Time for Writing

During a tutoring session with a high-schooler this afternoon, I watched her write descriptively about a long-remembered place near and dear to her heart. As she described each room, she’d wander off momentarily revisiting memories of Christmas tree decorating with her grandmother, fishing with her grandfather, and game nights with cousins. I found myself getting lost in the reverie along with her, watching her choose the perfect words to describe the place in her childhood where she recalled being most deeply and truly happy.

In those moments, I envied her a little bit. Not just because I miss my own childhood memories and family reunions, but because she had both the opportunity and the directive to creatively write.

I miss writing.

I’m a language arts and English teacher, so I have plenty of time to talk about writing, to read about writing, to teach kids how to write well. I guess didn’t realize how much my heart longs for moments spent simply weaving words together in a creative form.

It’s been nine years since I wrote my first book, eight years since the second. Since that time, life has been profoundly busy with college and a transition into teaching. I love that after all those years, I went to college and earned an education degree. I love that I am firmly established in a teaching career I love with all my heart.

But I really miss writing. And I need to figure out a way to make time for it. Somehow.

Long before I wrote my first actual book, I wrote a children’s book manuscript I tucked away and guarded from the public eye. A children’s book needs an illustrator, and I didn’t have one. So I let it sit. And it’s been sitting for twenty-five years.

It might be time to dust it off.

There is a part of me I know will never be complete without a regular practice of creative writing. I tell my students that one of my main goals as a teacher is to instill such a love for writing in their hearts that they can’t not write. If I want my example to be a solid one, which of course I do, I reckon I’d better start practicing what I teach.




“One day I will find the right words and they will be simple.”
Jack Kerouac

These days, they are anything but simple. They are complicated, complex, wrought with conflicting opinion and stand-taking and assertion. I am tired.

I long for calmer moments, of rainy afternoons and dark clouds gathered and thunder like the rumbling of a distant train.

Things are about to become much less quiet in my life as I start work as a TA and simultaneously begin work on my B.S. in Ed Studies full time online. This will be far from simple, but I need rest soul-deep if I have any hope of getting through the next two years.

I want the election to be over. Whatever we are going to wind up with for leadership I just want it done so (hopefully) the arguing and judgment will stop. If it doesn’t stop, then social media will not be seeing much of me. I need to focus in a positive direction.

I long for quietness, for lightness of being, for peace. I long for moments spent holding my husband’s hand or playing Little People with my grandchildren or making dinner for my big, beautiful family. I need to pull inward, to beckon my heart back home. Only then can I pour myself out the way God calls me to do as a wife, a mother, a Mimi, a teacher, a friend.

I am praying for renewal of purpose. For all of us.

Post-Term Musing


This won’t be one you’ll want to share, so the pressure’s off. Just relax and read, if you’ve got a minute.

Last week I finished my first year of college. In some ways it seems too short a time to have finished two full semesters, but when I think of the work that went into it, it seems like longer. But anyway, it’s over. I’m taking the summer off to focus on studying for (and taking) my GK test for teaching, and also to study ahead for my fall statistics class.

True to form, as soon as I sat down at my desk to write, everything I’d been ruminating over flew out of my head. I even cleaned my office this morning so I’d feel more creative, and I’m burning scented candles and listening to soft piano music for inspiration. Moonlight Sonata don’t fail me now…

It has felt strange over the past week not having thoughts of homework and tests and assignments and workshops and deadlines crowding my brain. It’s a good kind of strange, but it has me a little off-balance. In many ways, as crazy as it sounds, I think I actually miss the routine of school. It keeps me alert, focused, purposeful. I admit it is nice to have a few minutes to clean the kitchen. I’m sure my honey will agree.


I’m going to miss Dr. Cohen. I love her dearly and will always be grateful for the way she pulled for me and helped me to believe I could actually do math.


I’m sad I won’t have her for statistics, but I am happy I could have her for my first two college math classes.


I’m also going to miss Dr. Haber. I was blessed to have her for Comp I and World Lit 2. She sharpened my writing and made her classes interesting and challenging and enjoyable. I love her.


The art show for my biology class was a big hit. It was the culmination of our Dali and DNA study funded by an Innovations grant, with 40+ exhibitors showing a variety of artistic pieces. It was great fun, and I learned a lot about both Dali and DNA. Dr. Delgato made the whole thing an amazing endeavor, and I am delighted that we get her again next semester for our next biology class.

The college experience has been great for the most part. The not-so-great parts will hopefully work themselves out for the best in the end. I am loving the experience.

Dreams Revisited


It’s been a while since I wrote here. At first I was reeling from a rough April, then June came and I made a decision to go back and pick up a dream that was woven into my heart as a little girl.

I decided to go to college to become an elementary school teacher.

The week after I made that decision, which already just felt “right”, I found out a local college is just starting a new program this fall for incoming elementary education students. I immediately dove into the to-do list for the program, first applying, then testing, then checking one after another task off the list right down to the personal interview. I found out on July 27th that I was accepted.

And so it is that I find myself 50 years old and eight days away from starting college to become a teacher. I am a giddy schoolgirl again.

It’s raining today, and I watch it pour out my office window and I marvel at the timing of all this. Homeschooling was over for us a year ago, but I didn’t yet feel the nudge to return to this dream. I did follow another one, and wrote two books within six months. Whatever happens (or doesn’t happen) with the books, I can rest knowing I did what I’ve always wanted to do as a writer.

And now I turn my thoughts, my focus, my energies, to becoming certified to do what I’ve wanted to do since first grade. Mrs. McBrayer was my first grade teacher, and in the short time I was in her classroom before they moved me on to second grade, I made up my mind that I wanted to be her when I grew up. I called her on the phone the day after I found out I’d been accepted into the Elite Educators program, and I thanked her for inspiring me through 25 years of homeschooling and still how as I embark on this adventure of college and educator certification. She said I made her day. She is 82 and stays right here in my heart.

I am grateful beyond words for this opportunity. I get teary when I think about it. I’m 50 and I am blessed to have a whole new adventure ahead of me.

What dream have you laid down? Is it time to pick it back up again, dust it off and remember what the little girl in you always wanted to do? Dream-chasing is much more fun with company along the journey.

Let’s do this.