Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Today kicks off something that I've been looking forward to, only now that it is here I have to admit that I'm feeling slightly intimidated and nervous about "keeping up" . . . despite Kate Messner's post about Writer's Notebooks having no rules and the general "You've totally got this" implications.  The fact that I got to sneak a peek into so many incredible authors' own notebooks is a treat in itself, one that reminds me that we all start somewhere, but one that also reminds me that my journey barely has a path laid down before it.  The truth is, I have wanted to write a story longer than a chapter for all of my memory.  As a young girl, I kept writer's notebooks before I knew they were called Writer's Notebooks.  I jotted, sketched, wrote, and dreamed . . . and I wish I could get my hands on even one of them right now.  I'm almost afraid to ask my mom if she knows where they ended up.

So this begins what I hope to be a commitment bigger than a pipe dream, bigger than my childhood hopes, and bigger than my busy life can possibly contain.  I want more, but that can be scary in itself.  So as I begin today, I am keeping in mind the passion and drive for "what if," "yet," and "big dreams" that I spend all school year attempting to instill in my students and every day hoping to give to my own boys.

When I shared a free write with my students this year and a girl {who has dreams bigger than our little town will ever hold) happily tilted her head the way she does, smiled larger than life, and declared, "Mrs. Kluegel!  You should WRITE and keep sharing.  It can be YOUR Genius Hour," I knew.  I knew I needed to let her inspire me and channel that little girl who so long ago kept pages and pages and notebook after notebook of ideas, characters, and adventures.


Kate Messner:  "This summer in my notebook, I want to . . . "

This summer in my notebook, I want to write daily.  I want to commit to putting my thoughts on a page whether they seem coherent at the time or not.  I want to develop characters who feel like friends and who might push me to do more.  I want to make it something I am proud of, but something I am also never afraid of.  I want to write without confines, share without worry, and dream without roadblocks.  I want to write.

Jo Knowles:  Weave in a theme in a subtle, beautiful way.

Sharing meaningful themes in my writing is important to me because I value using writing to teach and share with my students.  Books like Fish in a Tree and One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Out of my Mind and Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper, Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood, Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura Williams, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and The Fantastic Secret by Owen Jester by Barbara O'Connor and countless others are filled to the brim with life lessons and conversation starters that lend themselves to building strong, thoughtful humans.

There is nothing I appreciate more than a story that inspires me to think about it long after I finish the final page, except maybe a story that inspires my sons and my students to respond, to act, and to think harder and more deeply than they did before experiencing it.