Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Wednesday is for Shel Silverstein, who was awesome. February 27, 2013

I’ve been trying to get my students to write short, simple little fairy tales. Easy, right? They even get to write them in Spanish(their native language). I even gave them some ideas. They could write about either a talking tree, a magical food, or a flying carpet. But for some reason, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to write it.

I have this one student who asked me about five times yesterday afternoon if he could just translate a story into Spanish. I tried to explain to him that that was plagiarism  and that he needed to use his own imagination.

He comes in today and has three beautifully written paragraphs in excellent handwriting. I glanced at it and thought, well good for you! actually writing when you thought you couldn’t! But then I started to read it….”Habia una vez un arbol amaba un muchacho….” (translation: Once upon a time there was a tree who loved a boy)

Then I kept reading. And yup! You guessed it! He tried to pass off The Giving Tree as his own fairy tale about a talking tree. And for about three seconds I was thinking, Man, this kid is a good writer….and then I translated it in my head and went…WAIT A MINUTE!

Ahhhhh lazy teenagers…it’s the same no matter what language you speak I guess.

The good news is that I showed them the actual story, so they had to learn some more English.

So this post is for you, Mr. Silverstein. Thank you for writing a beautiful story that is so good my students want to pass it off as their own.

 

some progress February 26, 2013

My goal this weekend is to get some parts written for each chapter that I have in my book’s outline…which is about half of the book. So far I have parts of chapters 1-5, 7, 9, and 11…so I really only have a few chapters to work on this weekend.

However, I still have to have some semblance of a kind of finished rough draft by my birthday…which is in less than two weeks.

The good news is that I seem to work better with a deadline, so I will probably end up staying up really late on March 8th in order to finish my draft. And then I will have an awesome birthday present to me for the next day!!!!!!

Now I am going to bed. BEFORE 11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I am still not caught up from my crazy weekend.)

 

A list February 25, 2013

as in….a listing of things, not a group of really well known actors….

1. I drove to Cincinatti (the Kentucky part) this weekend. That really only makes sense if you are from Ohio….that Cincinatti is also kind of in Kentucky….

2. I spent said weekend with 6,000 junior high students. And i had fun. NO WAY, right????

3. I sang a lot.

4. I sat in a parking lot a lot.

5. I ate quite a bit of junk food.

6. I braided a lot of hair.

7. I got a flat tire.

8. I changed the flat tire. Well, I got the jack under my car and loosened the lug nuts, and then a kind random guy stopped and finished the rest for me. But i really do know how to change a tire.

9. I then bought a new tire because I couldn’t drive two hours on the highway on a spare.

10. I slept on a couch.

11. I made about 5 dozen pancakes…at least.

12. I sang some more and played a cajoun….look it up.

13. I drove two more hours back home.

14. I took a three hour nap.

15. my boyfriend said that all my flat tire trouble happened because i didn’t tell him i was going to cincinatti, where he has friends that could have possibly helped me…..ha!

 

The end.

 

On blindness, and getting talents from somewhere. February 21, 2013

Often we don’t think about other people’s perspectives or talents, we just marvel at our own. I think that we especially don’t spend a lot of time ruminating over our abilities that came from our parents. I think we should; I think I should. Anyway, my dad is going blind. He has macular degeneration and has had it for quite a long time now. It is strange, because when people mention blindness or disability, I don’t ever think about my dad having it. He can still function really well, and maybe it is just because I am used to it, but when I am around him,  I rarely ever notice that he can’t see things the way most everyone else does. But sometimes I do have to explain to new friends that the reason my dad doesn’t recognize them right away is because he can’t really see their face, and in high school I would read out loud to him because reading is very taxing. Anyway, back to the talent thing, as my readers already know, both I and my brother are writing books currently. I never really thought about where our writing talent came from, but a couple of nights ago, my dad was telling me that he was writing something about his experience of being blind, and that he was going to share it. Then tonight, my mom posted what he wrote on her facebook. And now I know why I love writing so much (and why my brother and I both have such an affinity for large words). Here is what my Dad wrote:

The Art of becoming blind

To start off I must confess, sometimes I have daydreams, or fantasies, or possibly more precise delusions of grandeur. I imagine that something I do or think or say will have some lasting effect on others or perhaps move them from point A to point B. Maybe I will make someone understand something they didn’t before or cause some epiphany, some “AH HA” moment that gives direction to their life. When things get really out of hand, I might end up as a popular public speaker that starts a national movement…. I did say delusions of grandeur. 
Maybe I do this because of pride, maybe it’s some need for significance, possibly some of both. Whatever the reason, I find the exercise somewhat cathartic. A chance to collect thoughts in an effort to explain to myself the things going on in my life, and in the process maybe it will benefit others.
So… the art of going blind, a strange title that may need some ‘splainin’. When I think of art, painting, sculpture, and music, etc. I think of it as an expression of someone’s perspective. It was the word “perspective” that got me started on these musings. It came from a conversation with a friend whereby I was explaining how I have been able to notice things I haven’t before I started losing my vision. We pay so much attention to our central vision that things in the periphery are overlooked. I have noticed different bands or layers of color and shapes in a forest, the stark contrast of trees against the night sky and against each other. I can appreciate the overall shape of things and the textures they create as the details tend to escape me. These changes in perspective are both literal and metaphoric. The former in that ongoing physical changes force upon me physical perspective adjustments. For example, having to look away to see someone’s face, or hold something really close to make out what it says or what it is. The latter in that my attitudes and frame of reference is changing “perspective” as well. How do I see my future? Will I become bitter as convenience is removed? Will I overcompensate in some character quality or some other behavior, imperceptibility and subtle at first, so I won’t be dismissed or overlooked?
And so we come to the balance, the art of going blind. To be weighed down with some fear, anger, bitterness, sadness or to rejoice in what I still can see and do. To mourn what I have lost or to appreciate what I have. To know that you have to ask for help and at the same time desire to be independent, even as freedoms are slowly eroding.
Where is God in all of this? I would hold that He is smack dab in the middle of it. If nothing else, He is in the business of redemption. He takes things that are broken and fixes them. He takes things that are corrupt and dirty and worthless and transforms them into something worthwhile, clean and holy. I am reminded of what Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 4 starting at verse 16; “Therefore we do not lose heart, for though the outer man is decaying yet the inner man is being renewed day by day, for momentary light afflictions are producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. For we look not at what is seen but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporal and what is unseen is eternal.”
So the art of becoming blind is a balancing act, a tightrope walk of sorts, as I learn to accept transformation and change of perspective or become a slave to “a cage, to stay behind bars till use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.” (From the Lord of the Rings)
My hope is that as I learn how to express the perspective I have that it will become something artful. With God’s help at least metaphorically, the blind is receiving sight. Here’s to the day when the not yet becomes the already.

 

Wednesday is for poets, like my friend Danielle! February 20, 2013

Filed under: Wednesday is for poets — Dorothy Lynn @ 7:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

She is an excellent poet. She has this quirky, amazing way with words that completely describes what she wants. I seriously wish sometimes that my words would display my personality the way that hers do, but then, she is a much more open person than I am. Or maybe I just see her in her poetry so much because she is one of my best friends. Anyway, here is a poem she posted on her blog.

Pages   By Danielle Zaborski

To me, you are a

blank page – dark eyes,

barely open, asking

with a gleam half-joy,

half fear, “Please

be my future.”

 

Oh, the pages of you

that I could fill, sitting

on a small back porch, warm

against your side, watching

the watercolor sunset melt

into a warm star quilt.

 

But please forgive me.

I am a selfish creature.

I am still so afraid of you,

and I can’t explain why

except with a question:

“How will you fill my pages?”

And here is a link to her blog. She is also a fantastic musician as well….seriously, you should hear her sing opera. It’s quite stunning.

http://norithmetic.wordpress.com/

 

A great article and a picture. February 16, 2013

Filed under: Foto Friday,General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 5:25 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I read a really well-written and beautiful article today about my friend that was killed last week. It was so strange to read it, and remember all the places that they talked about–her favorite spot to play basketball, her church, her house. It was hard to read, and even harder to look at the beautiful picture of her that was taken on the day she died. But this article represents her so well, and the picture does even more. She was a beautiful young woman, and I only wish that I could be in Kake today as they honor her. Mack, I wish I could stay beside you tonight as your friends and family watch over your body.

 

Here is the article: http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/021313/new_1099397749.shtml

And here is the wonderful picture. I honestly never saw her without this smile on her face.

Mack

 

Tomorrow… February 14, 2013

I am going to Toledo for my best friend’s birthday party that involves eating Indian food and ballroom dancing. It should be fun. Right now, I am sitting in my kitchen, waiting for laundry to be done, while wishing that I could just sleep. I am still not quite used to the whole teaching thing yet, and as I just started subbing for another teacher as well, my day is even longer. I’m not complaining because it is fun, but my body doesn’t quite like me right now.

Speaking of fun, today I remembered (too late, unfortunately) that the verb “coger” means something different in Central American Spanish than it does in Castilian (Spain) Spanish. That was fun today when my students were reading a fairy tale and simultaneously started giggling because I, like a good little Castellano, gave them a story written in Castilian that frequently used what was, to them, a cuss word. AWESOME. This is another reason why I love languages.