Monday, December 24, 2018

Winter Break Plans - Looking Ahead

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Seriously, I look forward to Christmas Break for the entire first semester at school. It isn't that I have a countdown up, or that I don't completely love my students and my job, but that I feel so insanely busy during the school year that I only truly get caught up on anything during breaks - Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Vacation. My goals for this break are as follows:

Holy moly, do I have some books I want to get read. My reading life has taken a drastic turn in the past eighteen months. Reading romance books has been a fascinating journey for me. Romance books are really about happy endings and hope. Quite frankly, with the state of the world right now, I think that is why I turn to this genre again and again. That being said, I have about books from a variety of genres I'd like to read over break. I'll report back and let you know how that goes. Some titles on my "to read" list include:

Puddin' by Julie Murphy
Tradition by Brendan Kiely
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu
Green by Sam Graham-Felsen
Plot MD by Adrienne Bell
A Velocity of Being by Popova & Bedrick

People, I am so close. Currently my work-in-progress stands around 94,000 words. With the ending I have in my head, I'd guess I have around three chapters left. The more I write, however, the more nervous I am about what I've written. The closer it is to an actual book, the more critical I am of what I've created. I have a multitude of thoughts in my brain - what pen name to use, whether I should be creating a social media presence for said pen name and creating connections there, and how on earth to use Scrivener to its full potential. (I'm seriously in love with this writing app that I've purchased yesterday and now in the process of diving down that wormhole.) My goal for break - get a significant chunk of the ending written and write some article for Choice Literacy. Writing is my main goal this break.

I love to organize. (See my love for Scrivener above. SO COOL!) One of my favorite parts of break is going through our house, pitching items that are trash, finding items to donate, and cleaning everything out. It feels like the entire place can take a deep breath when we're done. This is also why I tend to put our Christmas decorations away on 12/26. Order returns and I feel renewed. 

New Blog Series
This might be one of the things I am most excited for in 2019. On the Voices from the Middle Podcast for NCTE I often get to interview authors and be a bit nosey about their writing process. I'm fascinated by the writing lives of others. Writing myself, and talking to other writers, has driven home the point that there is no one process for everyone. However, how often do we tell our students that they need to write in a certain manor? Every time I learn something about myself as a writer, or about other writers I've met, I share it with my students. So, I decide to reach out to other authors and illustrators, asking them to share their writing lives with the readers of this blog. (And, in turn, I will share that info with my students.) I cannot wait to begin sharing their answers with you this January. 

How about you? What are your plans over the next few weeks? What are you looking forward to in 2019? Whatever they are, I'm sending you wishes for a wonderful end of 2018 and a terrific start to 2019.