I read another article the other day that stressed the importance for teachers of writing to write. It does make so much sense, and it is a fundamental belief that I advocate for whenever I talk with other teachers. The article also went a step further by suggesting that kids need to see adults writing. This includes parents who write to and with their child. In another article found here on the National Writing Project site, you will find different writing activities aimed at encouraging families to write together at home. I think this is a positive step toward increasing an awareness of the art inside of writing.
You can find the complete article from the blog site here
I have been thinking a lot lately about all the life that exists inside the notebook. As I thumb back through my notebooks, I notice a crinkled page where I spilled some water during one of our Sunday drives in the golf cart. On another page, I found a smear of dried up clay from down in the gully where I sat one day, writing one of the scenes of my novel. These remnants are a great accomplishment to me. They represent time and pieces of my life that I have documented in my notebook forever.
So, I had to share this entry written by my four year old, Zane. It was just another day here on the ridge. We were back at the climbing tree and the boys were climbing and playing as usual. I had been taking my notebook each time we went to the climbing tree so that I could write while they played. I was just getting the title on my entry when Zane came over and asked if he could write in my notebook. I gave him my pen, and he began to compose. I couldn't help but smile as I listened to him gather his ideas out loud, including all the things he could write about. When he was finished, he told me all about his stories on the page. From this one experience with Zane, I realize just how much he already knows about the art of writing. He knows that writing means something and that a writer can find topics by simply living wide awake with childlike wonder. My notebook is truly brimming with life!
A few days ago, the first cool front of fall came through the Brazos Valley. I was headed to a meeting with one of my dear friends and we started talking about how nice it was to have some cool air. It reminded her of when she was a little girl, waiting for the bus to pick her up with the cool air of a fall morning on her skin. There is something magical about that first front. In that moment, we could not put into words the feelings that came rushing back with a simple childhood memory of a change in the weather. Every time I tried, I thought about the memory that my friend had described. I quickly reached for my notebook and began to write.
Here's a peek at my entry.
It amazes me how one little conversation about the weather can be snatched from the air, captured in an entry, and finally set free again as a poem. Writing ideas may seem to fall as light the leaves, but as we gather them in our arms and toss them up again, we see a lifetime of possibilities swirling in the air.
I took this entry and immediately envisioned it as a poem. It is written in first person, and it's not really about me. With this poem, I found it really enjoyable to step inside this memory and share it with my friend.
Here's a peek at one of my drafts.
The beauty of drafting quickly and sometimes having more than one draft, allows you the freedom to crack your entry open again and again. I love the surprise that's waiting for me inside each draft.
Having a quick draft also gives you the opportunity to play around with the design, language, order, and so much more. In this draft, you can see me reworking the title, rephrasing some lines, making decisions about word choice, and envisioning line breaks. Once I type it up, I revise again until I am happy with my final changes.
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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