why untitled, unwritten?

I once labeled everything before it was written, until I found it kept too many words away. Now I am leaving the unwritten untitled, until it grows into a name.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

So I have a completely bonkers idea.

I want to do NaNoWriMo this year.

I don't really have time.

I keep saying that--I don't really have time.


But I do.

Time usually spent wandering the internet.

Time usually spent on time-fillers, like TV shows and Tumblr and what-not.


And I'm thinking that I'll do NaNo with some of my students.  Set up the Young Writers Program in our room.  Participate in the challenge with them.


It starts in just under two weeks!

Sunday, October 5, 2014


My days have taken a turn.

My messes are piles of teaching books on the table, scribbles in the planner I made up for our cascading schedule, lessons printed & modified & printed again.

I love it.

I'm doing what I love.  

I'm teaching.

and yet.

This is my first full-time job.  I mean, I've worked full-time before, but it was always two part-time positions cobbled together.

So I'm learning how to balance everything.  How to find time to open this lovely book that I found at Half Price and how to find time to open my journal.  How to focus some of my creative energy into self-care, into creating for myself, and not only into lessons.  And perhaps I need to have a short season of pouring my creativity into my teaching.  

Because here's the thing that struck me this weekend: last Saturday, I woke up early to drive halfway across town (okay, that's not terribly far in Louisville, but still) for a professional development session.  And because I was up early, this view filled my rearview mirror, and I captured it while waiting at a ridiculously long stoplight.

In the last two years, I've learned a million and one useful (and occasionally not-so-useful) instructional tools and tips and strategies.  Now, though, I'm learning what works for me and this particular group of students (and not just what worked for my students last year or for someone else's students).  And that will take time and energy and focus.

But then I wake up early one Saturday and see this incredible sky, and as long as I can pause a minute and embrace that beauty, that richness, the pinks and yellows and blues and golds and the shadows, well, then...

I'm still taking the time to pause, balance, and remember that nothing is ordinary.  And so while I may not be creating quite so much in my journal or home, I am still filling my well.  I am still looking for the art in the everyday, still an artist.

And that works for me.

and on a nitty-gritty-details note, I'm removing my full name from most of my social media and sticking with the blog title.  Even though I know that anonymity is more myth than fact and that anything put out there on the internet is there forever, I'd like to preserve more of my privacy, just in case--just for my own sake and for the sake of balance.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I came across these words twice in one day, in places I didn't expect to find them, and the next day?

I got that call I'd been waiting for all summer and working toward for two years.

I start on Monday.

On Friday morning, I carried drawers and supplies and such into my classroom.  Then I went to work, my last day as a teaching assistant.  In the afternoon, I bought some shelves at Peddler's Mall and stamped a few more books.  I found an activity for my first lesson that connects to writing and our focus areas for the next few weeks.  I planned.  I dreamed.  I prepared.

Tomorrow, I begin my teaching career, this job and calling and passion I've worked for through the last two years.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Notes to Self

One I found the day before a job interview...

...and one from a song that got back into my head after I officially accepted the job...

In less than a week, I'll begin teaching sixth grade.

I'm so, so excited.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thirteen, Twice

I started this on Thursday, my twenty-sixth birthday.  I finished it now, three days later.

Dear Thirteen-Year-Old Me,

This is the strangest, saddest birthday you've known.  It's certainly not how you planned to begin your teen years, with strep throat and a cancelled birthday party and then, suddenly, a tragedy that dramatically changes the country you live in.

You'll have a party later, but not without some sense of guilt.  I'm celebrating my life when others lost theirs, lost everything, lost their loved ones.  You'll feel a little bit of this every year, and that's okay.

Thirteen years later, your birthday will approach and you'll be oddly excited.  Twenty-five was great, but twenty-six?  You're starting this year out with some grand adventures ahead.  You've been blessed, learned how to practice gratitude a little more, released yourself from some of the guilt that isn't yours to bear thanks to the simple passing of time.

You'll also realize something else: we have to remember the bad and the sad.  You sometimes want to stamp those things out of memory, just stop talking about them, forget...

Yet you have to remember them.  They happened.  They were, are real.  You will have to speak of them and share.

But you don't have to think only of them. You don't have to dwell on them.  

Understand that the bad and the sad don't need you to stay with them, in their shadowy spaces.  You don't owe them that.  They don't want or need that from you.  The shadows don't require or desire your presence at all times, your undivided attention, your devotion.

Let the light--the happy, the full, the incredible--dust the edges of those shadows, make them less deep and dark and impenetrable.  Let the light make the shadows manageable.

And, most importantly, don't forget to stand in the light.  Let it fill you.  Then carry it with you into the shadowy places.


When I tell people that my birthday is September eleventh, I often get pity.  I don't want it.

I just want to acknowledge what happened once on that day thirteen years ago and to celebrate my birthday.  These dark and light things will have to coexist.  Don't get me wrong--I truly wish they didn't have to!--but life is full of dark and light and I've figured out a way to navigate this particular pairing.