Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I am not a laptop gal

I really, really want to be a laptop gal, one of those super-cool writers on their super-cool macs in the coffee shop.

But I have discovered I'm not.


A couple of issues:
1) I don't have a mac.  I have a school-issued hp.  I'm grateful, and it is great for checking email, etc. but is incredibly cumbersome for writing.
2)having the laptop out is like advertising free candy for my little ones.  The minute mama is on the laptop everybody has some sort of deep need for me right now!

So, I'm back on the desktop this morning.  Even with the sticky "n" key it is better than the laptop.  Or maybe it's just because the kiddos are still sleeping.  Either way, I'm excited to be writing again.

Today's prompt from Kate Messner's Teachers Write summer writing group:

Tuesday Quick-Write:
Write for two minutes to describe a very specific place.  If you’re just free-writing, it can be a place that you love, or have visited, or a place that frightens you.
This is one of my favorite places (which also happens to frighten me sometimes), the Florida Everglades.
Anyplace is fine. If you want to relate this to your work-in-progress, choose a very specific setting within the piece and imagine yourself there.
When your two minutes are up, stop writing.
Now…if your place is real and you can go there, go there now.  I’ll wait….
If it’s far away, find a picture of it. If it’s not a real place, put yourself there in your mind. Now write for one minute about each of the following:
  • Everything you SEE – Pay attention to big things and tiny things. Search for concrete details.
  • Everything you HEAR – Be specific. Don’t just say “a scraping sound.” Say a “high-pitched, raspity-raspity-screeeeeaking noise.”  You can make up words if you want.If you aren’t in the place, try to find a video. Or guess what you might hear.
  • Everything you SMELL – Especially pay attention to the smells that surprise you. If you’re not in the place, pictures can help you smell. Look carefully…what would that dumpster smell like?
  • Everything you FEEL – Weather, wind, things that land on you or brush against you. Again – pictures help you imagine if you’re not there, and if it’s not a real place, try imagining images and then assigning sensations from a similar place that might be real (desert, tundra, etc.)
Now, go back and rewrite that descriptive paragraph. Include your best tiny, surprising details, and work on senses other than sight. Better?  More vivid?  This is a fun activity to do with kids, too. Have them write about the playground or gym or cafeteria; then go there and hunt for sensory details!
I really love this prompt.  I've done my initial 2 minute write---about my library office, of all places! but I'm saving my rewrite till a bit later in the day since I am planning to go to work today. I really do want to experience my office with all my senses and then write.  Good idea, huh?  ;)
I've decided to throw caution to the wind and post my writing on my blog this summer---it is really hard for me to put myself totally out there to be judged, but I'm ready for some growth in my writing, so what the heck. Here goes...

My library office is one of my favorite spaces in the world.

Yes, it is cluttered with stuff; supplies for not only my library work, but on the table to the left, a tall stack of purple Gifted and Talented folders ready to be sent to admin for the summer; to the right an extra cart of new laptops that need to be cataloged, and a pile of papers that need to be filed for my Girl Scout troop that meets after school in the library. Oh yes, and books. Books line the shelves, of course; some of my favorites, some signed by authors, some from my childhood. Along the back of the office I have a cart of newly-arrived books just waiting for my finishing touches to make them shelf-ready. A special shelf of books that just might be a bit too much for my middle school readers is there, anxiously awaiting my reading and final judgment: do they stay or do they go? Photos of my family, the Cheez-It box signed by all the kids on the NYC spring break trip from the year we got stuck in a freak snow storm for 4 extra days in Secaucus, New Jersey (a whole other story), my Godzilla action figure, my Shakespeare puppet. I am surrounded in this space by the beautiful, the meaningful, and the whimsical mementoes of my life.

Each morning as I enter this sanctuary, I have what might very well end up as the only few moments of utter peace in my day. As a wife and working mother of two very darling and high-maintenance girls, not to mention working with tweens and teens and teachers all day, this brief time all by myself in my office feels utterly luxurious. My own secret garden, filled with the heavenly scent of coffee brewing and that lovely new book smell. The soft mechanical hum of my computer and the air conditioning unit that backs up against my office wall soothes many a harried morning. As I sip my coffee and check my email, I breathe deeply in my safe space. I exhale. I am girded and strong and ready for the day.

Let me know what you think...
Mrs. S.

No comments:

Post a Comment