I Want This to End – SOL Day 29

So I pull up the twowritingteachers.wordpress.com site to get it ready for my comment listing this blog post.  My first reaction when I read “Day X” is a repeat:  I wish this would end.

So, so many conflicting reasons.. I’m a mix.  Can I sort it out?  Let me name the ways..

  1. I’m tired of outside pressure to write.  This is hesitancy.   I’ve accepted this challenge, but I’ve projected my own disappointment in not being able to write the way I envisioned I’d write.  Maybe it’s because I want to impress other people.  Instead of just writing for myself.. instead of writing for myself..
  2.  Seeing myself as disappointed is difficult.  I should be happy I’m writing everyday.  Small steps.  I don’t know if I’m doing “better” than I had been last month, a year ago.. I’ve evolved.  And I think I can name that evolving as a writer.  If I can name my writerly evolving-ness, doesn’t that make me a writer?  Am I a writer?
  3. I’m tired of outside pressure to write.  I need to develop this habit for myself.  Myself, myself, myself.  Everyday, 30 minutes start.  Do it!!  .. Please.
  4. I’m tired of seeing, creating and supporting my own roadblocks.  If I were my own student and heard myself pining for Oh, this time to write, I wish, I wish, I wish… What on earth would I say?  Sympathize the first time, objectify the second, throw them out of my office the third time.. no wonder I’m losing patience with myself!
  5. I need to find purpose.  Time to go into my notebook and do some soul-searching.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll come back and blog without having the SOL-connection.  Just blog.  Maybe 3 times.. see where that goes..

I’ll tell you this, though.  I do love the process of discovery..


Building Addition, Circa 1985 – SOL Day 28

We had a mock state assessments today while 7th and 8th graders took their actual tests in another part of the building. For about 5+ hours, we were stuck in a room together, trying to be silent as blind mice.

After lunch, though, we jailed convicts were released (thanks, Texas) to walk the track.

We walked out the nearest door — our front entrance — and walked the sidewalk along the front of our building.  Kids were calm and almost near-meditative as they walked with their blinked at the early-afternoon sun.  The spring warmth nearly put me to sleep as I walked.

I didn’t have sunglasses, so I slowly made my way, head down, eyes half-closed, as I followed my kids.  Then I saw something surprising.  Two curbs — what would frame a small road — jutted out from beneath a hard edge of the building.  I’d found what must have been an old driveway when the building’d been build 30+ years ago.  I’d heard they’d added on, but this was the first time I witnessed a remnant from years past.

I felt excited — like I’d just witnessed something extraordinary.

Two, actually.  First was the driveway, but the second was naming what I’d long suspected about myself:  I like discovering architecture additions.

This .. charm that add-ons to buildings has over me .. must be called something.  But it’s something I look for almost every time I enter an old building.  I didn’t grow up around architects.  I never owned or traversed any old buildings other than those near our State Capitol.. and I wonder what in my past defined my interest in looking up as I cross the threshold of a building long created.

Is it the additions of my own mind I’m considering?  The layering of my own mind over time I am subconsciously searching for?

Is it the site of original thinking I’m looking for in other people?  Maybe in my own students?  Am I looking for the perfect spot in the mind of a student, where I can help attach new discovery, new understanding through my own teaching?

I have to think about this.. and I’ll add on this..  Soon.

When does one ever have the chance to discover a road beneath your building?


New Goal to Replace That Addiction – SOL Day 17

Well, I figured out what to do with that book problem I talked about earlier..

Fellow Slicer is going their Reading Writing Project reunion at Teacher’s College. I’ve never kept a bucket list until now.

Every since I attended The Heart of Texas Writing Project, our local National Writing Project affiliate in 2015, I’ve been looking for every Writing Project I can to extend my learning to be a better teacher for my kids. I’ve gone to our Saturday Workshops as a TC.. I’m just not satiated.

Just not satiated.

The only time I’ve ever left Texas was when I was 5 when we vacationed in Colorado and visited Pikes Peak.  Within a year or two or five or ten, I will be visiting New York for the Teacher’s College Writing and Reading Institutes.

Mark the date, Veronica.  Start saving.


Book Binge – SOL Day 16

This is a confession for the ages ..

Dearest, if you come across this while perusing this blog that you know I’m trying to keep up for the Slice of Life Challenge, well, you know how I am and what I’m all about. You can’t guess where all those stacks of books come from.. why we keep running out of bookkcase space and have to keep buying new ones to scatter our collections around the house. .. Baby, let’s just keep reading…

I launder books.

Yesterday, my bookish eldest daughter and I (we brought my middle daughter along as a conspirator) went bookstore hopping throughout the city.  We started at the largest independent bookstore here in Austin, then progressed to the largest Half-Price, until we finally ended up at a Barnes and Noble uptown to just decompress with a couple of White Hot Chocolate Mochas.

My husband gave us an allotted budget — but it wasn’t an allotted budget, not really.  He said “here’s cash and you have X on the card.  Daughter has X amount, too.”  I know he expected us to be reasonable, but, of course, that didn’t happen.

We bought books and notebooks and pencil cases and cutsey, booky stuff — whatever was our little carry basket.  We tried to cull our finds, honestly, but by the time we hit the register, I was already thinking of ways to split the bill between daughter and me…

On to the next store..

Oh, Lord, what I found.  Stuff!  We split our bill again.

When we hit the final bookstore, mission creep finally hit, so I only bought 3 writing magazines (only!) before we trekked our way home.

I’m embarrassed to list the amount we spent.  In my mind, I tell myself that this was our Spring Break Vacay.  Some people spend it on shopping, nails, hair — we are book investors.  But the price we pay to read and live readerly and writerly lives still bothers me..

Eldest daughter lamented with me while were on our way home.  She told me about a time she and her friends were going over the price of their literary tastes..

Her friend remarked, “Drugs are cheaper..”

The price we pay..







My husband doesn’t know about this yet.

Early Spring Tchotchke – SOL Day 13


Temperatures dropped unexpectedly this week in Texas.  Unexpectedly because I don’t live by the newscasts or weather forecast.. just don’t.  But we had enough forewarning (2 days of drizzling rain) to know to wear layered clothing, wool tights under my jeans. This is Texas.  We don’t invest in long johns.. not until we make it a habit of camping year-round.

We we wander brush along the lake, picking up and rooting through boulders and football-sized stones for palm-sized rocks to take back to our campsite and examine.  Cedar, cactus.. I wish I were surrounded by mesquite from back home … but the slow movements of pausing, bending over, stepping and sorting along the wooded ground takes me to the Gulf Coast instead, another childhood haunt. I’m looking for the perfect seashell, the perfect stone.

Found one.



Writing on the Fly 2.0 – SOL Day 12

Oh, dear.

So, here’s another crop of issues on top of what I decided yesterday — that it was okay for me to straight-blog without bringing in thinking from the Notebook, that I wasn’t going to pin myself into a corner ..to where it killed the fun of the SOL challenge for me, to where I’d just quit.

New issue is this:

  • Do not wait until the last minute/hour to blog, Veronica, because you know you can just type something up (don’t do it!!)
  • Do not blog after a full dinner this week (it’s Spring Break, full of rich, happy-Mama meals where I get to cook for the family!)
  • Do not blog after sitting on the sofa eating your bon-bons (okay.. banana chips, then apple pie and ice cream, then whatever else you made the king bring you.)
  • Do not blog after having expended your energy reading from the plethora of your favorite books this week.  Mental drain is going to be too much for you.  And, oh, here’s another one:
  • DO NOT try to blog after working on curriculum for next week, when y0u go back to school.

In other words, Veronica, you wanted to be a part of this, you committed to this challenge, well, my dear, make time for it, even though you’ve decided to cheat (you say in your silly head) and just write  on the fly, even though you wanted to marry yourself to the ideal of wondering in your Notebook and taking your ideas out of there.

Enough of the frou-frou.  And cheap antics. Do better.  Write when you’re more alert.  When you’re cheerier in the middle of the day this week (with Spring Break and all).  When you’ve WRITTEN IN YOUR NOTEBOOK for goodness sake!!!!  You’re still committed to writing in that thing everyday.  What keeps you from blogging right after?

Stop being so persnickity.  You’re so silly sometimes!