Thursday, March 26, 2015

Playing with Inspiration

Today I puttered. Today I played. Yesterday  Joyce Valenza's Facebook profile picture inspired me. I love the pose and the simple shadows. So I used it as a mentor text to sketch. If you don't follow her on Twitter, do. She's been on my ed-tech list for a long time--she teaches me something every time I dip into her stream.

I started the sketch yesterday and had time today to paint. I wasn't trying to copy the image of Joyce per se (I'm terrible painting actual people actually) but I was interested in the spirit and shape of the image. I was at a break in my Iona journal but had an idea. I wanted the piece to stretch across the divide. So I imitated Joyce's position from the profile picture on the left and on the right sketched a sky of flying books.  

I love how the artist that did Joyce's picture captured her hair. Since I took Paulette Insalls "All about Faces" painting class, I've struggled with hair. Seriously, there are three bald women on canvas in my studio. Sometimes I put off drafting decisions, especially when I creating with paint. 

 I got my tools ready and set up my space with freezer paper, an old rag, paper towels. I filled a spent Talenti ice cream container with water and tuned into the Three Tenors on Pandora.

I'm not quite finished but I'm well into the second draft.
The books still need details and I'm not sure about the dark outlines or her eyes. I'd like to try a layer of glaze and them add color to pop. The glasses need highlights too. The paper needs to rest and dry for now. Tomorrow is another day. And this week, I have a lot of time to play.

The Slice of Life Story Challenge is hosted by the talented team at Two Writing Teachers.
 Link up your slice everyday in March and on Tuesdays all year.
 Thanks Stacey, TaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Huzzah! Hooray!

The Slice of Life Story Challenge is hosted by the talented team at Two Writing Teachers.
 Link up your slice everyday in March and on Tuesdays all year.
 Thanks Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna and Beth.

Huzzah! Hooray!
Hip hip and sashay!
Today is my day,
a BIG birthday whoo hoo!
Today is my day,
and presents from You!

Comments on blog posts are like presents. Comments are a reader's gift to a writer. We don't call it "comment love" for nothing. In fact, the word "love" was used fifty-two times in comments left on my posts this month. A quick look at the top nine words says a lot about the values of our commmunity: love, student, work, day, response, think, thank, great, make. Those are words I can build a professional around.

I so enjoyed doing the commenting challenge this weekend. I learned about loss about down sizing about apps and assessment. I can't believe I won the challenge.  I'm still stunned; I won--what a birthday gift. I won!

I love reading, thinking about and commenting on Slice of Life posts. I love the peek into teachers' classrooms and writers' thoughts. There is great variation and yet a lot of similarity in what we do.

My brother--whom I was visiting for a long-weekend, birthday retreat-- thought I should just write simple sentences of praise. He suggested a copy and paste of "Great post!" or the like.

I said, "no way!"  This was no Nerdfighter spam wow party.

Tagul word cloud created from comments left this month. 
Slicers are thoughtful in comments. We encourage. We praise. We "bless" and sometimes "address" to use Kelly Gallagher's words on giving writers feedback.  This community is full of gratitude and thanks, curiosity and wonder, poetry and play. It was fun pushing myself to comment more than usual this weekend.

Thank you to everyone who has blessed my writing efforts so far this month. And a heart full of thanks to the team at Two Writing Teachers and the Highlights Foundation.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Goodbye for Now

Swing by Two Writing Teachers for seconds or link up to serve us your own slice!

We stumbled through our short morning routine as we readied ourselves for the trip home this morning. I don't like saying goodbye; it's why I say goodbye for now on the phone and see you in the morning at night. 

Goodbye is sad without hello. As I brushed my teeth, running the cold, cold water from the tap I brainstormed ideas for a goodbye poem. Goodbye is like "guacamole and I hate the color green." Sara Holbrook's line from the poem "I Hate My Body" kept coming to mind.

When I write with student poets we work images. I don't have colorful images for good bye yet. Humor is on the far horizon for this idea.  I'm still in list mode.

 I love how Sara's line relieves the tension of dislike and irritation. When I see her perform it and watch the audience she always hits the guacamole and green in a way that makes kids smile and chuckle.  I would like to make saying goodbye to company easier with a laugh.

Last week a student chose a poem full of hellos and goodbyes to perform. Wisps of lines whispered in my ear this morning--wish I could bring the title to mind. A hello and goodbye poem would be fun to write. 

While waiting to board the plane home, Collin and I played with this instant poem generator to kickstart some ideas. I bet my niece would have fun with that form. I'm going to play with it and see if I can reshape it--break it out of the too tight for me formula-- with comparisons and images. 

For now goodbye, goodbye, see you soon, goodbye.