Literary Tree

Our homeschooling plans have taken a literary turn this month. In a fit of Pinterest inspiration, I purchased a tree kit from the local teacher supply store. Isn’t it cute?
100_3269
Now, for every book the kids read independently (or with little help) they get to write the title on a leaf and add it to the tree.
100_3352
We started with a winter bare tree in the middle of summer and it’s turning to spring even as the temperature rises. Come winter, we’ll be in full summer glory here.

Orderly Books

As noted earlier this month in my Three Confessions post, I had a messy book situation. The books were tidied up more than a week ago and here at the visuals to prove it.
BEFORE:

100_1984

100_1986

100_1988

AFTER:
Do you see any of your favorites?

100_2002

100_2048

100_2056

100_2058

100_2061

I do have a few more bookcases not pictured, but they are looking good as well. Some of the books are still in cabinets, but they are easier to see and find. What shape are your bookshelves in? Do you have any goals to fill, reduce or organize them?

A Very Literary Christmas

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And my favorite part of the wonder of Christmas is the magic of Christmas stories. Rather than stowing 100_1778a bunch of gifts under the tree for the month—tempting little fingers to pick and peek at them—I scatter our collection of Christmas books under the branches. This gives my kids something they can handle, old friends they can revisit from the previous years.

 

We spend a few days reading through a chapter book or read a picture book each night while enjoying the sparkle and messages of the season. So far this year, we’ve read CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Patricia Hermes and YOU ARE MY MIRACLE by Maryann Cusimano Love and Satomi Ichikawa.

 

Another thing I love is Christmas music. Here’s a sample of one of my favorite voices—Mitch Malloy—singing Silent Night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFOdUJ8W9rs&feature=g-hist

What are your family’s traditions? Your favorite Christmas story? Song?

Images and Words

“Reality lies beyond the horizon…” That’s been my mantra for over half my life. The saying—yes, with the ellipsis because it proves that reality isn’t final in this moment—came about the same time as my self-appointed nickname “Wonderwegian.”

When I was seventeen I dubbed my room WONDERLAND and inhabited my kingdom with Wonderlonians. I’ll omit the embarrassing titles I gave my favorite people but let you know I had everything from court jesters to royal exiles. And Wonderland was covered with pictures of people, places and artwork that inspired me. I even had items hanging from the ceiling!

Besides covering my walls with images, I placed several quotes in key locations. Most were hand written in calligraphy on index cards and they were everything from lyrics to writing quotes. One of them stated “Reality lies beyond the horizon… -Wonderwegian.” There was also a paragraph-length exposition on that theme I wrote with the input of my pen pal Justin Williams, but I can’t locate it right now. (However Justin did locate me on Facebook two years ago. Hello!)

I’ve tried to “grow-up” décor wise since getting married and what was once a room-size collage is now crammed onto an 8×5 bulletin board. I’m wondering if increasing the space of visually inspiring images would produce more written work.

What are your thoughts?

Can you work in a room like that (okay, maybe minus the Nelson poster—though it does have three autographs now) or do you need calming negative space?

P.S. If you insist in knowing, I’ll give you one title: Thor was guardian of the realm.

The Art of Procrastination

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Art of Procrastination

I’m the most productive procrastinator I know.
You can tell how much I’m avoiding something by how organized my home is. In the past few days I’ve cleaned the kids’ playroom, organized their closets, straightened my desk, and helped my parents with their organizing.
This past Friday, I received my full professional critique back from Laurie Halse Anderson. (Yes, you have the right to be jealous!) She did a thorough job. After reading her write-up I knew she hit my strengths and weakness spot on. But I’ve been avoiding reading through the manuscript—not quite sure what to do with myself when what I’ve been waiting months for is back in my court. I’ll be forced to act, to move CORRODED up to the next level toward publication.
And it’s paralyzing.
So, rather than taking that last step, I did everything else I could possibly do without feeling guilty. Things that need to be done. I couldn’t just sit in front of the TV and zone-out. I’m not wired that way. Those that have spent an extended period of time around me know I’m a pacer. I can’t sit still when the situation is out of the norm—my nervous energy must be put to work. And sitting down and reading through 176 pages of blue (not red) notes on my story is beyond my sphere of comfort.
But I finally did it Saturday night. It wasn’t as painful as I expected. Now, I’m laying out my plan of action for the rewrite—think this will be edit #7…