Are you a “real” writer?

I suppose it can feel alienating to read through an article about the traits of a real writer and find that one shares a few, but not all of them or even none, but what I appreciated most here was the very LONG list. The more traits, the more possibility for seeing traces of oneself. Half way through, I felt inspired to write a daily 500 (that were not all student feedback) and was reminded of the outside reading that almost always helps me experience a conceptual break through (Judith Butler’s vulnerability), or come up with the snappiest article package (text, counter text, social text). Most of all, I loved the Graham Greene quote about the myth of writer’s block:

“So much in writing depends on the superficiality of one’s days. One may be preoccupied with shopping and income tax returns and chance conversations, but the stream of the unconscious continues to flow, undisturbed, solving problems, planning ahead: one sits down sterile and dispirited at the desk, and suddenly the words come as though from the air: the situations that seemed blocked in a hopeless impasse move forward: the work has been done while one slept or shopped or talked with friends.”

Yet another comrade knows we are always writing; even in the shower, while walking the dog, and sometimes while arguing with the insurance company (or not, but I hope there’s some positive something that can be gleaned from those mini-hells).

It’s been too long: Half-baked blogs and distractions


My sister came for a long weekend and this kept me busy during the work week (trying to free up my calendar for a work-free weekend (sad that I have to work on the weekend most weekends :( ), but awesome to see her, slow down, and enjoy what’s happily turning into an annual event.


I’m still trying to puzzle this one out, but it’s big, on a thoroughfare, and gets me wondering about all the visual design and composition stuff I’ve been working on with my ed tech class. Who’s the audience? What’s its purpose? Is it solely to provoke nerds? If I saw it, thought about it, snapped it, and blogged about it, does that make me a nerd? And if it does, what matters next? If I’m not offended, does it end? Most nerds I know are into their nerdiness, so I’m just lost. I need some other interpreters. Help!


Am I crippling my children in a digital world? When Nina (my 4 year old) comes in with this found tree bark calling it an iPhone, is she deprived? imagining? Is it the same as the child who pretends that a bucket is a stool and a bristle block is a gun and a piece of paper is a skirt? Everything is an iPad or an iPhone. You’d think we were on them 24/7 (we’re not). Or perhaps they’re socially valuable markers of power and possibility. Another puzzle I’m working to unravel and would love to hear thoughts on…


Best use of outdoor useless porch-let I’ve ever seen (3rd row down). #cosmopolitanprovincialism

The iPads were literally sitting untouched on the play table, next to the play cutlery, plates, and a giant wedge of plastic cheese. #edtech


I loved reading this. There was soul in it and it says a lot about kids and connection and bodies and drama and feelings and play. Got me thinking about all the circulating talk about slowness in schools. These kids didn’t want to spend their time together on screens and that says something about them as a group too. Pondering and circulating this…

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

It’s easy to fascinate and receive kudos from the broader education community when you can do something interesting with technology.

Before this school year started, I was asked to lead a technology club after school for fourth and fifth grade students. After brainstorming what was possible, what I wanted to do, what students might want to do, and the software and hardware available, I ultimately decided to go through one of the coding courses on, see where it takes us. There are several other coding apps available for iPads. Additionally, since all they seem to do with iPads in their “regular” classes is testing and test prep, this seemed to be a welcome change for them.

So far, I have eight students two afternoons per week. Today, I asked them to create a video read aloud for my K students using the iPad’s camera function. They chose to…

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Planning A Blog


Some wise first steps to planning for blogging success, I thought. I also appreciated the points about images and connecting in the blogosphere. Now to put it all to practice… I’ve found quiet walks alone with nothing in my hands are good for regular brainstorming.

Originally posted on Live to Write - Write to Live:

edwardian-woman-reading-a-letter-lee-avison           I’ve been thinking about starting a blog of my own for some time. Now that the current draft of Ellen is on my agent’s desk for review, I’m finally ready to turn my attention to this task.

I have two goals for a blog.

The first is to write about place, a concept that has been fundamental to my life, a tug that pulled me to Vermont thirty years ago, and continues to inform my daily activities (chickens, garden, town politics) and most of my writing. My commentaries for Vermont Public Radio are all about life in Vermont, as are my editorials for the local papers. And all of my novels are set in Vermont. Into the Wilderness, published in 2010, earned a Gold Medal for Regional Fiction as well as recognition from the Vermont Library Association for its sense of place.

The second goal is to stay…

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