Category Archives: writing

April is National Poetry Month {Spin Cycle Prompt}

Poetry: I love to read it, but dislike writing it! A few years back, when the lovely Jen from Sprite’s Keeper was the Master Spinner, she chose poetry for the Spin Cycle. Here’s the poem I wrote:

Years ago, in a small classroom I taught
Seven-year-olds, smart and adorable.
I read poetry aloud, funny and sweet,
But teaching poetry to write? Horrible!


I loved teaching all subjects, 3 R’s included,
But I, a poet? Am not!
And as you know, those second graders insisted
On using words like “booger” and “snot.”


Word families were easy; rhyming, a cinch!
But writing in verse is much harder.
“Just try it,” I said. “Keep on writing!” I begged,
“Your brains will grow so much smarter!”


So when this week’s topic for Spin Cycle I read,
My heart went a-flutter. “I can’t do it!” I cried.
On second thought, I recalled what I taught to those kids,
My own advice I should take, so I tried.


This poem you’re reading is my second attempt,
Please, please, don’t tease me or taunt.
If you’re graciously reading this post to the end,
Comment, and your own poetry skills flaunt!

This week, the last week in April, we’re going to write poetry! If you would rather share your favorite poets and poems, that’s okay, too!

Link up your poems any day this week!

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Earth Day Is This Week {Spin Cycle Prompt}

Earth Day is on Wednesday, April 22. I love teaching about Earth Day and the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Last year, my students made flowers from cereal boxes. They turned out so cute!

Reused cereal boxes
Reused cereal boxes

When Emmy was in preschool, she decided that we were going to spend Earth Day walking around the neighborhood and picking up trash. We had a great time!

Earth Day Emmy
Earth Day Emmy

This week on The Spin Cycle, get excited about the planet we live on! You can:

    Tell us about your favorite place on Earth!
    Share an idea using one of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse or Recycle.
    Write about anything related to Earth Day!

Link up your blog post here any day this week, and I’ll be back on Friday with my Earth Day post!


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Just Write! {Spin Cycle}

The writing advice I give most often is to just start writing and the words will come. I use this strategy most often during the month of November, when I blog every day for 30 days. I keep going strong for the first couple of days in December…and then I get back into my old routine of blogging only when I feel like it. This is one reason why I like doing The Spin Cycle; even during the weeks with low links, I’m still forced to write!

So why do I force myself to write? One reason is because when I stop, it’s hard to get going again. I have journals with year-long gaps in them. Another reason is that I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I first started journaling in high school and have several journals that are filled with all my hopes and dreams between the covers.

Emmy has been fascinated with my writing lately. She has plucked the first book I contributed to, The Mother of All Meltdowns, off the shelf and has been reading it by herself! (It’s been a while since I read everyone’s stories; I’m crossing my fingers that there’s no swear words in it!) This is another reason I write; to show my daughters that writing is fun and is not just for schoolwork. It seems to be working pretty well. Emmy has written some books about her friends. (In one book, her friend’s husband dies. It’s very sad. Then she gets a cat to replace the husband.) Emmy loves to take out her series of books made from pieces of paper stapled together. We sit on my bed and she reads them to me.

Lily has always loved to write. When she was angry with me, she would disappear into her room and write angry notes about what was upsetting her. I actually encouraged her, because I thought it would help her get her feelings out. When she was four years old, she would write notes telling me or her dad, “I HAT YOU!” We will never let Lily forget those notes! (I saved at least one of them!)

What about Ed? He doesn’t write much, but he’s a good writer when he has to be. He even wrote a guest post this one time. He also reads all my book submissions. He learned grammar from the best teachers in elementary school, so he’s my go-to proofreader!

Tower of Terror

Just Write a blog post this week, any day, and come back here to link it up! So easy, so simple! Just Write!

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Have You Been Writing? (I haven’t.)

My favorite pair of slippers literally just crumbled apart tonight. I couldn’t figure out why they felt so strange and lumpy on my feet until I discovered I was leaving bits and pieces of the rubber soles all over the house today. What else could I do but throw them out? I do have another pair of slippers; a back-up pair, but they are not my favorite. *sigh*

Why am I telling you this? It’s not so that you will send me a new pair of slippers, although if you want to, I’m fine with that.

No, it’s because throwing my slippers out is the last thing I did before sitting down to write this blog post. I’ve been wanting to write more and lately I seem to lack the ability to just sit down and write. And as I was throwing out my slippers, this prompt idea came to me.

This week’s prompt for The Spin Cycle is Just Write!

Just write

Just Write a blog post this week, any day, and come back here to link it up! So easy, so simple! Just Write!

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A House Is More Than a Building, It’s Your Home

The kids are all tucked into bed, and as I sit down with my laptop tonight, I’ve also been looking at the weather radar. Several tornadoes have touched down in Northern Illinois this evening, which terrifies me. A small town in DeKalb County supposedly no long exists. It makes me feel extremely grateful for this house that Ed and I have built our family in.

As I was thinking about what to write for this prompt, I immediately felt like joking. We know our house is our home because of the messes we leave here! Our house definitely has that “lived in” feeling.

But what else makes our house a home? When I’m away on vacation for a week or two, the thing I look most forward to is my own bed. I can never sleep as well when I’m away from home, especially on the first night. When we were staying at the Pop Century Resort, I had a terrible first night! It didn’t help that our room was small and had only full size beds. I know it’s hard to believe, but Ed and I do not like sleeping that close to each other! Being able to sleep in our king size bed at home is always a wonderful thing to come home to.

One of my most prized possessions are the quilts that cover Lily and Emmy’s beds. My mom made them when they were babies. I am reminded of the love that went into making those quilts every time I see them!

Emmy's baby quilt
Emmy’s baby quilt

Another thing that I love about my house is my big kitchen. The cabinets are out of date, the appliances are not state of the art, and my countertops are crooked. But I love my kitchen window that looks out into my backyard and the breakfast nook where we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The southern exposure makes my kitchen warm and bright, and I love cooking in my kitchen. During the hot, summer months I do a lot of grilling to help the house stay cool, and in the fall, I really enjoy when I’m able to cook in the kitchen again!

I made this chicken, broccoli and pasta dish the other night.

I would be simply devastated if I lost my house. I pray for those who have lost their homes tonight.

The most important things in my house, however, are my husband and two daughters. As long as I am with them, I’ll be happy.

What makes your house a home? Link your blog post here any day this week, and be sure to visit our other Spinners!

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