I am participating in #SOL17 and thank the twowritingteachers team and the community of writers they have helped to form for this wonderful experience!
Often, to get started, I borrow an organizational structure from a mentor text to help me get started with my writing. Here are two examples. The first one is borrowed from When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. I realized I could focus on a small moment in time just like Rylant did in each vignette she explored in her book. Doing just that, I could return to that scaffold a dozen times or more to write about growing up. This snapshot explores walking to school on a wintry day.
When I was young in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, I walked six long blocks to Edmonds Elementary School. When winter came, I pulled on my thick socks, high boots, and mittens. After I wrapped a heavy wool scarf around my neck, I stepped outside. Almost immediately, the cold air nipped at my nose and made my eyes water. Tiny snowflakes marched to the ground like obedient soldiers. My little sisters and I trudged through the deep snow to school. I was amazed when the snow piles on either side of shoveled sidewalks were taller than my sisters and me! Sometimes we took a shortcut across the church’s parking lot near the school. Our cheeks were rosy red by the time we walked into our cozy classrooms. Our wonderful teachers always greeted us with a warm smile.
The second mentor text gave me a scaffold to explore broader themes and myriad feelings, all within the same writing piece.
The Important Thing About Lynne
(with a nod to The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown)
The important thing about Lynne is that she is a godmother of twins, Alex and Brooke (and has claimed Caitlyn as a goddaughter as well!).
She now has two Welsh Corgi dogs and can walk them at the same time (unless it is pouring and she needs to balance an umbrella).
She writes in her notebook about everything and anything, often using different colored pens – but especially loves the moment when a poem simply pours from her heart.
She moves from task to task and job to job, while reading three or more books at the same time.
Although she loves to write, she loves the time in her gardens to plant flowers in the spring and watch them bloom and grow.
Something that may surprise you about Lynne is she taught horseback riding until she was forty and earned money during her college years by mucking stalls. She was good at it!
She is amazed that her husband actually took the plunge and said, “I do” four years ago, this spring, and still puts up with her!
She is extremely grateful for her friends and family – they are fabulously fabulous!
But the important thing about Lynne is that she is a godmother of twins, and she loves them with all her heart!