I'm now on my fourth blog. I find myself missing the reflection that writing each day for a year promoted. 2013's goal is to write my book. Keep track of my progress as I pursue the dream of being a published writer.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Weekend About Travel

It may be possible that I was so happy this weekend that I almost levitated.  Talking about travel is thrilling to me; the only thing that is better is actually traveling.  Chicago hosted the Travel and Adventure show which had guest speakers including RICK STEVES, Pauline Frommer, Chris Harrison (host of the bachelor), and Patricia Schultz (author of 1,000 Places to See Before you Die).  I think we all know who I was most excited to see.

One of the highlights of the weekend actually involved Rick's France expert: Steve Smith.  We stopped by the booth to talk about our trip this summer and get some ideas about day trips from Paris.  I felt like I was in my element talking about things to see and do.  Lori, just so you know, Strasbourg is about a 2 hour bullet train ride away.  It is highly recommended that we visit.  Janey, just so you know, he recommends Bruges as the one place we spend overnight out of all the places we could visit.  I cannot wait!

I realized the first day that I would not be able to have a conversation with Rick like I was hoping, so for the second day I equipped myself with a thank you letter to give to him.  I hope that he reads it.  I LOVE TRAVEL!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Funding Creativity

I stumbled upon something yesterday that has me pretty excited.  I've always said that I need a sponsor to help me fund my travels, well, guess what kind of websites are out there now...Creativity funding websites!  I've checked out a few and even started filling out my campaign yesterday.  There are a couple sites for those of us out here with ideas, but lacking the financial support:

Kickstarter-Propose a range of project ideas, and people in the US can make donations.
Indiegogo-Propose a range of project ideas (even educational ones), and people all over the world can 
make donations.

So what is my idea?  Well, I'm traveling to Paris this summer for a longer stay.  Perhaps my Neighborhood Mosaic idea is meant to be manifested into a website first, and a book later.  While in Paris I would write, photograph, and video blog with the goal of educating and motivating others to travel.  I would organize this site by neighborhood so it could be a handy resource for travelers or people who travel vicariously.  I will interview Parisians, and truly immerse myself in the culture.  Seems like fun to me...

I need funding because I struggle to pay for the trip itself, let alone the technology I'd need to complete a project like this.  I hope to finish creating my campaign today.  Please stay tuned for a link!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Writer's Club

On Thursday I began a writer's club for 5th graders at my school.  The students were very receptive to the idea.  It was satisfying to see students talking to me the day before about being excited to join.  I figured I'd have a few girls from my class, but I had some students from each class and over a fourth of the group was boys.  It was such an amazing sight to see us all working away on our ideas.  I looked around for a moment and I saw three boys writing furiously and sketching their comics, a couple girls were writing a collaborative story, and a boy was mouthing words as he tried to wrap his mind around what he wanted to write.  We ended our meeting with a little share time.  Each person explained what they were working on.  

When it was my time to share, I explained how I am starting a series about humans visiting another planet and finding life similar to ours.  The life is much more intelligent than we are, yet they do not use technology.  It is a simpler, more peaceful form of life.  The first book will be about us going to visit them and stay for an extended time.  The second book will be about their visit with us.  The final book will be about the war.  As history shows us, mixing cultures often leads to conflict.  Can you guess who the aggressor is in this situation?  

The students faces just lit up as I was explaining my ideas.  I felt if I could have written the book during that 20 minutes, they would have been begging for copies.  That excitement provides for some powerful fuel for me to write it.  I've had this idea for many years, but I haven't been motivated or confident enough to write it.  It sounds very science fiction, but it does not feel that way to me.  In the end, it is a story about humanity: my favorite topic.

After the meeting I went to pick up my students and some of them spread the news about my story.  All the kids asked if they could have a signed copy when I'm done.  If I can pursue this venture, they will be the first people to have a copy in their hands.  What an empowering feeling to think that my words could encourage students to read.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Muse

I go back to work tomorrow and for the first time, I don't feel like the world may end.  I'm actually kind of excited to see my students.  I think sometimes I get bogged down in the issues and forget to enjoy how amazing some of these kids are.  I'm going to try to focus more on those moments rather than the negative ones.

Thinking about my kids today caused a few other thoughts to swim through my mind.  First, what if I start a writer's club.  It would be very simple.  Each Thursday students that want to write can join me at recess and we will all just write.  It won't be a class, but just a workshop for those that have big ambitions like I do.  I know a few of my students want to write books/comics and I can open it up to all 5th graders.  It would force me to write which is always good.

The second thought was one that I've had before.  Maybe I really should write children's literature.  I remember when I was thinking about participating in the national novel writing month I mentioned it to my students.  They said I should write a book about them, lol.  I don't know if I want to do that, but I would enjoy writing a book that they would read.  I'm going to think about this idea a little more before I commit to it.  

All of this stemmed from finding out something about one of my very special students.  She is going to face some changes and challenges this year.  I feel inspired by her because the word she picked for her resolution is publish.  I think we might have to be a team that pushes each other to reach our goals.  Through that, I am hoping I can help her with her struggles as well.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dreamy Thoughts

Some days I wish I could leave my job for a year and go wherever I wanted.  I feel alone when I think about my one true passion.  Of course people love travel, but I don't know if I have any close friends or family that experience the wanderlust that I do.  So many of my best moments in life have happened on other lands.  I suppose I wish that these moments were more frequent.  I truly hope that I can achieve what I think I may be capable of doing.

I wonder if anyone else feels that there is something greater for them.  I want to find immortality by leaving behind a legacy.  Perhaps it is my naivety, but no one ever reached greatness without dreaming larger than life.  I can't help but feel that something is missing.  I hope to find it.


It has been five days since my last blog post and I miss it already.  So, here is my new blog.  It does feel a little odd and unfamiliar to start a new blog after spending 365 days with my last one, but I'm sure it will feel like home soon.  On here you can track my progress to becoming an author.  Here we go...

I've been doing a lot of thinking today about my book I want to write.  I'm still struggling to focus on exactly which topic I want to write about.  I came up with a new idea today.  I was thinking that I could write a book about independent travel.  It would be a how-to mixed with personal stories.  Then again, it has been done before.

My other thoughts include a piece about Parisians through the people.  I would have conversations with and interview different Parisians and bring their stories together to create a book.

The final idea is my Neighborhood Mosaic.  Basically it looks at Paris through the character of its neighborhoods.  I am struggling right now to continue with this idea because I'm not sure how I want to write it.  I've started writing it as anecdotes, but I think I need to take myself out of the book.   It makes me nervous to be uncertain so early in this process, but I suppose the only thing that makes a difference between a writer and a dreamer is the writer pushes through.

I also wonder if my travels abroad will bring some inspiration that I cannot see yet.  My high school humanities teacher said that inspiration is crap.  He mostly meant that having an inspired idea and everything working out perfectly is crap.  It doesn't mean that to everyone, but now when I say the word, that is what comes to mind.  For now, I will worry about improving my writing and learning more about the whole process. 

I have been loading some of my travel videos to youtube if you are interested in checking them out.  They are not polished or of any kind of quality, but they are there for now.  Here is the link.