Monday, June 4, 2012

Time to go Camping!

The Tuesday Slice of Life Is Hosted Weekly by Stacey and Ruth at their blog, Two Writing Teachers.  Have a terrific time reading all the slices!


This time I'm writing about the summer writing camp, sponsored by Kate Messner, Gae Polisner and Jen Vincent.  See the beginning post about it here.  The hashtag is  #TeachersWrite  & I've seen so many of you slicers signed up.  This will be fun.  I haven't been to camp in years, unless you count visiting my kids at their camps.  


       I started writing yesterday, and have several goals, one of which is to devote some really serious time to a character I wrote about early this year.  The beginning paragraph has been simmering in a file for months.  Every once in a while, I'd take it out & read it, then put it away, knowing I had no time to do anything with it.  So this time, when Stacey & Ruth posted about the writing camp on Facebook, I grabbed at the chance, of course not knowing that about 600 others would also do it.  It's going to be very interesting this summer.  
       Here are some things I've noticed about myself since yesterday. 



 I've put off writing both days until evening.  I've done some other writing, the newsletter for my colleagues that I do every few weeks, and my Monday reading post, but this writing, THIS NEW WRITING, I put off until after dinner.  Then, I put in a load of wash, drove down to the gas station to get gas, watered a few dry spots in the lawn, took a shower because it's so hot, and dusted the living room.  Really! I got out the duster & dusted.  Guess I was a little nervous to start.  
       But I did start and after reading Kate's latest post that gave some prompts and advice for writing about setting, here is what I wrote.  I have begun!  By the way, this is slightly connected to that first paragraph I referred to earlier, but different too.  It surprised me, so I'm going to follow the writing and just see what happens.
      Main Street, only two blocks long, runs southeast to northwest because the town founder wanted the best view of the mountains from his store.  From a hot air balloon, you would notice the stores are held in by the bookends of the Methodist and the Baptist churches.  In line like obedient school children are the brick facades of the drugstore, the grocery/hardware store  and the post office, where the morning visiting happens.  Sometimes there is time for a cup of coffee and the grown ups do their visiting instead at The Shady Side, the cafe across the street.  I hear “Ed, what in the world are you mailing off in that big box?”, and “My goodness Edna, your grandbabies aren’t babies anymore!” and then, more quietly, “Hey Josie, how’re ya doing?”  That last from Tommy Storker, new freshman at the high school, that I found out was running errands for his mother.  The petunias in the planters along the street splashed both the color and the sweet scent of late spring, and there is a clearness in the air that only happens early in the day.  The sun isn’t exactly bright, but illuminating.  I feel illuminated, as if the energy inside me will burst out if I don’t do something, and do it quick.  My name is Josie Brown, and I live here, a few blocks from Main Street.  I come downtown to see what’s happening, and I’m waiting.

46 comments:

  1. What a great beginning to your tale - and to your summer. I can't wait to read more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anita. It'll be interesting this summer!

      Delete
  2. A nice beautiful description. I can see it. I'm right there with you. I signed up for the writing camp, too, but have been out of town the last two days. Guess I need to get cracking, huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Margaret, now the work begins, I think. Easy to put things down, but to make it good, my mind is whirling!

      Delete
  3. I am participating in Teachers Write! as well and one of my objectives throughout the process is to think about implications for students. While reading your post I thought about how it is so beneficial for us to have avenues to stretch ourselves as writers in order to understand how students might feel in the process. It also made me think about us hesitating and choosing our time vs. them often needing to write when we ask them to.

    I hope that you enjoyed experimenting with setting and dialogue. I look forward to hearing more about your character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is your twitter name? I will look for you or you can find me. @LBaie. I too will be thinking of students all along the way. I've written before with them (I call it On Demand writing) but it never seemed so serious before, to me. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Love this beginning. I walked down that street. My favorite lines are the last few. I want to know more about Josie Brown and what she is waiting for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Deb. Isn't is exciting to do this. I hope you find your picture book text, too.

      Delete
  5. Interesting that you found yourself putting off the writing. I think it was giving your mind time to marinate in the thoughts that you put down. Great beginning! I can't wait to read more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think I was percolating, but Kate's direction did help, although I've taught the 'senses' so often, you'd think I wouldn't need it. That's the beauty of a writing group I guess. They push on onward. Thanks Elsie.

      Delete
  6. I remember that feeling of energy inside me ready to burst - I'm looking forward to more from you and Josie Brown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amelia. We'll see what happens next. I have a few ideas, but writing does bring it out.

      Delete
  7. Such an excellent piece, Linda. Just the right degree of visual and sensory details to bring the scene alive...and the dialogue which weaves it all together and makes it personal, felt. And I love that last line - you closed on a note of expectancy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tara. It is fun to go in a new direction. I'm looking forward to this.

      Delete
  8. What a vivid description of a place Linda. I can see it... from the petunias in the planters to the way you have the churches bookending the town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stacey. I appreciate the compliment. I was glad to see you joined the camp group too!

      Delete
  9. I admire all the writers ( I read it was 600?) who joined the writing camp. I can't imagine the amount of learning and writing that will happen. Thank you for sharing your writing and getting ready process. The small town description finished with waiting builds anticipation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I'm hearing 700-wow! Thanks for the response, Terje. I think you're finished
      with school now, correct? Hope the days are going well.

      Delete
  10. I can hardly wait to read what happens with Josie...and maybe Tommy. I am really intimidated by all the great writing going on in the camp. I guess it's a good thing I'll probably never run into these awesome writers on the street. I'd probably act like a teen with their first encounter of a rock star.
    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think I remember you have done some very good writing in the past, too, Tammy. I'm glad you are doing this. I just read your post today too, very interesting. It'll be fun to see where everyone ends up by August. Thanks!

      Delete
  11. haha, love that you DUSTED! I will admit, I'm reluctant to start "this new writing" as well -- I read Kate's post today and said "ohhh... /real/ writing, /hard/ writing... I will save that..." (Plus, I hadn't written my writing plan yet!) I'm going to try the brainstorming part tonight in my newly created writing timeslot and then hopefully I can develop the paragraph tomorrow! Yours is wonderfully descriptive -- I love the "from a hot air balloon" point of view as a way to show the buildings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I said on your post, I think your plan is great. Thanks for your words, too. I know this will be fun, & as you said, hard, but fun too. Thanks Jennifer!

      Delete
  12. I also signed up and haven't even started yet. I told myself that I'd do both days tonight. Now, I've got baking to do for my mom's birthday. (No dusting...but I did get plants watered). :) I'm looking forward to it...just have to get started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Julie. I skipped the planning one-don't really need it, but perhaps you want to. It saved me some time. Glad to hear you are in the group. There are a bunch of us slicers!

      Delete
  13. I love the sound of this place you are describing. It sounds similar to the town where I work and a little smaller than the small town I grew up in. Small towns are so unique to themselves, and the people are unique as well. I can't wait to see where you take this. I am putting in my request early--I want a signed copy when it's finished! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betsy, you are so dear. I grew up till 7th grade in a small town, & all my married life have visited my husband's little town. Parts of those memories will play a role in this I think. Thanks for your comment. Happy Writing!

      Delete
    2. I just had to come back for a moment to tell you...
      I don't know who she was in my poem but she was definitely fairy like-minus the wings, a small brave little creature of sorts. I can see her, but was SO delighted that you did too!

      Delete
    3. How cool is that, Betsy. I definitely felt this creature. Thank you for telling me.

      Delete
  14. I am in awe at the way you can describe this fictional place with so much precision. The way you compare the building facades to obedient school children adds another layer to the feel I get when I imagine this town. And the splash of both color and scent provided by the flowers is a delightful play on the senses. I am looking forward to loads of writing and reading together this summer!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you Christy. I have some ideas in my mind that I'm writing from, places that I have seen, so the words do have some reality, at least to me. Thank you for your response. I appreciate it a lot. Are you writing with #TeachersWrite?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Linda,
    Like others here, I love how you so vividly describe the town from the book ending churches, to the hot air balloon, to Josie...I look forward to learning more about her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy. It's quite an adventure, this, but good to have a new challenge.

      Delete
  17. I have two favorite parts Linda. I love the way you described the bookend churches as you described the setting. It's so easy to visualize this scene in my head by your description. I also love the way you ended this paragraph. "And I'm waiting." This makes me want more, more, more! I actually scrolled down for the next part! I hope you continue to share this work because I'm already hooked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the feedback, Robin. It's so appreciated. The next part might be harder because it's just a little glimmer, not very definite yet. I'm going to surprise myself I think.

      Delete
  18. I will most likely join you at camp, Linda.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You have made me so excited to start the writing camp! I parented myself by making the rule that I have to get through the end of the school year first, but come Friday, I am ALL IN! And, I hope to be able to catch up, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine that you'll be able to by Friday. It's my last week too, but I don't have the huge responsibility of a classroom teacher, so it's not too stressful. Can't wait, Jen.

      Delete
  20. OOoh.. I really enjoyed the beginning and the end. I'm curious about this character and what is in store for her. I really had a vivid picture of the town based on the unique way you told us about the mountains and from the bird's-eye view of the buildings from the hot-air balloon. Keep writing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dana. I appreciate your comment. Here's to more writing in the weeks to come!

      Delete
  21. I'm excited that you started, I'm typing on my son's iPad on a small vacation. I love the picture of the church bookends. I hope I can catch up next week too. XO nanc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typing on an IPad is problematic I think. I'm just not fast enough so far. I'll look for you when you start!

      Delete
    2. Yes, fingers seem to move slower for some reason!

      Delete
  22. I love the lines, "In line like obedient school children" and then the cafe name "The Shady Side Cafe." I'm imagining its more than "shade" the "shady" refers too, and I'm hooked at what these characters will find "happening." I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this, Sheri. I appreciate the specific comment. Will look for you!

      Delete
  23. Now that all the end of year madness is over, I'm just putting all of this together. It looks like fun. Hope it isn't too late to join. Thanks, Linda.

    ReplyDelete

Having a conversation is a good thing!