Sometimes when we write, words flow. They just come. We can hardly scribble or type them fast enough.

Other times, words are hard to come by. They hide. We sit with a blank paper or screen and just stare.

Harvey. Earthquake. Irma. September 11. DACA.

It’s hard to find the words.

Kindness. Compassion. Neighbors helping neighbors. Strangers helping anyone in need. Giving.

So many stories being told.

Words of hope. Let’s spread them.

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Labor Day at the Lake

Sunny skies,
sunny smiles
Family gathering
for fun
Boat cruising
across the lake
Burgers sizzling
on the grill
Watermelon dripping
down chins
Conversation flowing
back and forth
Laughter ringing
in the air
Sunny skies,
sunny smiles

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Celebrating with Ruth

I am glad this week to join Ruth and so many others in celebrating her new book. It is a book that will make a difference for teachers who truly do want to reach children who live every day with hard circumstances. The story in the book is personal and powerful. So many who were at AllWrite and heard Ruth share from her heart know the impact of the story. The practical help will guide teachers. Ruth has a gift for helping teachers reach writers.

We celebrate with you, Ruth! Thank you for generously sharing your work and your heart.

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Long Day

Awake and out of the house,
On the road even earlier
Than usual

Quick stop along the way
To buy popsicles
For later

Arrive at daughter and
And son-in-law’s

Put popsicles in freezer
Make sure we have
What’s needed

A short drive to the
Surgery center
Sign in

Soon she’s ready and
Rolled away-
We wait

My grown-up “baby”
Got her tonsils

Done so fast
It went well
But now

Here comes a kind of
Rough recovery
They warn

So you see why
There was that
Quick stop

For popsicles

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Celebrating a Good Neighbor

The alarm clock went off yesterday morning, and as usual, I tapped the snooze alarm (an unfortunate habit). A few minutes later, a piercing alarm filled the air. Confused, I sleepily realized it wasn’t the alarm clock, but the smoke alarm. As the realization sank in, the sound stopped. Whew, just a warning the battery was failing. I made one foolish attempt to climb up and replace the battery, but quickly realized I couldn’t safely do it. It was too early to try to get someone else to help, so I got ready and headed to school for the day. Off and on, I wondered if the alarm was blaring or if it had stayed silent. I thought I should head home ASAP after school to get it taken care of. Then a retired friend dropped by after school, and I went out to dinner with her. When I finally opened the front door at home, I was relieved to be greeted with silence. I walked next door and explained my dilemma to my neighbor. He grabbed a small stepladder and came right over and replaced the batteries in both of my smoke detectors. So this morning, I am celebrating safety and quiet… but most of all, celebrating my good neighbor.

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Shine the Light


Fog is rolling in


Shine the light

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Celebrating a Tiny Moment

What is more ordinary than walking from  classroom to cafeteria for breakfast duty at the start a school day?

But the little moments every day are full of possibility.

I walked out around the back of our school, passing the courtyard between two parts of the building. I heard a cheery whistle. My eyes swept up past the wide circle of branches at the bottom of an evergreen tree to the lone tall branch at the top. A bird perched there like an angel on a Christmas tree- a simple but festive decoration. The bird sang loudly. “Pretty bird, pretty bird,” it seemed to say. I stopped to listen for a moment before walking on. Then I was ready to greet students coming in with a smile. “Pretty kids, pretty kids,” I thought.

What tiny moment has settled in your writer’s heart this week?

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