Category Archives: Maggie Jane’s Ramblings

It’s Just My Mom

I was asked to write a piece last year, a short quick write, based on an object I brought to my writing group. I brought a stuffed frog, which my mom always carried in the back of her car for when the grandkids were passengers and needed something to do. This frog also held additional significance, because she used to have a rubber frog she would place on her podium before she plunged into the water and swam her heart away.  She made her way before Title 9 was a thing, and wet her toes in her way, on her terms. Enjoy, I only had about an hour to write this piece, but it holds near, dear, and true in my heart. It also put a smile on my momma’s face!

Loving Thy Family

Nobody knows what to expect when they embark on creating a family. Oh there are tons of books on the market and some with sage advice, while others reflect the utopia we all wish parenthood could be. However, through the years I have discovered a few key things.
1. Always make time to snuggle and communicate.
2. Allow kids to find their passion, even as it changes over the years.
      This is probably one of the hardest things as they grow and develop. Changing your role as Cruise       Director Julie McCoy, to behind the scenes director Steven Spielberg. 
3. Leave your children with a sense of belonging. They may fight with one another but the way they behave when they come back together tells the true story of how connected the familial relationship has become.
4. Let them make mistakes and guide them through the physical and mental challenges of stretching and growing.
5. Find common ground for discussions, over breakfast and dinner are usually a deal breaker in our house. “You’d better be home for those meals because that is where the magic happens.”
6. Read what your kids read, watch what your kids watch, play games they play, know the families of the friends they hang with.  Be their biggest fan!
One of the common things we started early on was reading before bed every night. Beginning with the eldest offspring at about six weeks old. Although he was too little to understand it all, he built in the routine and developed a love for the reading over time. As each child grew and developed reading skills they took over reading to the rest of us. We all found different things in each story which also marked developmental milestones. As their improved so did their writing. Studies show a clear connection between reading and writing and how these skills connect. Each of them has so far had incredible academic accolades and lord knows it did not come from their gene pool!
Looking back, as my babies grow into there own, establishing a routine of reading helped create the tight bond they share with each other, as well as with their Dad and me. Even though the eldest has been away at college for two years he still communicates with each of us almost daily in some shape or form.  Mostly on snap chats with his siblings but a text with a meme or picture of a meal he prepared is just enough to know we are solid. As the middle readies himself for his freshman year of college he too will embark and break away from the nest. He is already asking me about good reads for his down time (hate to tell him but college is a full time job!) Our youngest will be an only child for the first time in her life. Her brothers have already vowed to talk to her daily in some shape or form. Keep it tight and find common ground to create those bonds it is well worth the payoff!

The Birth of a Writer

For those who missed the smashing FWP’s internet fame please give these a little looksy!

First World Problems Part 1

First World Problems part 2

I like to show these gems around the first six to eight weeks of school when the students begin thinking school is a waste of time.  Then I show them the the next pieces…

First World Problems Anthem

What Does Third World Mean?

Next we write.. and write… and revise… reread.. rewrite… and hopefully everyone increases their abilities to relate ideas of the modern world to problems currently occurring. Most of my students go on to join MUN groups, Mock Trial, and some begin blogs, or writing and publishing on other apps. I love this aspect of teaching and opening the eyes of the students to the world forum. It helps bring them to the understanding of universal themes and multi-genre writing styles.

For most authors ideas of infusing multiple writing genres in works is a natural fit. I look at the multiple books I’ve read over time, even within fiction, there are arguments made, narrative prose, and researched informational infusions. It is important we introduce our 21st century learners to the fabulous world of reading and writing from the beginning. The moment Dr. Seuss is read, or the fabulous works of Helen Cooper, with The Little Boy Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed or Pumpkin Soup, to our older adolescent readers enjoying Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games to Cassandra Claire and her Mortal Instruments series and many more, each reader absorbs enough to begin thinking about writing. Once they begin writing, they too know that it is important to read like a writer and write like a reader. Who knows, one day they might just grow up and be the next big writer for Time Magazine or Esquire.  Some may become the next autobiographer or even rub elbows with a John Grisham!

The Craft of Writing

Woke up to the wonderful +Corinne Michaels Facebook hosting a live chat feed.  Her recent work Say You’ll Stay is beyond words it is so well written. Reading a work which touches emotions in one’s core, while difficult, truly is the gift of a talented writer. When an array of feelings strike a nerve, and the audience truly exhibits anger, remorse, sadness, hopefulness, joy, the author’s craft truly deserves to be celebrated.

Recently I’ve read a host of books which I enjoy reading and learning from for a multitude of reasons. Some bring out the emotional blubbering girl in me, whole others inspire the secret heroine superpowers I wish I’d honed in on in my early years, and others use dynamic language and structure techniques which only add to the depth of the work. From those author’s who make me chuckle through the lense of sports or the deep seated desire to make things hot in the kitchen each author brings a true piece of creativity to the table. When reading a diverse grouping of styles within a genre it is important to recognize the stylistic moves which make you crave continuing on the journey as well as noting the sidebars which cause you angst about finishing the work. All off these author’s like +Corinne Michaels+Pandora Spocks+Sloane Howell, @celiaaaron, @jaymclean, @tialouise, @matthewhiley, +Quiet Ruby+Mae Wood+Meghan March, @serenitywoods, @  +Julia Kent, @jacobchance, @loganchance, @cassandraclaire, @veronicaroth, +John Green, @danbrown, @ruthclampett, +Helena Hunting, @aliceclayton,  @EBWhite, @marktwain, @johnsteinbeck, @nealshusterman, oh and so many more truly bring out the inspiration for some of us to continue on our  sojourn of writing.

Distracted at the Day Job!

Sitting in Professional Development learning about ways to manage student achievement through observation in different classrooms. It should be pretty darn important since it developed out of Harvard (if you’re a name throwing kinda personality). Of course my brain turns on and starts figuring out the part of my book I was stuck writing. Now all I want to do is get home and start writing.

Another distraction feeding my brain hovers around all the new book releases this week.  I need to figure out a way to make more hours in a day!


New Beginnings…

Today begins a new adventure and the journey carries me into the world of bloggers. It may rough for a bit as I dip my feet into the pool of writing for the live audience and revisions may be tougher at times than at others. I look forward to this new art and hopefully gain a few ounces of respect along the way!