Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for visiting the ridge this week. For more of the poetry party, head over to Carol's space Beyond LiteracyLink.
Over Labor Day weekend, I took some time to walk about the ridge. I enjoy observing all the gifts that the natural world has to offer! Our observations can surprise us and wonder us. Having a notebook brimming full of observations can inspire so much writing!
Listen to my poem:
Invitation to Write:
Writers are observers of the world around them. Take some time this weekend to take a walk and record your observations. Open your senses and capture all the life around you! Let your observations lead you to many new writing possibilities. A simple walk can do a writer good!
Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome to the ridge. This week, I am sharing a tiny poem about a Luna moth. Be sure to visit Tabatha at her space, The Opposite of Indifference, for more of the round-up.
It seems that I make very little time these days for my personal writing, which has me feeling a little lost. Most of my writing consists of reflective academic writing for my graduate school work. It's been hard to find the balance between work, school, and home. I welcome all my visitors this week to share your wisdom or any strategies you may have for maintaining a healthy writing life. I look forward to reading your comments!
This week, I decided to jump back into the round-up with a small poem about a moth. I stumbled upon this tiny poem, while I was flipping through the pages of one of my old notebooks. It reminded me very much of a poem I might find in Valerie Worth's book, "All the Small Poems and Fourteen More." I love that poems can come in all shapes and all sizes. I can always find a poem idea lurking between the pages of my notebook. That's comforting to me as a writer, especially when my writing time is limited.
Invitation to Write:
Revisiting and rereading your notebook entries can often bring a sleeping idea to life! Whenever you feel stuck in your writing or you're searching to find an idea, try returning to your notebook for writing inspiration. Big or small, ideas are waiting for you to lift them from between the pages of your notebook!
Happy Poetry Friday! It is great to be back with friends this week. Thank you for visiting the ridge this week, where spring has sprung! Today, I'm writing about a favorite friend to me as a writer, my notebook. Join the rest of the round-up at Linda's space HERE.
My notebook is one of my dearest friends. Like a friend, I miss my notebook when I am away from it for too long. When I haven't visited my notebook, to drop in a word or a line or two, I feel very sad. Sometimes, things in our life can take us away from spending time with our friends. This can happen in our writing lives, too. When this happens, I try to give myself some grace. I know my notebook will be there waiting for me. Like a true friend, it's always there. It calls to me, like a long lost friend. I open it up, and begin again. And just like that, I feel anew!
Invitation to Write:
Think about your favorite writer's tools. How are they like "friends" to you as a writer? If you keep a notebook, which kind do you prefer. Notebooks can often be called a safe place, a think-tank, a workbench, and so many more! What makes your notebook special? How might you describe it using this sentence stem, "My notebook is..."
Whatever writer's tools you use to collect your words, how do they welcome you and sustain you in your writing life? A writer's tool is a friend for life. Happy writing with your favorite writing tools and friends!
Happy Poetry Friday, dear friends! It has been bitterly cold here on the ridge, and I am anxious to read all the poetry offerings this week that are sure to warm my heart! You can find the warmth of poetry this week at Kay's space, A Journey Through the Pages.
January winds have come sweeping over the ridge so swiftly and so suddenly. I find myself in a busy tizzy these days. A new year provides the opportunity to re-root and rearrange. But perhaps my favorite thing about January, is the chance to re-enter my writing life. Though the newness of the year may bring unknowns and uncertainties, I know how to sit idly with pen in hand and write. Knowing this simple truth, gives me comfort. Writing can help me grow patient and attentive to all that lies ahead in the new year. Writing is a teacher. I listen. I trust. I know just how.
Invitation to Write:
Learning to be patient and accepting what comes can be a difficult task at times. Yet, when we let go and trust, our senses become keener. The blessing of words may come softly and freely. Each writer finds a way to turn idle thoughts into meaning and song. Practice sitting idly with pen and notebook in hand. See what voices emerge, what dreams may come.
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for joining me for a visit this week. Matt is hosting this week at his space Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. Join him for the rest of the round-up offerings!
Everyday a new set of current events and topics to ponder present themselves as focal points in our daily lives. While I believe it is very important for us to stay up to date with the happenings and possibilities that we may face in the future, I think it is equally important to stay centered in the now.
However, staying grounded in the now, does not always come so easy. In my own experience, I have noticed too often that the thoughts and sometimes worries about the future distract me. And somehow, before I've even realized it, I have given my full attention to something in the future that might not ever happen. As a result, I end up feeling as though I may have missed something extremely valuable and meaningful in my current reality. This tends to be a struggle for me both as a writer and as a person who cares deeply about the natural world as well as the small intricacies of ordinary life.
Whenever I sense this tension, this struggle, I do what I always do. I write. This kind of fast and furious writing in my notebook, allows me to document my thinking about the future, so that I can continue living in the now. By both acknowledging my questions and fears, I can create a space in time that gives me the freedom to plant myself in the moment to write the immediate thoughts of my mind. Writing provides an invitation and the the room to welcome balance in our lives.
Invitation to Write:
Writers have different ways to balance their past, present, and future thoughts. For example, many writers choose to blog about ideas and issues that they are immediately responsive to. Other writers may choose to log their daily thoughts in a journal or notebook. Some writers do both! How do you choose to document your current and future thoughts for safe keeping? Where do you find balance in your writing life?
Welcome Poetry Friday readers! Thanks for visiting today, and be sure to visit our host Jone at her space Check It Out.
As many of my colleagues and students begin a new school year next week, I offer a question to ponder.
How do you know what to do with a blank page if it's always written for you?
To know triumph is to know defeat. Our struggle is real, and it binds us together-makes us human.
So, I invite you to take a risk this year. Take a leap. Face the page. Whatever your page may be, meet it head on. Your journey has just begun. It will be long, and it will challenge you every step of the way. but it will be well worth the wait. Remember, go slow to go fast!
And, I hope you bring others with you along the way. Share your story. Fill the page. And listen. For goodness sake, listen. Turn the page, and write, one page after another until it happens. You realize you're not done, you've only just begun.
So you'll begin again. The pages will be written by you, not for you. You will decide what comes next. You'll use the strategies you chose along the way, and you'll face each blank page, knowing you have the words to fill it.
The Blank Page
words fall as stardust
scattering on blank pages
filling space between
Invitation to Write:
How will you face your next blank page? Whatever your answer may be, it's golden! The risks we take and the strategies that we learn along the way are golden nuggets to share with our colleagues and students. Here's to the blank pages in life!
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.
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! 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
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:
6 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
13 Sylvia at Poetry for Children
20 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
27 Catherine at Reading to the Core
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
10 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
17 Christy at Wondering and Wandering
24 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
31 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
7 Carol V. at Beyond LiteracyLink
14 Amy at The Poem Farm
21 Erin at The Water's Edge
28 Jone at Deowriter
5 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
12 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
19 Kimberly at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes
26 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
2 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
9 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
16 Linda B. at TeacherDance
23 Irene at Live Your Poem
30 Carol W. at Carol's Corner
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
14 Laura S. at Laura Shovan
21 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Donna at Mainely Write
1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Kat at Kat's Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads