A nice surprise #sol17


Last week, I wrote about the village of people who encourage my writing life (you can read that post here) and how my Mom is my chief supporter.   She’s always doing things like finding cute journals and notebooks or simply sharing some encouraging words on those days when the blank page is my nemesis.  Today, she picked up a pack of my favorite pens.  She’d heard me mention that I needed new InkJoy pens, but the store didn’t have them.  So, when she came across this pack when out shopping today, she remembered my love for these pens (I really am addicted to them!) and added them to her shopping basket.  It was a nice surprise and using one of these vivid colors in my writer’s notebook perks up my writing and my ideas always seem a lot better! I can’t wait to see what I end up writing with these pens!



It Takes A Village To Support a Writer #sol17


It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to support a writer.  That village probably looks different for each writer, but I think we’d all agree that there are certain people who surround us and encourage us to be writers.  While a number of people comprise my village, including my fellow slicers, I’ve been particularly blessed that my Mom is the most supportive member of my village.  She has always encouraged my desire to write, from my preschool years when she supplied me with pencils, pens, and reams of paper, through school years (that included several years when I doubted my ability to put anything worth reading down onto paper) and a dissertation.  She’s listened to my ideas, read pieces of writing (she gives great constructive criticism), and been my cheerleader during those moments of doubt and on Tuesdays, she often asks, “Did you blog today?” She’s invested in my writing life, and for that I am thankful.  Navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of a writing life can be challenging, to say the least.  But knowing that my village, including Mom, are behind me for every step, makes the journey even better!

A new book and the sound of laughter #sol17


I believe that a classroom can never have too many books, so I’m always on a quest to find new books.  Between the Children’s Literature conference at Shenandoah University, the ILA conference, and the Green Valley Book Fair, I’ve added quite a few new books to my classroom library.  One of the books that I collected this summer was an advance review copy of Josh Funk’s new book, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk and I’ve anticipated this read-aloud for several weeks.  I couldn’t wait to see my kids’ reactions to this fabulous story!  I finally had the opportunity to share the book with my students today and my classroom was filled with laughter.  In particular, one of my quietest students giggled throughout the whole story.   In fact, I had never seen her respond to a book in this way before and it reminded me again of the power of a great story.  Listening to the sound of her laughter was one of the best parts of my day.

Computer woes #sol17


I love technology.  I really do.  But tonight, technology is sorely testing my patience.  About two hours ago, I powered up my laptop to write my post for today.  However, once the Internet connected and I tried to access my blog, my computer began to act as though it had a mind of its own.  The cursor began dancing madly across the screen, even when my hands were nowhere near the keyboard or track pad.  I tried to wrestle control, but applications opened seemingly of their own volition.  Photos popped up, my iTunes playlist suddenly appeared, and then my messy desktop bounced into view.  I tried shutting down the computer and restarting it, but as soon as I attempted to reopen my documents, it all started again.  I pulled out a wireless mouse and tried that, thinking that something was wrong with the trackpad, but the cursor continued to bounce around on its own.  I ran my security software to make sure that something hadn’t infected the computer, but everything came up clean  Finally, I decided to stop fighting with the cursor and picked up my iPhone.  Thank goodness I have the WordPress app installed! I quickly opened a document and began to type.  The words came quickly as I realized that  at least my computer troubles at least gave me something to write about.  While I’m still not sure what happened with the computer, I’m going to hope that the dancing cursor decides to take a break tomorrow because I have meetings to attend and just about everything that I need is located on that laptop.

Falling back on an old standby-#sol17


I’m in Norfolk for a VSRA board meeting, so for today’s slice, I decided to revisit a favorite prompt of mine.

Currently I am…

listening to…the air conditioner.  The hallway is pretty quiet.  Occasionally I hear a door close, but other than that, the noises are few and far between.

watching…a show on the Food Network-I love to watch other people cook!

drinking…Pepsi, which is not my favorite drink.  However, Pepsi products are only available at this hotel.  I miss my Coca-Cola and sweet tea!

eating…nothing, although I’m eyeballing the chocolate popcorn that I bought last night at a cute little shop near the hotel.  So far, I haven’t touched that bag of popcorn (yet)!

needing to…finish a conference proposal

thinking about…dinner

wanting to…finish the conference proposal

feeling…invigorated after the day with my VSRA friends

missing…Coca-Cola and sweet tea

anticipating…that the restaurant where we’re having dinner has either Coca-Cola or sweet tea!

Random writing ideas #sol17



Having too many ideas to write about today doesn’t sound like a problem, but as I sat at my desk with drafts on multiple topics, I realized that trying to corral some of these ideas into written form just wasn’t working.  I started several posts only to discover that they either needed a little more time marinate or were only of interest to me.  For example, I started to write about the geese crossing a major highway in a nearby town.  This sight was enough to make me stop my car to watch, but not enough to warrant a full blog post.

Then, like a dog chasing a squirrel, I chased onto another topic.  This time, I began drafting a piece about waiting for books on hold at the library.  I have a hard time being patient with the holds list and for books that I’m really looking forward to reading, I typically check the Overdrive app on my phone multiple times during the day.  However, that post was kind of bland and really didn’t go anywhere interesting.

My next topic focused on a book that I’m reading called The Founding Foodies.  This is actually a book that I had forgotten about, as I had purchased it a long time ago.  However, it somehow ended up in a bag in my office, where it waited nearly nine months for me to remember it.  The author of this book examined the Founding Fathers and their influence on food and drink.  The recipes included are fascinating and I’ve enjoyed the lens through which the author considers the Founding Fathers.  Maybe I need to wait until I’ve finished the book to be able to do it justice in a blog post.  I have a start here, but it’s not quite there…at least not yet.

So, three very different ideas are here.  Two should probably stay within the pages of my writing notebook while the third may just need the gift of time.  As I read over this post, which at first felt like a mishmash of ideas, I realize that this process helped me figure out what I want to write about next.




One of the things that I love about flying is looking at the clouds and the landscape below.  I always try to get a window seat so that I have the best view and I often snap pictures throughout the flight.  I love searching for pictures in the different cloud formations.  Something just mesmerizes me about the sites outside of the window.  So, I thought that I’d share some of my in-flight photography today.