Happy Poetry Friday! Our friend Margaret is hosting today at her space Reflections on the Teche. Don't miss out on the poetry fun!
This week, I am back at the ridge with my friend, the moon. Yes, that's right, the moon again. I never grow tired of giving the moon praise for my writing inspiration. The moon is one of those magnetic topics for me. I feel drawn to write about it whenever I might feel a little empty. Thanks to the moon, my writing can always fill itself full.
Invitation to Write:
Writers have different ways of filling their writing life with an abundance of words. What strategies do you have for bringing fullness to your writing?
Welcome! I'm so glad you are here visiting today. After your stop here at the ridge, be sure to sail over to Donna's space Mainely Write, where she is hosting the round-up for us.
I'm glad to be back with my Poetry Friday friends this week. I have been away hosting my other dear friends and members of the CSISD Writing Project. This is the third year that our school district has offered The Heart of Texas Writing Project professional development for the teaching of writing. This summer institute is truly a transformative experience for the participants. As teacher consultants, we are honored to be in a room full of teacher writers so dedicated to providing authentic writing instruction for their students. In celebration of our week together as writers, I am sharing a few pictures that capture our work and a piece inspired by these writers with wings.
Writers with Wings
With many voices all coming together to learn and grow as writers, the room became a safe place. It became a space to question, a space to explore, and a place to feel stuck. So we dreamed a little dream together. We imagined this not only for ourselves, but for our students. And in the midst of that dream, we opened our hearts and dared our minds to give that dream flight, to give it wings. We vowed to give our students those wings to stretch out and fly into this world as thinkers and as writers. For on the wings of a writer, humanity is restored. And the space between words and this world, is only as wide as our desire to fill it.
Invitation to Write:
Discovering and exploring your identity as a writer is often a great place to begin your writing life. Spend some time getting to know yourself by writing inside your notebook. Write widely and often. Read and reread. Give yourself some grace. Focus on what is there rather than what is not. It is through a lens of appreciation that we must learn to view our own writing. It is through this lens that we may begin to expect and welcome the sound of our own words pitter-pattering upon the page. It is through this lens that we mine the words of others, those writers at heart.
Welcome to Whispers from the Ridge! I'm so glad you are joining me on this Poetry Friday. For all the poetry offerings this week, stop by Katie's space The Logonauts.
Today, I am honoring the memory of a dear friend of mine who passed away earlier this week. She was such an incredible motivator and mentor to so many. Many lives were inspired by her passion for her family and the work she loved. She will be sorely missed.
Yet, her dedication to children and her love of literacy will live on. Her belief in providing an authentic space for real readers and writers to create will continue to positively impact the lives of children in classrooms across our school district.
When she wasn't putting her heart and soul into her leadership work as our district ELA curriculum coordinator, she was often hanging out at her special beach spot with her family. She loved the beach. It was where she would spend hours laying in a simple hammock with a notebook and a good book.
This poem is in loving memory of her and the place she dearly loved.
Invitation to Write:
Writing can have the power to heal at times. Often times when we are having a rush of emotions, we can feel overwhelmed with all the words and feelings we want to express. Getting them written on paper can help pin them down. Once on the paper, we can begin to sort them out and make sense of them. Whenever you are full of a blur of emotions, try writing them down. Put the pen to the page, and let yourself go. Spilling thoughts and feelings onto the page during any emotional state can be good for the writer's soul.
Happy Poetry Friday to all! It's a short and sweet haiku this week inspired by the summer scent on the ridge. For more poetry goodies, head to Tabatha's at the Opposite of Indifference.
Invitation to Write:
Keeping up with our writing lives isn't always easy. The summer months can be especially busy with traveling and spending time with friends and family. Finding time to write can be a challenge, but it can be done! Whenever I find myself on the go and in danger of neglecting my writing, I remind myself of how important my writing is to my daily life. It provides a natural energy boost that keeps me going from one daily event to the next. Like my PF friend Jone MacCulloch says, "It's important to keep a writing practice."
I couldn't agree more. So wherever your day takes you, be sure to schedule in a little writing practice!
Happy Poetry Friday and July full moon week! On the ridge this week I am sharing a poem in honor of my friend, the moon. For more Poetry Friday friends and offerings, visit Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink.
There's just something about a full moon that really helps ignite my writing ideas. It's fun to watch the moon grow and rise. My writing seems to grow more full and heavy with emotions the more time I spend under the moonlight. Perhaps that's why the moon is one of my favorite magnet topics. I can always find inspiration from its glow. In this way, I consider the moon as one of my "topic friends."
As a writer, I think it's so important to have topic friends to count on as well as people in your life that you consider writing friends. These might be members of a writing group, colleagues, or even members of your family.
If you would like to see the full moon this week, be sure to look to the sky on Sunday July 9th. My dear friend, moon, will be there waiting to light the way to many new words and writing ideas for you!
Invitation to Write:
Make a list of your "topic friends" and other writing friends. Think about one of your topics and spend a little time collecting ideas around this friend. Sometimes having a conversation with your topic and listening to your topic speak to you is helpful, too! After you have collected around your "topic friend", choose a writing friend from your other list as someone you can talk to about your writing. Writing with friends can be a rewarding and joyful experience!
Welcome Poetry Friday friends! It's great to be back with the Poetry Friday community this week. To join in the fun this last week of June, head over to Diane's space at Random Noodling.
Some nights, I have a really hard time sleeping. I find myself wandering into the darkness of my sleeping house. There's something quite magical that happens late at night when my mind is still awake. It is during those times, that I reach for my notebook and write. I let my imagination run wild, allowing the night time world to whisper its stories and secrets. The poem I am sharing this week has a bit of the magic and whimsy I experienced one night. I wish each of you a night of mystical writing, too1
Invitation to Write:
If you ever have trouble sleeping, writing in your notebook can often soothe you right to sleep. I like to keep a notebook by my bed in case I can't sleep, or if I want to scribble down a dream I want to remember. So many magical ideas can come late at night in the quiet dark. Before you sleep away, jot your thoughts down so they are sure to not slip away!
Welcome to the ridge! Thanks for stopping by this week. For more of the Poetry Friday collection, visit Carol at Carol's Corner.
I am back this week from my relaxing trip to the beach. I took advantage of the ocean's poetic whispers while I was there. As I sat on the shoreline, I started generating a list in my notebook. I used my five senses and the imagery of this coastal scene to get some words onto the page. Then, I started playing with the words and phrases from my list. The result is my "Ocean Scene" poem. Working from a list is a quick strategy I use often to get my ideas flowing.
Invitation to Write:
Try creating a word list in your notebook. Once you have your list, try putting words and phrases together. Play with different combinations until you find one you like. Collecting lists can be great fun!
Happy Poetry Friday! I'm away from the ridge this week, so thanks for visiting my home while I am at the beach this week. For more PF posts visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.
In honor of my trip to the coast of Texas this week, I decided to try a beach haiku. I am so grateful to our Poetry Friday host this week, Mary Lee, who gave me a helpful tip to consider when writing a haiku. This week, you'll notice that my form is a little more "loose". It definitely works. Thanks again for the advice, Mary Lee!
Invitation to Write:
You can try Mary Lee's invitation as well! Take any piece you are working on, and see how you might break "loose" from the traditional form or structure. Allow yourself some wiggle room. Have fun loosening the reigns with your poetry writing this week!
Welcome Poetry Friday friends! It's good to be back after taking a week off to enjoy my first deep breath of summer vacation. Thanks for stopping by! For more PF offerings, visit Buffy's Blog HERE.
I decided to try something different this week. I had never written a haiku before, but I talked myself into giving it a try. I have to admit, I was really nervous. But after reading several beautifully written haikus by many of my Poetry Friday friends, I found the courage to branch out and take a chance. The result is my first haiku! I'm really glad I tried this form of Japanese poetry. It just goes to show, you never know until you try!
This is an image of the meadow here on the ridge. The wildflowers and weeds are lovely this time of year. I like taking photos of each one to identify it. This way, I can call them by name as I admire them. They have such interesting names you know!
Here is the list of names I used to choose from for my haiku:
queen Anne's lace
Invitation to Write:
Sometimes it can be easy to talk yourself out of something before you even give it a try. But you never know until you try. I think this is great advice for writers. Taking a risk and writing outside of your preferred form or genre can be a little scary, but the end results can be quite rewarding. The important thing to remember is to keep writing!
Welcome! I am so excited to be hosting the Poetry Friday round-up this week. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this group of poetry friends! Thank you for joining in the round-up this week. Please be my guest here at the ridge and add your link at the bottom of the post if you like.
A few days ago, a special package arrived in the mail. Inside was a well-loved copy of the book, The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey. It was a gift from my dear cousin Ali, who had discovered it in her late grandmother's house. She had read it and thought that I might enjoy reading it as much as she did.
It turns out she was right. After reading the inside jacket and the introductory chapter, I knew that it was one of those unexpected treasures that find their way into the heart.
Here are a few excerpts that I particularly admire.
QUIET AND SMOOTH, fresh and untouched the new snow lies across our meadow. Its pristine surface catches the sunlight, and tree shadows stretch like great blue pencils over the unbroken white. The snow folds gently over rocks and hummocks half concealing, half revealing a variety of different shapes.
So lies our year ahead, its basic ingredients sun and shadow and suggested shapes of things to come. I wonder what we will do with this year, what it will do with us, and what together we and life will create during the twelve months ahead.
A new year is a gift... Things happen. We grow (we hope), and we learn willy nilly... Our reachings, acceptances, rejections, our hesitancies, courage, fears, and our loves, all these form the shape of the year for us, as individuals, as part of a family, as a member of a community.
For me, Hersey's words offer a gentle invitation to find joy in the ordinary gifts of each day of the year. She invokes a sense of purpose in the awareness and careful observation of ourselves and the world around us.
Though I was unable to find much information online about her personally or professionally, I was able to find a few tidbits about her life's work. Jean Hersey was born in 1902 in New York City. She later moved to Weston, Connecticut where she wrote several books about gardening including, A Woman's Day Book of Houseplants and I Like Gardening. Her other books, A Sense of Seasons and The Shape of a Year, are incredibly poetic memoirs that reflect her love of nature and her pleasure in documenting the beauty of ordinary life.
I have only begun to read The Shape of a Year, but I am certain that I will continue to be inspired by Hersey's graceful words and the joy she finds in the realm of daily life.
You can find some of her quotes HERE.
Invitation to Write:
The shape of our year will soon change again as we head into the summer season. Spend some time thinking about the shape of your year so far and the days to come. Where do you already find joy in your daily life routines? Take a moment to write and reflect on these instances.
Think about how these moments help shape your thinking throughout the year. What impact might this thinking have on your goals and challenges this year?
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for stopping by this week. After your visit here on the ridge, be sure to make Jama's Alphabet Soup your next stop on the Poetry Friday trail!
It's hard to believe another school year is coming to an end. The month of May has a way of sweeping in unexpectedly. It closes out the school season and opens the door to another.
Soon, I will open the door to a summer season filled with writing and rewriting. I can't help but look forward to the many blissful hours I will spend on the ridge, just listening to the whispers. So many whispers have found their way into my notebook since I began my writing journey in this place I call home. I am so grateful to have this space to write and rewrite these whispers in my writing life.
I remember introducing my writing space here on the ridge during my very first blog post. I am including the poem from that first blog entry below. So much time has passed since it was written. And there is much that is still left unwritten. I am certain that more whispers will find their way into my writing life, but until they do, there are those that magically seek to be rewritten. They whisper to my mind, and I begin to write.
The Ridge-From the Archives
Meet Phoebe! These marvelous little birds get their name from the call they make that resembles the sound of "Phoebe!" being shouted to the wind. You can often hear them calling early in the morning. Another adorable trait they have is to wag their tail back and forth as they sit on a branch or on a line. It's so fun to watch them.
Yesterday, I was sitting at my little writing nook near the forest when I heard one nearby. She almost sounded as if she were shouting at me to acknowledge her and to hear her song.
Before I knew it, I found myself listening to her sweet notes and even conversing now and then with the delightful Phoebe bird. I had already written about her in my notebook many times, so I thought it was about time to share her song in a poem.
Invitation to write:
The history of this land that we now call our home, is strong and rich. I have always been fascinated by the past and the lives of those who came before us. My mind travels back to days gone by and to the people who belonged to this land before me.
When I heard that just down the road there was a cemetery where some of the Hearne family (pioneer settlers arriving in this area around 1852 and for who the town is named after) were laid to rest, I immediately started researching. I learned that all the land around the ridge and down to the Little Brazos river bottom, were once plantation lands owned by the Hearnes. They are recognized for bringing the cotton business and the railroad to Robertson County. Knowing the forgotten past of the landscape makes me think of the secret laughter and the sadness that are still attached to this land.
Invitation To Write:
Sometimes thinking about the history of an important place or studying the landscape around you can lead you to writing. Try researching the history of your home or a special place by asking family members to tell you about their memories of that place. Explore your thinking about this place by writing about it from different perspectives or from the sensory images it creates.
Welcome! I'm Kiesha Shepard, and I have a love for writing and the teaching of writing. Whispers From the Ridge is a place where I can share my words and ideas for teaching writing. It's also a place for you to find inspiration for writing the words inside of you. I invite you into my world of writing as I capture the whispers from the ridge.
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Schedule of Round Up:
7 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
14 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
21 Katie at The Logonauts
28 Linda at A Word Edgewise
4 Donna at Mainely Write
11 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
25 Jone at Check it Out
1 Kat at Kathryn Apel
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
15 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
22 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
6 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
13 Irene at Live Your Poem
20 Leigh Ann at A Day in the Life
27 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
3 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
17 Jane at Raincity Librarian
24 Carol at Carol's Corner
1 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
8 Lisa at Steps and Staircases
15 Diane at Random Noodling
22 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
29 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe