they will look back and remember the difference you made in their lives.

    Your WIP will be amazing like all your writing. Hope you enjoy your summer; you deserve it!

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    1. Donna--Perhaps I should hire you as my press agent? Or in case I need a barn mucked out? ;)

      Seriously, thanks.

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  5. Kudos to you for setting this triumphant writing scene. Or for finding it and using it if someone else did the decorating. It makes my room feel like a sterile operating theater.

    I plan to read and write and keep Hick out of trouble.

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    1. Val--Keeping Hick out of trouble... Doesn't that take several people, on a full-time basis?

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  6. What lucky children to have a teacher who cares so much about helping them bring their stories to life. As for your WIP, I'm a big believer in the power of marinating.

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  7. Tammy--I don't know who is luckier--me or my students, but thanks.

    As far as marinating, if it marinates too long, does it get pickled?

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  8. It must be very gratifying to encourage kids to write. We definitely need more pen on paper than thumbs on phones.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Pat--It IS gratifying... and inspiring.

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  9. Most authors can remember the teacher who really took them across the threshold and inspired them to write their stories. How cool that years from now, these kids will fondly recall Mrs.Roslawski. you may be named in the thanks/acknowledgements list on the flypage of some classic!

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    1. Marcia--That's an awful lot to hope for, and very flattering, but thank you.

      I certainly remember the teacher that pushed me. And thanks--you gave me the idea for a new post.

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