Tag Archives: writing

Life After Working in Education

There is life after work.  Actually there is life after teaching for 30 years in our broken down, politically charged education system….and Ms. D proves it.

How I loved this post!

I’m not sure how she survived 30 years in education except it must have been for the kids.  I’m on my 3rd year (out of retirement) and I am stunned by the amount of energy given over to politics and the pettiness with so little time left for the students.

One of Ms. D’s comments just made me laugh out loud.  She is listing things she will NOT miss about her teaching career and this was my favorite – “Endure being told that I am blunt and intimidating because I have decades of experience and am not afraid to say what I think.”

I got that in corporate America with the added insult that my behavior didn’t go down well because, and I quote, “You are a woman.”  A-bloody-mazing.

I read then re-read this post of a woman who has and is reclaiming her life and herself and I was so impressed that I had to share it.  When I finished I sat in front of my laptop with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face knowing that Ms. D probably saved a whole lot of kids from the trash heap of their parents’ and neighborhoods’ lives, that she endured…despite the odds.

I hope you enjoy this.  The Year in Review « FARMHOUSE BY THE FALLS.

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Filed under arm wresting, Education, Gifts, Inspiring People, Life & Death, Work

Facing The End

Funny but I never thought I would be retired. Note the use of the word “be.” I am being retired from my current position effective 12/31/2009. It is a mutually agreed upon retirement but it is odd to be in this position.

I am currently presiding over my own professional death. And I have mixed feelings about it ranging from downright giddiness to stark terror. Writing has always helped me with uncomfortable situations before. I am hoping it will help me again.

Retiring will open up more time for writing. And I will actually be able to have a life instead of make a living….but will I be who I think I am when I am not driving into an office 54 miles away from my home? What will happen to all the skills I developed over all the years I worked? TBD, I guess.

Just 18 more working days.
More to come…

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Filed under Copywriting, Freelance Writing

What Makes A Writer Run

I was standing in a store yesterday waiting while someone tried to figure out how to mail the manuscript for my first novel to a publisher in Canada when, suddenly, right there, my next novel started to write itself.

Granted, I have had the idea and the high level outline for this one in my head for about 9 months but my character was strangely quiet. Then, while watching the various characters come in and out of this store, each with his or her own story, each wearing their hopes and dreams on their faces, Trish started to speak and I was ready for her.

One thing a writer is NEVER without is pen and paper so I whipped out my pad and wrote the words as fast as I could, barely keeping up with her/me. If you want to write, carry the gear. Guess why?

Because the way it comes into your head the first time you hear it is almost always the best way to write it! Even 15 minutes later, chances are you just won’t be able to capture the thought, the words, the scene the same way. And believe me, there is nothing worse than trying to remember the moment of inspiration.

So be prepared, listen and when the talking starts….start writing!

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Filed under Copywriting, Freelance Writing

Writing Around Work

I HATE it when I have to write around work…but like most writers, I have  a full time job to pay for my full time but low paying passion — the job of writing!

Sometimes I start work at 5:00 AM and don’t get back to my home office until 7:00 or 8:00 PM.  By the time I plop down in my favorite chair, I can’t even string words together in a coherent sentence.  So how do I keep my creative writing pencil sharpened?  I cheat, sort of.

I keep a small, digital recorder with me at all times and during my long commute — sometimes it takes me 2 hours to get home — I consciously push my brain in the direction of a writing project that I need to work on but can’t seem to get to.  Amazingly, after just a few minutes of thinking about the topic, article or story, words seem to flow from me.  I have written pages of my tween novel while driving! 

Has your work ever gotten between you and writing?  What tips and tools have worked for you?

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Reading And Writing

Writers usually read a lot.  

Favorite genres for me are murder mysteries and, oddly enough, biographies.  Recent books range from Dorothea Tanning’s autobiography – Between Lives: An Artist and Her World — to the downright humorous look at death and dying recently written by Jonathan Barnes entitled Nothing To Be Frightened Of.  

When I’m not nose down in a book, you can usually find me browsing through a favorite magazine like The Equine Journal, Practical Horseman, Mother Earth News, Advance Magazine for Nurses, Mother Jones News or Countryside.  I have books and magazines in every room in my house, have a supply in the car for emergencies and keep a couple of each in my briefcase.

When I read, I sometimes feel guilty because I am not writing!  I find it hard to rationalize sitting around enjoying someone else’s words while mine remain bottled up in my head.  But a funny thought occurred to me over this long holiday weekend.  Reading is really good for the writer’s mind!

When I read, I am learning about new topics and maybe even new words and ideas but I am also doing a whole lot of subconscious and symbiotic learning.  Learning is occurring at a level below articulation.  This is how children learn spelling and punctuation.  Why should it be any different for adults who write?  Why can’t we learn about characters and dialogue and plot this way?

The trick to getting the most out of those hours I spend away from my keyboard with, as my Mom used to say, “My nose buried in a book.” is to read consciously.  If I find a chapter, paragraph or sentence I like I stop and try to work out why I like it.  Is it the order of the chapter?  Are the sentences growing and building and moving me to a new or different place?  Am I learning more about the characters?  Are the words that the author chose ringing true to the story and the characters?  Why did I like it?

If I can pause long enough to figure that out, I might also figure out how what I learned could work for me in my writing.  What’s good about learning to read for more than the story is that you can use this technique and learn, even from a bad book. 

Give it a try.  See what you can learn about writing from your favorite author.  It’s also a great excuse for grabbing a book and a cup of tea and spending an afternoon just reading.

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Filed under Copywriting, Freelance Writing, Writing Articles