Teachers Write! – Describe a Specific Place

As part of the writing prompt for today’s yesterday’s Teacher’s Write, we were encouraged to pick a place and write a description of that place. Here is my paragraph(s) written within the two minute time frame and then additional time to rewrite with more details.

The prairie grasses stand tall in the deep road ditch. They gently sway with the wind. A hidden treasure waits. Wild asparagus. “I found some, mom. Over here.” The mom rushes over while pushing away the dew-filled cattails. Her two siblings run toward her. More wild asparagus for supper.

She can almost taste the tender stalks melting against her tongue. She sighs, though, realizing that before the asparagus can be cooked, they all will have to be checked for wood ticks. She runs her hands over her arms and legs quickly just in case she can feel one trying to crawl into her skin now.The thought makes all her muscles cringe even more than usual after pulling the fresh vegatables.

The siblings get ready to cross the gravel road. First they look to the right. Dust billows in the distance of a few short miles. Is it a green tractor moving between fields or the large slow orange road plow making its daily trip to even out the gravel that gathers into ruts? Maybe it is one of the fast-moving semi trucks moving livestock or grain for the farmers. They hope it isn’t the semi truck. It kicks up so much dust. Dust that will cover the laundry hanging out to dry in the yard. dust that will hang in the air as if in slow motion as it returns to the ground.

They will wait until the dust-maker passes before attempting to cross again. Finally, One more look to the right. Grandpa is checking his mail box. The wind across the prairie muffled their high-pitch excited screams to get his attention. Instead of waving at them, he turns around, shuffles through his mail, and disappears into the grove of trees that hides his driveway and protects his homestead.

Maybe they will walk down to their grandparents later today. They know a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies waits for them.  Their dog barrels out from the slough that sits in front of their grandparents grove of trees. She is barking nonstop. Her growls mean she is mad. She never growls like that at the kids. Her coat is drenching wet. She must have gotten into another fight with a muskrat. She will probably win the battle later tonight and drag the wet carcass in front of the house.

They look to the left. They see a farmer drive his tractor across his field. They are glad it is the smell of fresh black dirt that floats through the air instead of the manure from the farmer’s livestock being spread to fertiilze the soil.

They run across the road, losing their balance here and there as they go across the uneven gravel. Laughter of the children erupts. Their arms swing. Their heads are pointed toward the sky. The wide open sky that tonight will be as black as black can be and full of endless stars and a large glowing moon. If they are lucky, they just might see the northern lights ripple through the sky.

Home. Our destination across the gravel is my childhood home.

View from my home in Minnesota:

The prompt started with writing for two minutes. Then taking a minute for each sense. I was amazed at how much I still needed/wanted to write when my two minutes were done. I actually didn’t set the timer on my phone for one minute per sense. I just started to rewrite. I know more work can be done, but for now I am pleased with my description and I think I might be able to fit it into my WIP.

Making Time for Writing – Teachers Write

This summer I have signed up for a virtual summer writing camp called “Teachers Write.”  I know – it probably sounds silly right. I mean, I am a freelance writer.  I get paid to write. I shouldn’t struggle with writing. But I do when it comes to myself.  I can be handed a writing assignment with a list of contacts, a sentence or two of what to cover and create a 1,700 word article. Yet, I can’t get my own (book) ideas to go from my head to my computer screen.

As a homeschooling mom, I don’t get my time to write for myself. If I have a writing assignment, I do what ever it takes to make the time.  If I want to write for myself, it gets pushed aside. I have been teaching my son for three years now. He just finished second grade, and I’m so proud of his progress this year.  This past year, I also taught writing classes within our homeschool co-op. It was a wonderful time teaching homeschool kids who come together for two eight-week sessions through the school year.  The best part is that my real-life friend Pamela taught an art class that coincided with the writing class for the second half of the year.  The kids created their stories through words and pictures. It was amazing!

Today is the start of camp. And the first “assignment.”

Make a writing plan for your summer and for your school year.

What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write. Now that school is done for us, I should have more time to write. But having the time and taking the time are two different things.  I need to set an alarm in my phone to remind me to write each day. Or maybe I can only watch shows on  on Netflix if I write first.

When you’ll be writing each day & for how long.  I have a hard time setting a time limit for writing.  Maybe it will only be five minutes one day. Another day it may be 20 minutes. Some days I might struggle with writing. Another day the words may just flow. I just want to write. As long as I write even if it is just one sentence at a time. I have been thinking more on making an editorial calendar for my blog as well.

Where you’ll usually write. My office. My kitchen table. My outdoor patio. I’m not stuck to only writing in one place.  As long as I have a laptop or an iPad, I can write.  I can’t write with pencil/pen and paper. Well, I can. I choose not to write that way.  I should start to carry a pad of paper around with me for those times I think of things but don’t have some sort of device with me.  I will have to think on that more.

Who you told about your plans.

I guess by sharing on my blog, I’m sharing with the world. It is sort of like posting my dailymile exercise posts on facebook and twitter. Someone will see them. Someone will hold me accountable. Someone, I hope, will ask “why haven’t you posted any workouts lately?”  Is it too much to hope the same thing happens if I slack with blog postings and writing?

And now to make it all happen!