Showing posts from May, 2015

Alerting Student Writers To Wonderful Words

Writers collect words. It is almost compulsive. I have always displayed a fascination for words. 

Words deserve our respect. If we can get the right word in the right place, you give the reader a nudge and make then pay extra attention.
I recall the word –skedaddle in ‘Odd Bird Out, by Helga Bansch. A story about a non conformist raven. The text is rich in its word use.  Skedaddle is a word I recall from my childhood, but I had neither seen or heard it for yonks (an indeterminate yet substantial period of time). I love the sound of skedaddle. I have been sharing it with young writers in the hope I can single handedly revive its use in common conversation.
I vividly recall reading Colin Thiele’s wonderful short story ‘The Lock Out’ to a Grade 6 class and coming across the words ‘agog’and ’gingerly.’  I wrote them on the board, and we discussed them and savoured the sounds they made. I encouraged my students to try and use them in their writing. In time these special words along with othe…

Teachers Commiting To Their Own Writing

Every time I pick up a pen to write, the rest of my world goes on standby. Every thing else comes to a halt. Only the writing matters.

Mel Levine (The Myth of Laziness) describes writing as ‘exquisite synchronization.’  I sit down to write my mind is pried open and thoughts begin to flow. I am connected only to the page. The challenge of the blank page takes over and must be attended to immediately. The words that initially spill out onto the pages of a notebook are often raw and untamed. It doesn’t all glitter.  As writers, we just want to trap those thoughts and ideas before they evade us. To do this we must carve out some time to write. Set time aside to allow our writing to develop on the page. We must learn to quarantine time in our hectic lives to give life to the writing ideas that come calling. Maybe beginning with things we never want to forget.
For writing to move beyond good intentions, requires a degree of self indulgence. Conscious self indulgence if you like. Remove the …