Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ocean Princess Revisited

I signed up this week for Teachers Write. I found it last minute as it was just beginning. I didn't have time to investigate or wrap my mind around it, but it began and I am jumping in.

Every day there are exercises, something to get us thinking about writing. All of it will help me as a writer, and as a teacher of writing.

This week we did some wondering, some people watching and today, getting close to a character. I know it is time for me to pick a piece to work on. So, I went looking through my previous posts.

I have to figure out who I am as a writer. Where do I want to go with it? If I were to write for children (picture books), I want to write like Patricia Polacco or Eve Bunting. I want deep themes in my writing.

But I do love young adult literature. I love to read it. I wish I taught older students so that I could read more. But then again, if I want to write for that audience, I do need to read more. So, that is where I am going to explore, for now. I'm going to start reading LOTS of young adult lit. I will read it to enjoy it, and read it to learn about writing.

I'm excited to improve my craft, my writing craft and teacher craft.
Here is my piece I want to work on Ocean Princess and Her Sentry
It was a piece I felt completely uncomfortable with. Way out of my comfort zone. But the story intrigues me, I want to try to find it, tell it.

So...my exercise. Some character work:

 I'll focus on Caitlyn. The image I want with her is a smooth rock. It is carried in her pocket, always. It sits on her night stand beside her at night. She found it on a camping trip with her family. She loved that trip. Tunneling through caves, climbing the hillsides, standing up high on rocks. She loved the earth, the forest, the hills. She missed that life here near the beach. She did not feel connected to the ocean scent, the sand that she could never seem to be rid of, the sound of the waves, none of it connected to her. So she hung onto that rock, her only connection to days she longed for.

I feel I can't tell their stories until I know them. I will continue to find Caitlyn, this exercise certainly helped. When I sat down to write this evening, I didn't know what the image would be, or the meaning it would hold. I just pulled in a little closer to my character. I love it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Seeking Wanderer

Linking up once again with Write on Edge. We were given a quote:
Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.
~J. R. R. Tolkien
and a photo :







Along with a few rules to follow. Which led me to write:

A Seeking Wanderer


The emptiness had all but devoured me. I went out, wandering. The lights and the sounds of the city streets trapped me. I felt abandoned, but from what? Friends had called it depression, others just a temporary crisis. My wandering led me to a building. The sign identified it as a church. I didn't pay attention to its name or religion. I sat. A song from inside brought me back to my childhood and family. Both were many miles gone now. Almost in habit, my head  bowed and words were whispered. The words simple, not full of emotion, not desperate. Just simple, "Where do I go? How do I change?"

In the morning, I awoke. I went through my routine and headed to the office. My mind shifted into gear and went through its pattern of the every day. The thoughts that sent me wandering were buried as usual to allow me to walk through the day. I nodded and mumbled as I walked by others. I would carry on...or so I thought.

 An email interrupted routine. The subject line...Your Answer to Destination and Change. My brain quickly shifted to the steps and the previous night. I opened it.

At the end of Highway 301 in the town of Brecksville you will find a country road. Walk it.

"Still round the corner there may wait; a new road or a secret gate."

It is where you should go and how you will change.

No signature. No further direction. But I knew...I needed to go. I shut down my computer and walked down the halls and into the street. I went home and took off my suit. I put on jeans and a t-shirt. I went to my closet and found a backpack from my college hiking days and packed it with some necessities. I left...and I headed to the end of Highway 301 in the town of Breckville.

The emptiness of the road was welcome compared to the noise of life I was walking from. The breeze carried over the golden growth beside me, energized me. It had a quiet push forward. It encouraged me on toward the road that stretched beyond imagination and dreams. That was my goal...to go beyond my imagination and dreams. To find purpose and meaning.

What was that I felt spread across my face...a smile? Foreign and strange it sat there, bewildering my heart. Anger and resentment had built walls, fear and confusion hid hope.

But now the echo of words I once read called me onward down a road to…to where?

The road or that gate somehow gave reason to move, gave motivation to plan, and the mystery of it allowed me to cast doubt aside and seeking and searching down a road I never knew, to a place still unknown.

As the sun was starting to set and chill came from the breeze I found a gate...hidden by overgrowth and sort of secret. I opened it and found a new road...