Monday, December 31, 2012

Daily Poem & Photo

Twittering at my window
Angry eye pins me
Why is there no seed out here?

Chestnut-backed Chickadee glaring at me for letting the feeder get empty

All content (words or images) by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2012, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License
Poem form:  Haiku 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Daily Photo: Freya's Christmas

Freya had to be outside today
Freya watches from the sunroom on Christmas Day. 

Imagine an exuberant 120 lb puppy joining in with the Christmas fun. Each gleeful squeal would be seen as an invitation to leap and bound and join in the unwrapping fun!  Christmas is fun!  Puppies like fun!  Wheeeeee!

So, yes, Freya spent the day out in the sunroom.  Don't worry though.  She curled up on the green velvet sofa and watched us through the window.

Merry Christmas, Freya!  Maybe next year you'll be an indoor dog for Christmas!  We'll work on your down-stay so that you can be a good girl even when things are exciting!  Promise!

Daily Poem: The Ohm of Writing

The Ohm of Writing

Dark and cold.
Colorful Christmas lights.  Dogs curled near me.
Distractions pushed away.
I put my fingers to the keys and write.
It's like meditation.
When the distractions push at me, I just write.
Let them float by me . . .
and write.
Just write.

All content (words or images) by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2012, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Just do it! Just say no!

Just read a post about how to write 1000 high quality words in an hour by someone named Danny Iny.  I guess he's a name -- calls himself the Freddy Krueger of Blogging.  (Is that a good thing?  The visual is disturbing to say the least!).  Anyway, here's Danny's advice in a nutshell.  Sit down to write and be organized about it.  Know what you are going to write about, have an outline, have a hook and then write.

Good advice and a varient -- focused for blogging -- on what I teach my students to do.  Know your genre, know where you are going, and write.  Add in details, add in description, add in the things that good writers do (craft).  Revise.  Edit.  Publish.

I love it when my teaching matches real world expectations.  It makes me proud of what I do with kids.  I particularly love it when my teaching could be applied to myself.  So, what do you need to do to be a successful writer?  Write.

That's what everyone says.  Just bloody well write.  Everyday, even if you are just writing crap!

I've been warming up my writing skills again by writing poetry which is, I think, a good start but not sufficient.

So, here's my plan.

  • write and post daily poems
  • write blog posts 3 times a week
  • take more photographs (blog fodder and creative juices)
  • work on novel for 1 hour a day minimum

What was that old Nike slogan?  Just do it!

And why is that mentally tied to the Nancy Reagan slogan -- Just say no!  I think I'll apply that part of it to just saying no to distractions and excuses.

Write.  Every.  Damn.  Day.  Just do it.

Just say no to Facebook and  Pinterest and playing games and wasting time browsing the interwebs.  Just say no to quitting before you start.  Just say no to not trying.  Just say no to failure.

Being a writer has been my dream for as long as I can remember.  I have always seen myself as a writer.

I just don't do it. . . consistently, thoughtfully, with dedication.   I just haven't done it.

Writers write because they have to and I've been shoving that part of myself aside.

Enough is enough.

Today, I write.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today's thoughts

Grief weighs down on us
Pulling us to dark places
I insist on joy
Let light fill us up
Blasting away grimy muck
With super cleansing power

All content (words or images) by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2012, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License
Poem form:  Tanka 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mondays are tough . . .

Raven Silhouette I
Solitary Raven
I love my job -- I really do.  Sometimes though, it's tough.  Having to guide students through grief and fear is very, very difficult.  I don't want to have the kinds of conversations that I need to have with my kids.  I want to teach them about reading great books, writing from their hearts, solving the puzzles that are math problems, treating their friends well, the amazing and wonderful state of California, and art . . . I want to teach them about all the good in life.   I don't want to teach them about death and grief and sorrow and fear.  

But, that's the job.  Sometimes, you put aside the lesson plans and deal with the real feelings and emotions of the day.  You walk that fine line between preparing and scaring.  You let them know you love and support them and that all the grownups at our school will do whatever we can to keep them safe.   

And, then you teach math.  And reading.  And writing.  And art.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cold Morning Haiku

Crazy Quilt - Grandfather's Ties

Curled under a soft, old quilt
Cold air sneaking in at the edges
The smell of coffee brewing

All images and content by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2012, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting ready . . .

Yesterday, we spent our day in Middle Earth!  We should have started earlier on our journey as we did not quite finish.  We started around 10am with a bit of a break around 2pm (to make lunch and work on recalcitrant Christmas tree lights).  It was a great day.  My mother-in-law joined us although she left before we watched the first disc of Return of the King.  We are going to watch the last disc of that movie tonight.  What an adventure!

We ate like Hobbits all day.  I made second breakfast of eggs, bacon, and Yorkshire pudding.  We had sausage and potatoes for lunch.  Later, we had some dip and chips and then chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, and we enjoyed tea throughout!  It seemed that the best way we could help Frodo and the gang was to keep our strength up!  No point in getting peckish!

All this in preparation for The Hobbit movie which starts on Friday!  And, to think . . . it's only part I!  We're so excited!

Friday, December 7, 2012

When I was a fledgling birder (I think I still am, though), there was a blog carnival called I and the Bird.  I started off reading and commenting and eventually got brave enough to submit my own posts to the carnival and, in time, to host the carnival.  I loved it and knowing it was out there pushed me as a birder.

But all good things must come to an end and eventually so did I and the Bird.

It was sad but I totally understood.

Imagine my delight when I realized that it was back!

Here is the current issue of I and the Bird - Cormorants and Darters.  Somehow I missed the previous edition on Nuthatches, dur!

You can check out my post that was included but also check out the other posts about these cool, fishing birds.

It's Friday!  Learn something new!