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Showing posts from October, 2013

Slice of Life Tuesday: Writer's Notebook -Beginnings and Endings

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A new writer’s notebook…
I hold mixed feelings about commencing a new notebook. I am quite excited about the prospect of filling the fresh pages of a brand new book. I embrace the challenge. To see my words spread out and over the sparkling white pages is a buzz for a writer. It is exciting. I’m involved in the act of capturing the raw stuff of my writing life and bringing order to my messy mind. The harvesting of words and ideas adds to the energy of writing in this new place. I am like the farmer who ploughs a new field.
I make a conscious decision to choose a new notebook with different dimensions to its predecessor. The notebook I have chosen this time is smaller than the one just completed. Its covers are sturdier. It will, I expect take less time to fill. I embrace its unique shape and form. I am keen to shape each new notebook in a way that establishes its difference from previous notebooks. The contents will add further to the individuality.
I am also feeling a sense of loss…
I a…

Assisting Young Writers to Increase the VOLUME of their Writing

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A priority for any writing program should be to progressively build the stamina of young writers, enabling them to sustain their writing efforts for extended periods. The aim is for the writer to reach a stage where the ideas flow freely and the blank page surrenders easily to a flow of words. 
The more students write, the more likely they are to improve as writers. The answer lies in the act of writing. Daily writing for sustained periods of time will contribute to this essential development. It will help the young writer to develop the ability to remain focused on the task, and also build the kind of stamina necessary to keep returning to the task each day. -And return with the determination to produce powerful words for others to read.
Frequently young writers get hung up on perfectionism. They censor and edit in their heads. Consequently, the words have trouble making it onto the page. They allow the flow of their writing to be halted for the sake of a single word. A solitary word t…

A List of Poetry Resources For Older Primary Students.

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A recent request for poetry resources for older primary students has prompted me to consider some of the resources I use for this age group.
I have developed an extensive list of resources over the years. I keep many of these books in my poet’s suitcase and regularly share these resources as an initial poetry tasting with students. The idea behind this approach is based on the belief that young poets need to read a lot of poetry in order to successfully embark upon the writing of poetry. I want to do more than immerse them in poetry, I want to ‘dunk’ them in poetry and all it involves.


An observant young poet told me this week after spending an hour investigating and researching a plethora of poetic forms, - ‘When you write poetry, you can make your own rules, but then you have to stick to them.’ This is the kind of awareness we need to develop among our inexperienced poets.
So, here is a list of some of the poetry books I use to assist young writers to better understand and hopefully …

Slice of Life Tuesday -Notebook Truths

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Over the years I have learned much from my writing life. In particular, I have learned much from my notebook experiences. 
My writer’s notebook is a place to be honest; to write down what one writer thinks. It is a place free of critics. My notebook is a place where I frequently discover I had more to say on a particular subject or issue than I originally believed.
My notebook contains the truth of my life- at least a version of it, and in that truth, I am able to discover some of the treasure, all our lives possess.  I am a treasure hunter. Interestingly, none of us have any way of knowing whether what we find by way of words will prove important to someone else at some later stage. We cannot know if they will understand. That's okay. It's the act of writing that's empowering. 
My notebook is a place to practice risk taking. It is where I can indulge in some experimentation with words and ideas. The very act of writing stimulates my creativity. The pieces that grow within th…